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Textbookx vs Textbook Underground
If you've stood in line at the college bookstore at the start of any college semester,you know the hassle of buying college textbooks. A semester's worth of college textbooks can cost hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, hitting that bank account really hard.
However, a whole world of cost saving opportunity awaits on the internet today. Many college students are taking advantage of online college textbook stores. College textbooks can easily be purchased online for much less cost than you can find in a bookstore. College students can enjoy even bigger savings by renting college textbooks, buying used college textbooks, or even purchasing downloaded versions of college textbooks.
Textbookx is a subsidiary of Akademos, Inc, a Connecticut based online bookstore. In business since 1999 this company has a long history of selling books online at affordable prices. They also currently hold an A+ Better Business Bureau rating which reflects their commitment to customer service. Textbookx provides a host of new and used college textbooks and best sellers for those looking for the affordable prices on their books. They also offer the option to sell books via their marketplace option.
The selection of college textbooks is significant at Textbookx. The reason is that they stock their own books as well as use 3 different online partners to assist. The challenge for customers is that the policies and shipping charges vary based on who has the book in stock. Shoppers can expect free shipping, when spending $49 or more, but only when purchased from Textbookx direct. Otherwise, shipping is $4.96 per item when purchased from the marketplace.
We did a comparison of the cost of a commonly used anthropology book and found that the used price at Textbookx was cheaper than most but not all used online resellers. However, the cost to rent is much cheaper than the price to purchase, making Textbookx less attractive for those looking for the very best deal.
Textbookx does offer a buy-back program through their marketplace which essentially allows the student to offer the book if any company is interested. Textbookx does not directly buy used books from sellers but provides the avenue to sell to other companies. We must mention that Textbookx does suggest they have a book rental program. After further research we realized it's simply a link to CampusBookRentals and not their own program. Our search efforts only provided results to buy new or used books.
A downside to dealing with Textbookx is their lack of direct customer service support. Questions may only be directed via email or fax, which means a student urgently awaiting their textbook will potentially struggle to get a quick answer.
While Textbookx and its parent company have a long and strong history this website lacks many of the student friendly bells and whistles we were looking for. Their used textbook pricing appears to be decent, but if you are in the market for a rental program, this is not the website for you. We were also less excited that policies varied at Textbookx based on who actually provided the product. This could be confusing for those buying several books at once.
Textbook Underground is an online bookstore, claiming to be the "quickest, cheapest, and easiest" method of finding college textbooks. Simply type a book's title, author, or ISBN in the home pages search function to find a textbook. If you're looking for a book without knowing specific information, no worries, you can also type in a category, i.e. chemistry. Either way, a selection of books will come up.
After finding the book in question shoppers have the option to buy used and save 25-50% off the cost of new textbooks (per the Textbook Underground website). While that statement may be accurate when pricing used versus new textbooks, when comparing used textbooks on Textbook Underground to its competitors, we found it difficult to nail down where to consistently find the best bargains. More times than not though, Textbook Underground did not have the lowest used textbook price on like items.
As stated above, this college textbook store also offers rentals. One added bonus when renting with them is that renters are encouraged to take notes, and highlight text, (within reason) in rented books. Because of this, Textbook Underground's rented textbooks "gain knowledge" from person to person. Supplemental materials (cd's, access codes, etc.) are not always returned with textbooks so they are not guaranteed when renting from Textbook underground.
Another nice feature with Textbook Underground is the no questions asked, 21-day return policy - a nice option if you need to change your course schedule or decide you don't need the book.
The breadth of overall selection is good on Textbook Underground, but their depth of stock may be lacking. Many selections we made while researching, especially new textbooks, were out of stock. At first our thought was this may be bad timing as this review occurred near the beginning of a college semester. But after seeing its competitors with more items in stock, that theory was proven incorrect.
Textbook Underground doesn't have as deep a selection as higher rated online textbook sellers and some prices may not be the lowest. They do, though, have some positives like the ability to take notes in rented books a good return policy. With that said, Textbook Underground would receive a higher rating from us with better selection of lower priced textbooks.
If you're interested in saving money, online college textbook stores are the way to go. However, not all college textbook stores offer the same options, and some have a lot of fine print in their rental contracts that you may not notice.
There are a number of factors you should consider before making your next college textbook purchase. Some of these include:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best College Textbook stores available today. We hope these reviews help you save time and money finding the right college textbooks!
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