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Valore Books vs eCampus
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.
For more than 10 years, ValoreBooks has used a marketplace model to connect students with textbooks at the lowest prices. What does this model mean? First and foremost, it means that ValoreBooks doesn't carry any inventory themselves. Instead, they allow individuals and businesses to list their books for sale or rent, and then ValoreBooks takes care of the details of the transaction - collecting the funds and passing them along to the seller.
Start by entering the book's title or ISBN on the main page, to quickly find what you need. Alternately, there are several book categories, such as Children, Art, and Fiction, that you can browse using the links at the bottom of the site.
You'll find prices on ValoreBooks to be extremely competitive, whether you're looking to buy/rent or you want to get the most money for your used textbook. In fact, the ValoreBooks guarantee includes a low-price guarantee if you find a lower price within 7 days of your rental. But, be aware that the fine print says that they will only match rental prices on three competitor websites. Digging around on the website, we did find that they offer a sellback price match as well, which doesn't seem to be limited to any particular competitors' websites.
Did you buy or rent a book that you need to return? ValoreBooks' policy is that you can return them for a refund within 30 days from your date of purchase. We thought this sounded very reasonable - until we started finding review after review that said that books often took weeks to be delivered. Looking at ValoreBooks' shipping options, they do clearly state that books shipped via Standard Mail may take up to 21 business days to arrive, which is more than a month. In that case, you wouldn't be able to return your book for a refund.
Another drawback to using ValoreBooks' services is that customers are responsible for return shipping costs, even if they were sent the wrong book. Several shoppers complained about this to the Better Business Bureau - where, incidentally, ValoreBooks maintained an A+ rating at the time of our review - and it looked like the customer service representatives responded quickly and appropriately with a refund of those shipping costs. However, if you've already waited weeks for your book, only to find out you've been sent the wrong one, having to fight to get a refund is not going to make you a very happy customer!
Overall, it seems that ValoreBooks eventually makes things right when problems arise. But, because of the marketplace model they use, it can often take a great deal of time and frustration to get the appropriate response from the seller and get a refund to the customer. This model also means that they can't guarantee that any textbook will still be available after the order is placed; several reviews criticized ValoreBooks for orders that were cancelled unexpectedly, often because the seller no longer had the book.
eCampus has one of the most diverse online selection of textbook options including purchasing new, used and digital textbooks from eCampus directly; buying from sellers on their student marketplace, or simply renting your textbooks for the semester. You are also able to sell your used books through their textbook buyback program.
Buying, selling and renting textbooks directly from eCampus is a very similar process to the other companies reviewed. Find your textbooks by easily searching with the ISBN number, select New, Used or Rental, add the book to your cart, select your shipping preference (Free ground shipping for orders over $59), checkout and receive your books within a week. If you are selling your book, input your ISBN number in their system, they will provide you a quote and if you choose to sell through them, they will ship the book for free. Check the website for more details associated with buying, renting, and selling textbooks.
Books that are purchased through eCampus may be returned within 30-days of the shipment date for a refund (less shipping charges and a 10% restocking fee). Rental textbooks maybe be returned within 15-days of shipment for a refund less the same fees as purchased textbooks.
If you choose to sell through the Marketplace, your books become available for purchase through the eCampus website. eCampus will claim 15% of the sale when a book sells. In addition to the price of your book you will also receive a shipping credit to help cover your cost of shipping the book.
Books purchased through the Marketplace cannot be returned to eCampus. You must contact the seller directly through the website to see if returning the book is an option.
eCampus reminded us a bit of a textbook garage sale of sorts. With the busy life of a student, eCampus presents some challenges and costs when a class is cancelled or dropped. The restocking fee was expensive and could add up if the book was expensive. Selecting a higher ranked provider will create less stress when selling back or returning.
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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