College bookstores have always been a necessary evil on college campuses, complete with overworked and at times grouchy staff, limited selections and store hours. Purchasing books at a conventional store at the beginning of the semester can be a crowded, long and stressful process and waiting until the masses have cleared out could land you without the materials you need in class. Online retailers eliminate the hassle of dealing with your campus or local bookstore and there are numerous retailers to choose from. Textbook Stop and Textbooks.com are two leading retailers with pricing, promotions and services that make it hard to choose between the two.
Textbook Stop is an online retailer that sells, rents and buy back new and used textbooks. Textbook Stop allows you to search for the books you need by ISBN, Title and Author. The site also allows users to search for the specific school or college they attend. Textbook Stop boasts of fast delivery and free return shipping, competitive pricing and buy back rates. Local “drop points” help student avoid the costs of shipping rented or bought back books. Textbook Stop determines rental rates based on the number of days the student keeps the book, anywhere from 15days for around $6.00 to 60 days for just over $25.00.
Establishing an account is easy: Users are first prompted to provide their name, address, phone number and school information- that’s it!
Making purchases and rentals is pretty simple too. After selecting your books and specifying whether you’d like to purchase or rent the items, you can selected the shipping speed and method you prefer. Your total is then calculated from the price, tax and shipping and you can pay it with Visa, MasterCard or American Express debit or credit cards.
Textbook Stop is pretty easy and straightforward to use, but there are some drawbacks to the site. Many colleges and universities do not register within the site’s search system, taking away from its ease of use. In addition, there are only shipping options available, Standard (7-14 business days) and Expedited (2-6 business days), neither of which allows for overnight shipping when time is an issue. Last, the used books sold and rented through Textbook Stop do not include valid access codes, CD’s, DVD’s or other supplementary materials. Overall though, students and customers seem satisfied with the site because of its customer service and the money it saves them.
Textbooks.com is an other online retailer that also sells, rents and buy back new and used textbooks. Their main page brags “The Most Choices. The Best Prices”. The has a lot of aesthetic value and is easy to use, providing both basic and advanced search options for users to find books to buy, rent or sell. Unlike other sites, Textbooks.com does not offer multiple rental rates for each book, but instead a flat rate averaging $20 for a 167 day period (about the length of a semester) that seems to be determined by the condition and demand for the book. The prices for purchasing and selling back used books seem to be competitive and fair. Textbooks.com ships order of $25 or more for free and offers multiple other shipping options through UPS. When selling a book to Textbook.com, shipping is free and a printable shipping label is provided.
To make a new account with Textbooks.com you must first elect to buy, sell or rent a particular book. From there you specify that you are either a new or returning customer. New customers give their email address, create a password and provide shipping and payment information.
Textbooks.com accepts payments from Visa, MasterCard or American Express debit or credit cards and provides PayPal payments for books sold through their buyback program, which rewards 10% more for books originally purchased through the site.. A feature that sets Textbooks.com apart from some online retailers is that Textbooks.com also sells “eBooks” digital, downloadable versions of print textbooks. eBooks are a great way to cut down on the price and weight of printed textbooks and offer access to the same information.
Although Textbooks.com is innovative and simple to browse, it also has a few flaws. The company does not ship internationally. Some users also note that the buyback process can be inconvenient . The major complaint about the buyback program is that the payment can take awhile to appear in customer’s PayPal accounts. In another cases customers report being charged an exorbitant fee to have a book returned to them after being offered an low quote. In general feedback about the site expresses satisfaction with the pricing, customer service and flexible shipping options.
Is Textbook Stop Better than Textbooks.com? This reviewer thinks no. Although Textbooks Stop gives customers more options in terms of rental periods and fees, the prices don’t beat Textbooks.com. A 60-day rental with Textbooks Stop is about $25, while renting a book for a full semester will cost customers an average of $20 depending on the title. Textbooks.com provides better shipping options to its customers and is keeping up with modern times by selling downloadable eBooks. Complete your textbook shopping at Textbooks.com and allow yourself an easy, convenient experience that offers the most when it comes to services, pricing and technology.