Best Sites to Buy College Textbooks

In the 2018-2019 academic year alone, the National Association of College Stores reported that on average, students spent $415 on required course materials per year. While this may seem high, the cost of required materials has actually fallen -40% since 2007 thanks to online textbook retailers like us (eCampus has been in business since 1999). Despite the high cost of these items, many students do more research on where to go for dinner than they do on where to buy their course materials. 

After COVID-19 closed most physical bookstores worldwide, even more students began the shift to shopping online for course materials. Amazon may be your first choice due to its familiarity and fast shipping. But before you rent a textbook, ask yourself: Does Amazon know what my finals schedule will be? Will I be required to return the book before I’m finished using it? Do they really have the best price?

This is where it might be better to rent your book from a dedicated online textbook retailer like…us. But don’t take our word for it! We’ve compiled a few key factors to consider when shopping for online textbooks. 

Check out our helpful chart below and see how these top 4 online textbook retailers compare to one another.

Top Online Textbooks Sites

Online Textbook Site Comparison

*Updated June 2020

Major Advantages of Using eCampus.com

  • You have the ability to pick the rental due date that best fits your needs! eCampus.com has three rental term lengths (short term, quarter term, and semester) to fit every student’s schedule and the ability to extend or purchase the rental at the end of the rental term. When renting from Amazon or Chegg, you’re only able to choose from one fixed due date set on their site and would be required to pay additional extension fees if you need your book for longer than their due date allows.
  • eCampus.com has an enticing rewards program (eWards), while most other booksellers don’t have a rewards program at all. Earning points with eCampus.com eWards is easy and free. Just sign up using your email address and you are ready to get started. Earn points when you make purchases, refer a friend, follow us on Twitter, and more. Receive exclusive deals on future orders when you trade in your eWards points – you can save up to $20 on your purchase through eWards points redemption. Get started today and start saving money! Learn more here: eCampus.com eWards Program
  • eCampus.com is the most-trusted bookseller among the student community.
  • You can sell your books back to us or on the eCampus.com Marketplace after you’re done. We make it easy to get cash for your old textbooks. Selling your used books to eCampus.com is as simple as getting a quote, selecting your payment method, shipping the books to us (for free), and getting paid. If you want more information about selling your books, click here to view our blog post on everything you need to know when it comes to selling books.
  • You can buy from other students/independent sellers on our marketplace at greatly reduced prices. eCampus.com allows third party individuals, including students, to sell their inventory through our Marketplace.
  • eCampus.com has been in business since 1999 – and leverages unique publisher relationships for the best pricing. Use eCampus.com to save up to 90% off standard publisher list prices.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Does Amazon Sell Used Books?
    • Yes. Amazon allows for new, used, and rental textbook sales.
  • Can you highlight Amazon Books?
    • Amazon does allow books to be highlighted, however, they say this must be kept to “a minimal amount”. Since this is a very subjective phrase, you must be careful. If you highlight too much, you’ll be paying for the full cost of the book. At eCampus, we tell you exactly what is acceptable – which is no more than ⅓ of the book may be highlighted. 
  • Can you write in Amazon Books?
    • Again, this is allowed, but must be kept to a “minimal amount”. Amazon does not make it clear what exactly that means.
  • How long does Chegg take to ship?
    • Chegg standard delivery is 7 to 10 business days.
  • Is AbeBooks Owned by Amazon?
    • Yes. AbeBooks was purchased by Amazon in December 2008. While Amazon allows textbook rentals, AbeBooks.com does not. 

In Summary

We all have different priorities when it comes to buying things online. Maybe you waited until the last minute and you are needing your book yesterday. In that case, you may look towards Amazon for it’s fast shipping. Maybe you are really strapped for cash and want to get the best deal on a rental and you like to make a few highlights and notes in your book. In that case you probably want to look at eCampus.com.

Whatever your priorities are, we hope this gives you a bit more information to go on when you go to order your textbooks. If you have other questions, our experienced team of customer service agents can help guide you through phone or chat. 

Be sure to connect with us @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways! And when it’s time for textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered for all your course material needs at savings up to 90%!

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