If you’re still buying books from your college or university’s campus bookstore, you’re paying more than you have to. Campus Books helps you find the best-priced books from searching over 8 million new and used books from thousands of sellers and partnerships with bookstores. They’re doing the hard work for you and according to their site, you can save up to 90% on books, plus get discounted pricing on eBooks.
Campus Books, which used to be called Campus Book Rentals, has a page on their site that lets you compare prices from actual top bookstores around the country (broken down by state) to their online books.
They want you to see first-hand how you can save a tremendous amount of money by using their online service to buy, rent, and sell your textbooks. See how their renting, buying, and selling process works. We’ll discuss how they compare to other retailers and what makes them worth considering.
- Powerful way to compare prices to buy, sell, and rent textbooks
- Free shipping both ways
- Rent for 30 to 150 days with an option to buy
What Is Campus Books?
Campus Books is a free online service that scours the internet to give you the best prices for new and used books. The site looks outdated and each of their main pages—Buy, Rent, and Sell, look identical. But it’s easy to navigate and they make it simple to do a search to find the book you’re looking for.
They have a comparison tool on their homepage that lets you compare prices with Chegg, Barnes and Noble, and eCampus, to name a few.
They have a blog that gets updated about once a year and their iOS and Google Play links to download their mobile apps are broken.
How Does Campus Books Work?
Depending on what you’re looking for, you can start on any of their pages to buy, sell, or rent a book. If you’re searching for a book, you put in the title of the book in the search bar.
For example, when we typed in “The Art of War,” we received this result.
Once you put in the title, your search results will appear with options that ask you if you’re looking to buy, rent, or sell this particular book.
There is another option to “Add to Bookbag,” meaning, add it to your cart to purchase.
When you click on any of the titles from the search results, it automatically tells you how much it costs to buy or rent.
Selling Your Textbooks
The convenient part about Campus Books is that they tell you what’s better for your wallet—renting or buying the book outright. If you end up buying, you can always sell it back. Expect to get paid for your book via cash, check, PayPal, or store credits.
If you’re looking to sell, you basically repeat the process, but instead of clicking buy or rent, hit sell. For “The Art of War,” there were no offers on that particular book.
But for a textbook such as “Essentials of Economics,” it revealed we could get $41 for the second edition.
If you have books to sell now, consider the following selling tips:
- Compare prices
- Be honest about the condition of your book to avoid potential future disputes
- Sell early because new edition of textbooks come out frequently
How Does Textbook Rental Work?
Start on the rent page and type in the book you are looking for. It’s always best to search using the book’s ISBN number, or the International Standard Book number. This is the surefire way to ensure your book isn’t confused with another one, as many books and author names are the same or similar. Some books have 10-digit ISBNs, others have 13 digits but Campus Books takes both numbers.
The site’s “Superbot” (which is their search engine) lets you know if it’s cheaper to buy or rent your particular book. If it’s cheaper to rent, you can then rent it for a period of 30 to 150 days.
Expect shipping to take two to three business days. Next to the book pricing, you will see an “availability” column on the right side. It will tell you the exact timeline of when the book will ship. Many of Campus Books’ partner bookstores offer express shipping.
Renting a textbook is convenient because Campus Books factors in the price of tax and shipping, which is free to receive and ship the book back. If you decide you want to buy the book while you’re renting it, you have the choice to purchase it.
After renting your textbook, keep these tips in mind so you don’t get charged any extra fees.
- Double-check the ISBN to make sure it’s the right book.
- Pick your rental term. You can decide on if you want to rent it for a semester or just a month.
- Don’t highlight, mark, or take notes in your book. If you want to go this route Campus Books recommends you buy a used book instead.
How Does Campus Books Compare?
Campus Books isn’t the only online book retailer around. If you can get over the basic design of their website, you may find that you could save money and sell your books back by using Campus Books.
Campus Books is comparable with eCampus, Chegg, and Amazon.
Amazon is huge, so finding a large selection of books at a decent price may be worth a quick search. Look carefully at Amazon’s shipping time, as some books may take anywhere from five to eight days. However, Amazon Prime offers free shipping, which is on par with Campus Books.
Starting April 1, 2023, Amazon is no longer offering print textbook rentals, so this is another consideration if you’re thinking of using Amazon.
Chegg is another rental site for textbooks and also says you can save up to 90%. They have a huge selection of books to choose from—750,000, but doesn’t offer a buy-back feature, like Campus Books.
$35 order minimum when promotions are being offered
$25 order minimum or
Amazon Student membership
30 to 150 Days
Quarter to Semester
Offers Texbook Buy-Back
How To Contact Campus Books
Campus Books doesn’t have a customer service phone number, so you’ll have to send an email via their Contact page. There is also a Help Center to answer general questions you may have.
Is Campus Books Worth It?
Yes. Starting your book-saving journey with Campus Books is a great way to save. The powerful comparison tool offers a competitive way to gauge which site offers the cheapest books.
When you’re ready to sell your books back, Campus Books can also help. Having one site that does it all means it’ll be easier for you to buy, rent, and sell.
If you want to see what else is out there, check out the best college textbook rental sites and the best places to buy textbooks online.
Campus Books Features
Buy, sell, and rent textbooks
Physical or digital
Average Shipping Times
eTextbook Rental Periods
30 to 150 days with the option to purchase
Customer Service Options
Mobile App Availability
Despite what it says on the website, links to iOS and Google Play are not currently working.
Editor: Claire Tak
The post Campus Books Review: Buy, Rent, Or Sell Your Textbooks appeared first on The College Investor.