As part of our research into the best cheap textbook websites, we asked several college students where they get their textbooks. The name that came up most often in this very small, unscientific sample was Half.com. Comments posted in Half.com reviews at Viewpoints seem to corroborate the love. This offshoot of eBay sells all kinds of books, not just textbooks, in addition to movies, games, and CDs.Textbook Prices by CampusBooks.com
The pull of this site for college students, at least according to those we asked, is that the people doing the selling are other college students. One customer told us she actually bought one textbook for $2. According to our Half.com in-person review sources, students who sell books on the site are fairly honest about the books' condition. And the prices are right - a never-used copy of Campbell Biology (9th edition) was going for $100 the day we looked, which was far cheaper than postings we saw at other textbook sites. There's also an option to rent texts through Half.com from rental textbook sites such as BookRenter.com, but the prices quoted are the same as what you'd find at the BookRenter site.
The big problem with Half.com is the minimalist customer service because you're dealing directly with independent sellers. Half.com will address certain issues, such as books being delivered late, but according to some Half.com reviews at Viewpoints, the site deems a book undelivered only if it's been AWOL for more than 26 days - an eternity when you need a book for class. Half.com reviews at Get Human reiterate the difficulty of raising customer service, and when you do get through to voice mail, the reviews assert, Half.com is very slow to respond.
If you want to sell your books back to this site, you have two options: list it and set whatever price you care to or sell it directly to Half.com. After typing in the ISBN and selecting the condition of the item, Half.com calculates the buyback price. Compared to other sites we looked at, the buyback prices seem good. Do note the site's terms and conditions, which state very clearly what constitutes an eligible product to receive the full buyback price. The money you're owed is deposited to PayPal, with an additional 15 percent if you take a Half.com coupon instead.Textbook Prices by CampusBooks.com