Think Twice
An intermediary between customers and third-party suppliers, ValoreBooks often posts the cheapest prices. But scores of reviews tell of delivery snafus and buyback issues.

Customers are delighted with ValoreBooks' super-low prices on new, used, and rented books but dismayed by slow delivery, buyback and rental return problems, and lack of customer service, according to online reviews. At Reseller Ratings, one reviewer crows about snagging a $200 (retail) text for $9.50 that wasn't available from the usual set of online vendors. Other ValoreBooks reviews likewise laud the value pricing and user-friendly ordering process for buying and renting books. But numerous reviews, including postings on the Better Business Bureau’s website, complain about orders that take weeks to arrive (even when paying for expedited service), overdue fees assessed for books that were returned, failure to receive notice of an impending rental due date, disputes over the condition of book buybacks, misrepresented books in the secondhand stacks, and inaccessible third-party sellers.

ValoreBooks is a portal that directs customers to other sites that are selling or renting books. Entering a book's ISBN number in the search field returns a list of sellers who describe the condition of the book and post a sale or rental price. Although this is a good way for small merchants and independent operators (such as students) to make their wares visible, the range of grievances aired in scores of ValoreBooks reviews suggest it's not always so good for customers.

Shipping charges start at $3.95 per item for standard ground (four to 14 days) and climb to $17.95 per item for next-day delivery. Shipping is free for buybacks and rental returns. The company touts a no-questions-asked 30-day return policy. Rentals that are not returned on time are automatically charged for a 15-day extension. Failure to pay overdue fees results in contact with a collection agency.

Given the breadth of competition in the online textbook market, this is one site that could be checked out last.

Elizabeth Sheer

Elizabeth Sheer is a Brooklyn-based writer and researcher. In addition to researching and writing about household appliances and other consumer items, Elizabeth draws on her history of preparing cooking-related articles to conduct taste tests on all things delicious.

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