TextbookRush

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As its name implies, TextbookRush offers speedy delivery. With a huge inventory for sale or rent, there's a good chance students will find what they need at a low price.

TextbookRush has enjoyed a noticeable uptick in its standing among consumers since revamping its business model and retiring its former TextbooksRus moniker. The company started out selling and renting international editions, which are generally cheaper than their domestic counterparts. But the international versions engendered no small share of dismay among students who found that they differed from U.S. editions. In its current incarnation, TextbookRush traffics in both domestic and international versions of textbooks. And based on thousands of TextbookRush reviews on sites such as Reseller Ratings, this textbook site is now top dog.

A surfeit of 5-star reviews report that books are delivered on time, used volumes arrive in good condition, and prices are very competitive. Reviewers are generally upbeat about the buyback process -- the bane of the online textbook business -- with most stating they received the amount expected and payments showed up quickly in a PayPal account or mailbox. Some TextbookRush reviews, not surprisingly, quibble about the size of the payments and dispute the vendor's claims about damage. Comments posted with the Better Business Bureau mostly reiterate common gripes about textbook sites: mixed-up orders and returns, difficulty contacting customer service, problems with third-party sellers (e.g., no-show delivery, wrong books) and with textbook rentals (e.g., no access codes, missing supplemental materials). But overall, the customer service satisfies users.

TextbookRush buys, sells, and rents new and used hard copies; it also sells and rents ebooks. Shipping is free on purchases and rentals exceeding $35 (excluding marketplace orders) and generally takes one to five business days, plus another couple of days for processing. Expedited shipping is possible and charges vary depending on the order and final destination. Books can be returned for any reason within a 30-day window to qualify for a full refund. However, the buyer must pay shipping, handling, and restocking fees unless there was an error on the part of the site.

Buybacks and rental returns are shipped at no charge to customers. Buyback payments come via check, deposit into a PayPal account, or store credit (with a 5 percent bonus). The company is explicit about the condition of books it accepts. Pictures on the site can help students determine what will and will not pass muster.

Rental periods may be extended once for a maximum of 10 days at a cost of $9.99; customers who miss even that deadline are assessed 125 percent of the publisher's list price, minus the rental fee.

Reviewers highlight the positives about TextbookRush, including its massive inventory and professional customer service. The weight of favorable reviews justifies TextbookRush's position at the head of the class.

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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