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Another outrageously-priced textbook? You’ve got to be kidding! How much of this are you going to take? You know there’s a better option than getting ripped off by your university bookstore, right? There are several reputable websites for saving students money on textbooks The 10 Best Sites To Rent Or Buy College TextBooks Cheaply The 10 Best Sites To Rent Or Buy College TextBooks Cheaply Today's generation has the best of the online and offline worlds. We didn’t have websites which told us where to find (rent or buy) cheap textbooks. But today’s generation just has to type in a... Read More , eCampus being one of the very best.

Did you know you can rent textbooks, instead of purchasing them? Or perhaps you have a pile of textbooks you no longer need, eCampus will buy them from you. Whether you want to buy, rent or sell your textbooks, eCampus is one way to beat college on a budget 6 Great Tech Tips To Beat College On A Budget 6 Great Tech Tips To Beat College On A Budget There are some easy ways to get free textbooks, study more efficiently, and cut the time it takes to write a paper in half. Despite growing criticisms of the "value" of a degree, this generation... Read More .

0.1 eCampus - Textbook guarantee

Setting Up Your Account

1 eCampus - create account

Setting up your eCampus account is very quick and easy. You can log in with your Facebook account or the traditional way with an email and password.

1.1 eCampus - account

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Searching For Textbooks To Rent Or Buy

The best way to search for textbooks is with the ISBN number, located on the barcode on the back of the book.

2 eCampus - ISBN number on book

Simply enter the ISBN into the search box on the Rent or Buy pages.

3 eCampus - rent - book isbn in field

Each book has a landing page featuring the cover and other details (edition, ISBN, format, published date, and publishers). On the left, eCampus will inform you if they will buy the particular book from you, which can provide peace of mind if you’re buying textbooks. Generally, free shipping only applies to books priced $59 and over, but there may be exceptions and they’re displayed on the left, below the book’s cover image. Return shipping on rentals are always free.

4 eCampus - book example

On the right side of the page (pictured above), there are sections for renting (semester, quarter, short term), buying used, buying new, buying the eTextbook version and shopping on the Marketplace, a store powered by eCampus that allows you to buy a textbook from third-party sellers, oftentimes for less than what eCampus is listing.

4.1 eCampus - account - manage rentals

From the account page, you can easily print a return shipping label or extend the rental time.

eTextbooks

5 eCampus - eTextbooks

If you’re thinking about going digital with your textbooks, eCampus is a good place to start, as they have a large number of their books available as eTextbooks too. A couple of significant advantages to eTextbooks is cost and text searchability.

You can still take notes in the eTextbook and highlight text, as well as print pages, send information to classmates, and read on an array of interfaces from your computer browser to smartphone to tablet. There are some drawbacks to eTextbooks 4 Things That Totally Suck About Using Technology in School [Opinion] 4 Things That Totally Suck About Using Technology in School [Opinion] I’ve read that e-books are the future of books, and it’s not a matter of if they’ll surpass print books but when. Being still in college, I wondered if that was the case for e-textbooks.... Read More that you should be aware of, such as not being able to use them in an open book test, or perhaps not at all in class if your instructor is prohibits tablet use, which is becoming less common, but I have had multiple instructors who forbid laptops in their classes.

7 eCampus - eTextbook example

So despite eTextbooks being cheaper (as shown above), keep in mind that they do have some trade-offs. Also take note that they still aren’t cheaper than renting, and they can’t really be resold. So if you do not intend on keeping the book, then renting, or buying and reselling may be a better option.

Selling Your Textbooks

8 Selling textbooks meme

Let’s be honest, the university bookstore is not looking out for your best interest when buying back your books. You might be better off selling them directly to a student for either the same price (and helping the student out) or if there is enough demand, for a slightly more. But finding students to buy your books back can be a daunting task, especially when you’ve got more important things to worry about.

9 eCampus - sell

eCampus will take care of that hassle and buy your books back for you. Granted, you’re not guaranteed that they’ll take it, but if it’s a fairly common book, chances are they will.

10.1 eCampus - Marketplace

If they don’t, you do have another option – the eCampus Marketplace. I mentioned it once earlier in this article as a great place to buy textbooks. You’ll need to first create a screen name.

10.2 eCampus - Marketplace

Once you’ve done so, you’ll be prompted to input your payment, credit card and billing address information. After that, you’ll need to select which state you will be shipping from. And then you’re all set to start selling. Do be sure that you have direct deposit enabled and the information entered into your account, as that is now the only way to be paid.

Save More With On-Site Coupons

You will likely already be saving by using eCampus instead of going through your university bookstore, but for an added bonus, eCampus offers coupons. That said, you should perform a few price checks just to be sure that eCampus is cheaper, and of course, check with other students to see if you can get the book from them for the same price.

11 eCampus - coupon

eCampus claims that although there are websites and tools that offer coupons Automatic Coupon Finders - Do They Really Help You Save Money? Automatic Coupon Finders - Do They Really Help You Save Money? Like many good things in life, coupons and promo codes are elusive. Saving money is never an easy thing, after all, and when you’re trying to find valid codes for something specific, you usually end... Read More for their site, they will always have the most up-to-date coupon that will save you the most money. The key is to simply look for and use it, which few people do. Start by scrolling down to the very bottom of the page. In the small text, second row, third line down, you will see “eCampus Coupons” which will provide you with the coupon pictured above.

11.1 eCampus - coupon

Alternatively, you may also be prompted with a coupon that will pop up when visiting the website.

11.2 eCampus - coupon

Rewards Program

12 eCampus - eWards - Redeem Points

Are you eager to save even more on your textbooks? Then the “eWards” program is for you. The program works by giving you points when you make purchases, refer friends and follow eCampus on their social media platforms.

12.1 eCampus - eWards - Earn Points

If you’re the competitive type that is trying to win at life with gamification Points For Everything: How I Tried to Win At Life With Gamification Points For Everything: How I Tried to Win At Life With Gamification My brain is stupid. It thinks I can get done tomorrow what I need to do today, and that I can do this afternoon what I need to do this morning. It puts everything off.... Read More , then you can even earn badges for orders you place.

12.2 eCampus - eWards - Earn badges

Not Just Texbooks: Rent, Buy Or Sell Books Of All Kinds

13 eCampus - other books

eCampus is focused on textbooks, yes, but you can also rent and purchase books of all kinds. I’ll be honest, the prices aren’t fascinating, at least with the few books that I cross-checked on other websites, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find good deals. Also, it makes sense due to eCampus being a textbook-focused website.

A Problem That Websites Like eCampus Still Can’t Fix

There is one issue I’ve run into with any textbook rental or buying website. And it’s unfortunate because it’s not the website’s fault. This problem is when there are an abundant amount of required textbooks for a class or program that are custom, old/outdated or just rare textbooks. I attended a small technical college for a very specific program. Often times, the required books for the class weren’t ones I could find online, although I sometimes got lucky. This is important to keep in mind with eCampus or any similar website. Depending on the university you’re attending, the classes, instructors and program, eCampus may be a big help in saving you money, or they may have very little of your required reading.

Have You Used eCampus?

If you have used eCampus, we’d like to hear about your experience. Was it a positive one? How much did they help you save? Do you have any experience with other textbook purchasing and renting websites or advice for finding the cheapest books online How To Find The Cheapest Books Online How To Find The Cheapest Books Online I’ve written before about my love for reading, but I also have a side of me that loves bargains and hates spending unnecessary coin. What’s a man to do when he wants to buy and... Read More ? How about any tips for selling your books online? As always, share your feedback in the comments below.

  1. William
    January 24, 2014 at 8:40 am

    ecampus is expensive, better alternatives out there. Stay Away!
    You by $400 worth of books thorough them and sell them back for a mere $30 dollars. Save your money and Rent on Amazon.

  2. AWA
    January 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Looks really interesting, thanks for sharing!
    University libraries may also be a great way to save some money when looking for textbooks.
    Cheers!

  3. Henry L
    January 22, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Thanks! This could be very useful!

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