There's no shortage of places to buy college textbooks, and the options can often seem overwhelming: campus bookstore? off-campus bookstore? friends? online? an online swapping site? a major online retailer? What at first seems like plenty of options can quickly turn into an inability to make a decision about where to actually go.
Fortunately, About.com readers answered the call and voted for eCampus.com as the 2013 winner of the "Best Website for Buying College Textbooks" Readers' Choice Award. This is the second year they've won the award, indicating that their status as a reliable, affordable online seller of college textbooks is more than just a passing trend.
We interviewed eCampus.com about their history, their future, and why they think they're the first repeat winner in any of the College Life award categories:
When was eCampus.com founded?
What is the mission of eCampus.com?
"To deliver textbooks to students as easy, fast, and cheap as possible."
What success have you had over the past several years (or since you were founded)?
"eCampus.com is the oldest textbook focused e-retailer in the country. We have saved students nearly $27 million in textbook rentals alone, and we serve multiple markets including k-12, high school, college and grad students."
What successes/plans do you have for the next several years?
"Textbook rentals have become increasingly popular over the past few years. As that trend grows we will continue to meet the needs of our customers and provide competitive prices with a variety of rental term lengths. Additionally, with our eWards launch in August 2012, we have become the only textbook retailer with a customer loyalty program. eWards has already exceeded our expectations with 20,000 members enrolled in the first six months. Members get points for simply signing up and can collect more points by referring friends, sharing via social outlets, making a purchase or selling back old books. eWards members can exchange points at any time for huge rewards and discounts on future orders. We are excited to expand this program in the fall and bring more savings to students."
Why do you think you were the winner of this year's award?
"We have continually provided students with competitive prices and great services. We listen to our customers and we are constantly improving."
Why do you think you were able to hold onto your title in this category again this year? (I.e., Why are you emerging as a consistent leader in a field that is constantly changing?)
"Students have come to realize that buying and renting textbooks online is the preferred method to visiting the campus bookstore. As a result, many new textbooks sites are emerging, but what they lack is the wide variety of options. Some specialize in eTextbooks while others focus on buying students' used books, but eCampus.com does it all: buying, renting, selling, eTextbooks, and we do it well."
About the Readers' Choice Awards:
Beginning in 2007, multiple Guide Sites across the About.com network have participated in the annual Readers' Choice Awards. Readers are encouraged to vote for their favorite company, service, location, or product through an online voting process. Here on the College Life site, the awards are meant to recognize those services and resources that make college students' lives better -- or at least a little easier.
The "Best Website for Buying College Textbooks" award aims to help students figure out which online textbook seller is the crème de la crème. Chosen by readers, the award recognizes the winner as a leader in the online college textbook sales field while also providing students with a reader-chosen resource.
(Interested in knowing who eCampus.com had for its competition? Check out the list of other nominees in the "Best Site for Buying College Textbooks" category.)