In 2002, Bobby Brannigan realized the potential market for textbooks online while sitting in his college dorm room, and established ValoreBooks. His vision expanded into an online marketplace catered specifically to college students.
The ValoreBooks.com online marketplace offers cheap textbooks online from over 10,000 independent booksellers across the country. They focus exclusively on students and their textbook needs by offering only textbooks and not as many other items as some other services.
Selling textbooks online can be done through the website. Sellers can choose to either sell their textbooks directly to ValoreBooks or sign up as marketplace sellers.
Browsing, buying, and selling textbooks online is never a chore at ValoreBooks. Their website is colorful and intuitively laid out, allowing customers to swiftly find what they are looking for. Tabs sit atop the webpage, hot-routing to the most commonly visited places on the site. A company blog is present that is updated monthly, along with a “Valore On Campus” section that shows ValoreBooks employees interacting with the college community.
Searches are as easy as any other textbooks online website, offering title, author, and multiple ISBN searches, but ValoreBooks lacks some of the advanced search features of places like Biblio and Alibris.
Overall, ValoreBooks.com provides one of the better looking and designed websites that we reviewed.
Five shipping methods are offered by ValoreBooks for textbooks online. They are Media Mail (4-14 days - $3.95), Priority Mail (2-5 days - $6.95), Second Day Air ($11.25), and Next Day Air ($21.25). These rates are for domestic shipping within the U.S.A. only.
ValoreBooks’ Customer Service Center is laid out in a modern format and is much easier to navigate than some other websites’ help sections, such as eCampus and Bookbyte. A large “Track Your Order” button parked at the top of the main help page, and a large “Contact Us” button sits at the bottom. Between these two large buttons are help section categories and a list of frequently asked questions. Overall, the organization and structure of the help area are intuitive and user friendly.
Customer service can be directly contacted by e-mail through the ValoreBooks webpage. CEO Bobby Brannigan provides a link to his Twitter page, committing to providing service to his customers. No live customer service phone number is available.
While purchases of textbooks online from ValoreBooks are returnable for 30 days, only returns due to seller error garner full refunds. Returns due to customer error are subject to a 15% restocking fee.
ValoreBooks has structured itself to cater directly to college students. With its outstanding website, good selection, and community interaction, ValoreBooks should be visited by anybody to buy and sell textbooks online. Customers just need to be sure about their purchases, as the restocking fees can add up.