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How to Shop Online for Books


One of the easiest ways to buy that bestseller or autobiography is to shop online for books. It will save you time and money as books can be easily found with a simple tool called ‘search engine’. There are several types of books to purchase online, and each has its pros and cons. E-books and audio books are the easiest to buy as no shipping is required. These books are easy to download and sometimes come for free. If you prefer to read on paper, you will find plenty of online stores competing for your attention and money. Here are some guidelines to consider if you plan to shop online for books.

Type of Book to Buy

E-books or e-texts are electronic equivalents of conventional printed books, read on e-book devices or e-readers. Some cell phones and personal computers may also be used for the purpose. E-books are created and published in various formats: plain text file, hypertext, Kindle, Open e-book, TomeRaider, Plucker, etc.

Before ordering an e-book, make sure you are comfortable reading soft copies on your computer. An audio book is a good option for individuals with vision problems or persons deprived of sight. If your eyes are tired (working long hours on the computer) or you find it easier to concentrate while listening, audio books come handy. Moreover, you can learn a foreign language while you prepare dinner or just combine it with some other activity.

Finding Best Deals

If you need to save some cash, you might want to look at online shops that sell thrift books. You will find plenty of hot deals and the lowest prices on books. To find such a shop, simply google the term “thrift books” and browse through the list of website titles. Another way to locate a thrift book shop is to look for articles dealing with the topic. You might also ask family and friends who often shop online for books.

If you need a textbook (and cash is what you don’t have), consider renting one. Browse various websites and look at their terms and conditions. Ecampus, for example, features a search tool that helps you check if a certain textbook is available for rent. You simply select a time period to use the textbook, add it to your cart, and checkout. You should select a shipping method: 1 or 2 day business shipping, UPS or US postal service. The textbook will be available for use within the specified period (60 days, 90 days, or one semester). You might keep it for 15 or 30 days more for an additional fee. Then, simply visit your online account and follow the rental return instructions. After packing the book securely, drop off at a UPS location of your convenience.

New Releases

It is next to impossible to find second hand books for new releases. Therefore, the second good option is to look for discount books (Amazon is a nice starting place for your search, while Ebay and Barns & Noble are other favourite picks). Look for coupons, gift certificates, and other lucrative offers. Before purchasing a book, compare offers and prices in other stores to get the best possible deals.

Verifying the Online Store or Seller

Before placing an order for an online book, make sure you are dealing with a trusted website. If you are unsure, check the seller's details and call to verify. If they don’t answer, say, more than 5 times in a couple of days, the website might be scam.