Bookbyte was founded back in 1999. With more than a decade and a half of experience in the online book industry, they are well established and have a solid reputation. What started as an incredibly small company around the turn of the century has grown into a large business devoted to helping students everywhere. Based out of Salem, Oregon, Bookbyte focuses on textbooks. Whether you’re looking to rent, sell, or buy a textbook, they are an excellent option. They offer thousands of titles and 28 categories of books. As is evident on their company website, Bookbyte truly has the aim to help students maximize from their textbook experience. They offer information about prime times to sell your books back, how to tell what your textbook would be worth, and more. Aside from helping students find affordable options, they also work with the Rotary Books around the World organization to build literacy in South Africa, Thailand, Belize, and Uganda. Indeed, Bookbyte is not only well established; they have appealing motives.

 

Rank Chart
Selection
Book Formats
Our Score
#1
Print, E, Audio
7.1
#2
Print, E, audio
6.7
#3
Print, E, Audio
6.6
#12
thumbnail-1
Print & audio
5.3

The Good

This company does a lot of things well.

For starters, the fact that they specialize in the textbook industry makes them an appealing option for a lot of students. Rather than spreading their efforts across all types of books, Bookbyte has decided to focus just on the books students need most—textbooks. Not only that; they specialize in bringing down the prices of these books and helping students save some money by selling them back.

The fact that Bookbyte offers the option to sell back your textbook is another perk they provide. There is a 10% loyalty amount for customers who sell the textbook they bought from Bookbyte to the company. They also allow you to sell back your books in store or online—whichever is more convenient for you.

What sets Bookbyte apart, however, are the following features:

  • Flexibility. Not only does the company offer the option to either buy or rent textbooks; they also let you choose how long you want to rent their textbooks, if that’s the route you need. This is a major advantage for students who don’t necessarily need a textbook for a four-month semester or another set time frame. Another way Bookbyte is flexible is in their seven-day grace period that you get if you happen to return your textbook late. Sometimes it’s little perks like that that make the difference in customer service.
  • Free shipping. While Bookbyte doesn’t guarantee free shipping for any and all orders, they do offer it for a lot of them. For instance, you get to enjoy free shipping for all rental orders, all purchases over $49, and all orders you ship to them for selling a textbook. They also offer a 14-day money-back guarantee as part of their return policy. This gives customers an added measure of confidence in the business.
  • An intuitive website. In this industry in particular, a company website plays a little more significant role in the experience of the customer. Since Bookbyte is in fact an online book company, they’ve done an excellent job setting themselves apart from some competitors by offering a website that is informative, detailed, and easy to use. Their customer service helps are very useful, and they provide a search engine that is intuitive as well.

The Bad

Despite the many positive aspects of Bookbyte, the company does have its limitations. Depending on the customer, these “limitations” could really be red flags or deal breakers too.

First up is the fact that this company really only handles textbooks. Now, for many customers—particularly students—this is a very appealing quality and makes the company an expert in just the area those customers need. But for customers who need a site that offers any type of book, Bookbyte isn’t a great resource. In this vein, Bookbyte has limited their customer base and made themselves a somewhat narrow option.

Bookbyte can be limiting in a few other ways as well:

  • Limited types of books. Not only does this company limit itself to just textbooks; it also has narrow options for the types of books it offers too. For instance, they primarily only work with printed books and occasionally audio books. Other companies, however, could offer more audio books and even ebooks, which are becoming increasingly popular today.
  • No membership options. Some customers prefer to become a member of a company so that ordering is easier and so that they can enjoy member perks. Bookbyte doesn’t really offer a membership program, however. Customers can subscribe to their email list and receive coupons that way, and there’s always that 10% discount for selling back their textbooks to the company. But beyond that, there are not a lot of loyalty perks that Bookbyte provides.
  • Short time frame for returns. The return policy at Bookbyte is another downside. While competing companies give customers something like a 30-day period to return a purchase, this company requires you to return a book within 14 days of receiving it. Plus, whether you pay for the shipping costs depends on the reason for your return and whether it’s just a change of mind or the company’s fault. It’s wonderful to have a return policy at all, but it would be nice if Bookbyte offered just a bit more leeway for customers who need it.In short, the weaknesses of Bookbyte as a business have more to do with their customer base and logistics. For customers who fit their target audience and don’t need a membership or a long return period, these aren’t weaknesses at all. But for many other customers, these aspects are the reason that Bookbyte won’t make the cut.

The Bottom Line

Primarily, Bookbyte is an excellent option for customers who need to rent, buy, or sell textbooks. Those customers are the core of this company’s purpose, and they are the people who will most appreciate the services that Bookbyte provides.

Therefore, customers who are looking for an online book company that deals with more types of books (both in format and in genre) won’t find Bookbyte very useful. And for customers who would feel uncomfortable with a short return policy or would prefer to have a membership with a company, Bookbyte also wouldn’t be a great option.

All in all, this company has many advantages for the right customer. Not only do they have expertise in the textbook industry; they also have 16 years of experience to boast. For the targeted customers, they would be a great option to sell, buy, or rent textbooks with.

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