Knetbooks follows through on their goal to provide a simple website. Their search engine for finding textbooks is easy to navigate. They provide several resources for answering customer questions, which help to make the processes for renting, purchasing, and selling textbooks low-stress. The following features set Knetbooks apart in this industry and make them an appealing option for anyone in need of a textbook:
- Sell-back policy. To begin with, it’s a major credit to this company that they offer the option to sell your textbooks. Plenty of companies offer the options to buy and rent textbooks, but not all of them let you sell books back. Many students don’t have a need for their books once a class ends, and books can wind up just wasting space. Through Knetbooks, you can get rid of books you don’t want or need anymore—not only freeing up space but also giving you a return on some of the money you spent on them. Knetbooks limits their sell-back process to online only, rather than allowing customers to sell their books in a store. This makes the sell-back process even more convenient.
- Free shipping. One of the best perks about Knetbooks is their shipping policy. All of your orders will be free! Not only is it free to get books; Knetbooks also offers free shipping for when you return your rental. With online purchases, shipping can turn into an expensive hassle, but with Knetbooks, you can receive and return books at no charge.
- Return policy. When you make a purchase through Knetbooks, you have 25 days to return your book if you need to. All things considered, this is a very reasonable amount of time to make a return. It’s true that some competing bookstores allow for an entire 30 days or even occasionally 60 days, so Knetbooks doesn’t quite match up to them. However, plenty of other companies give you just a two-week window or something similar. A 25-day return policy is plenty of time to make your decision and take care of the logistics. However, it is important to read the return policy fine print. A 10% restocking fee plus return shipping are charged to you as the buyer.
- Customer reviews. Particularly with online companies, product reviews can be incredibly helpful to know what you can expect from a company. To their credit, Knetbooks provides customer reviews on their website, which can help you decide whether their services will meet your needs. In addition, they provide a place to write a review of your own about a book. As a customer, it’s nice to be heard and to hear genuine feedback from others.
While the customer policies at Knetbooks are positive qualities, this company does have a few areas to improve on. Knetbooks is still a newer company in this industry, and while many aspects about their business approach appeal to customers, they may still need time to refine what they offer. In particular, Knetbooks does specialize in textbook sales, which is a bonus for students, but they limit their business to textbooks only, which makes them unappealing to many other customers. The following aspects could turn into sources of frustration for a variety of customers:
- Lack of experience. Knetbooks has only been in business since 2009, which means they’ve only had six years of experience. While six years is no small feat, especially in today’s economy, it doesn’t compare to the companies who have been around for at least a decade (often more than a decade). This makes Knetbooks a newbie in the online bookstore industry and means they are still working out their business tactics, establishing a solid customer base, expanding their inventory, etc. While it’s not necessarily a red flag to do business with a newer company, it can be a deterrent for customers who prefer a more experienced business they can trust.
- BBB rating. Knetbooks (through eCampus.com) has received a B rating from the Better Business Bureau—a company that critiques businesses for the way they treat their customers and for their general business practices. While a B rating is still a passing grade, it really serves as yet another way for Knetbooks to pale in comparison to companies who have received an A or A+ rating from the BBB. To the credit of Knetbooks, they are at least BBB accredited and have pretty solid standing. But it would be nice if they increased that rating to instill a bit more confidence.
- No memberships available. For customers who would prefer to pay for a membership to an online bookstore, Knetbooks won’t be a great option. This company is better for individual purchases, rather than wholesale purchases. Again, this isn’t always a red flag for customers, but it can make a company unappealing for the student who expects to be regularly buying a lot of books from a company. In that regard, memberships can be more convenient and make a customer feel more established with a retailer.
- No audio books. Finally, Knetbooks does offer textbooks and ebooks, but they don’t offer audio books. Some students would prefer learning from audio books for a number of reasons, so if that’s you, don’t plan on finding any with Knetbooks. It’s great that they have built up a great inventory of textbooks, but it would be nice to have that additionl format for students who need it.
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