With headquarters in Aurora, Illinois, Skyo is an online bookstore that focuses primarily on textbooks. Through them, customers can buy, rent, and sell back textbooks—all for the sake of saving some money and making these processes more convenient.
One of the prominent goals of this company is to make education more affordable for all parties involved—not just students but also parents and anyone else helping to fund classes and materials. Skyo specializes in textbook sales so they can be a resource where students and parents feel confident turning to for this purpose.
Skyo ships some of their books from the warehouse they run in Aurora, but they also search online for the best deals on books that customers request. In this way, Skyo is not just a provider of textbooks; it’s also a helpful resource for comparing prices and knowing that you’re getting a great price. They ship to all US states except for Hawaii and Alaska. In addition to their textbook site, Skyo offer ShopSkyo.com, their website for purchasing other school supplies you might need.
In many ways, it works as an advantage that Skyo specializes in textbooks (as opposed to selling all types of books and accompanying media). Because they focus all their efforts on this market, they become a very valuable resource for students and possibly parents who need a place to buy and sell back textbooks for school. This is a smart business approach for the company and speaks well of their knowledge about their chosen market.
But Skyo stands out in several other ways as well. In particular, Skyo offers the following features, all of which help out customers and make their experience more positive.
- Customer support. First of all, Skyo has set up several ways for customers to feel cared for and remembered. For those who purchase or rent ebooks, they offer 24/7 support should you have any technical questions or immediate troubleshooting. For people who rent textbooks, they also send a courtesy reminder for you when your return date is approaching. Skyo also takes care of its customers in terms of shipping. For any order that meets or exceeds $10, Skyo will ship for free.
- Customer reviews. Online shopping can make you feel more at risk to get a damaged product or an otherwise bad deal. For that reason, customer reviews come in handy. Through the experiences of previous customers, you can learn what type of service to expect from a company. Should you have questions about the condition of a textbook you’re thinking about buying, or a concern about how well Skyo’s orders follow through, check out their customer reviews. These can give you the confidence to continue doing business with Skyo (or they can help you avoid a bad deal).
Truthfully, the customer reviews on Skyo’s website range from very positive to very negative. That doesn’t necessarily speak well of consistently positive customer service for the company. However, Skyo responds to all of these comments and asks customers how they can make their experience more positive. Feedback like this helps redeem any negative reviews the company receives.
- Selling your textbooks back. A convenient aspect of doing business with Skyo is the fact that they buy textbooks back from customers. Since Skyo works through the website BuyBack.com, they allow you to sell back your books when you are finished with them—sometimes allowing you to get back about half of the price you paid for the book. You can sell back your books online or in one of the 950 stores that BuyBack.com has on campuses around the US.In short, the positive qualities of this company relate the way Skyo treats its customers and makes their experience more convenient and affordable.
Admittedly, however, Skyo does have weaknesses—and they aren’t all minor. In many respects, they strive to treat their customers right, but the following cons might just drive their customers away.
They do not provide audiobooks. Let’s start with one of the more minor downsides. Unlike some competing bookstores, Skyo does not provide audiobooks to rent or purchase. You can only access printed books and eBooks through them. For most customers, this is not a deal breaker, but if you need an audiobook in particular, Skyo cannot help.
Their orders might be confusing. A more frustrating downside is that Skyo does not provide all of the books they sell or rent to customers. Because they’re searching online to find the best deal for you (which does work in your favor), you might occasionally receive a package from a different seller, not Skyo. This might be confusing and leaves you at risk for working with a different seller than you thought you were doing business with. In addition, Skyo will occasionally cancel orders they can’t fill for customers—for instance, if you ordered a book that they thought they had access to but couldn’t reserve in the end. In these ways, you might run into a few frustrations with the ordering process.
They have a poor BBB rating. The Better Business Bureau gave Skyo an F rating, and the company is not accredited by the BBB either. This weakness alone could be a deal breaker for a lot of customers. Because the BBB studies the way a company interacts with its customers, this poor rating from the Bureau speaks very poorly of Skyo’s customer service and business approach.This negative review also fits in with the mixed customer reviews that Skyo has on its very own company website. While some customers report feeling very satisfied with the service that Skyo provides, other complain about a variety of aspects of the service. While the opinion of the BBB is not the end-all, be-all of a company’s success, it does make a statement about how you can expect to be treated by them. It would be nice if Skyo could bring up their reputation.Overall, the weaknesses that Skyo has relate to their limited selection and possible poor customer service (which, ironically, is a potential strength that this company has as well). In that way, Skyo does fail to present itself as a company that consistently pleases its customers. This doesn’t mean you will have a negative experience with them, but it is worth considering before you purchase or rent from them.
The Bottom Line
There’s no denying that Skyo has a poor reputation with the BBB and many of its customers. That alone might be the deciding factor for you as a customer.
However, to the credit of this company, it has still done a decent job of setting itself apart as a specialist in textbook deals, and in many ways it strives to make customers’ experiences positive. In addition, the fact that Skyo responds to both positive and negative customer reviews on its website speaks well of its efforts to still work with customers and to fix any mistakes they’ve made.
Customers who need to rent, buy, or sell textbooks would appreciate the special focus that Skyo has put toward making education more affordable. Anyone who needs different types of books, however, should consider a different online bookstore.
Ultimately, for customers who decide to try Skyo’s services, there are many positive qualities to look forward to. But for any customer, it would be helpful to first look over a few customer reviews of products you’re considering buying and to use caution when ordering from Skyo.