Getting Jacked When Selling Textbooks Back

It’s campus book buy-back time which means one thing: tons of students getting screwed over across the nation.

But it’s okay, it was their parents money to begin with, right?

One reseller you may want to avoid is, who, according to Briana’s letter, practically defrauded her.

We’ve heard, and experienced first hand, the ignominy of high text book prices met with perversely low buy-back rates. Are there any good, fair, sites or services out there for college students looking to finance their next crate of Ramen?

Briana’s letter, after the jump…

Briana writes:

    “Thought I’d share my story with you since a) I love your site and b) it’s that time of year again when students everywhere are seeking to make a buck for their textbooks.

    On November 3, 2005 I placed a buyback order with eCampus for some textbooks totaling $125.85. On November 5, 2005 I mailed out the box of textbooks using a printed label supplied by eCampus.

    On January 30, 2006 after not having received my payment, I checked the status of my account online and it still indicated the transaction was being processed. I emailed customer service and received a response from hhershey that indicated my books had been received and that, due to a backlog my check would take another 6-8 weeks to be delivered.

    On May 4, 2006 I still had not received either a check or further word on my account, and it was still listed as ‘processing’ online. I emailed customer service again, and received a response one minute later (according to the timestamps on the email sent to me) from hhershey telling me my order was never received.

    When I asked why I was told otherwise before, and why my account still showed ‘processing’ (as opposed to ‘cancelled’ as it would in the instance my order was not received) I was referred to a customer service rep, Brittany. She informed me that since I did not insure the package, there was nothing further they could do for me.

    I asked her why then had I been told my order was received previously, and why my order still listed as processing. I also questioned whether the one minute between receiving my message and responding was really adequate time to have verified the package was not received. My response was referred back to hhershey who replied to tell me there was nothing further they could do for me.

    Six months of waiting for my check, and they lost my order and refuse to work with me further or give me compensation. I decided to do a little research to see what I was dealing with here. According to the Better Business Bureau they have an unsatisfactory rating (208 complaints in the last year), and searches on both PlanetFeedback and Epinions return scads of negative customer complaints for similar situations.

    So we’ve learned two lessons in this little tale: 1) always make sure you get insurance for anything worth more than $20 when mailing, and 2) never use for your textbook needs. There’s no telling how many unsuspecting kids they’ve hosed with this scam, telling them they ‘lost’ their order, or that it will be 6-8 more weeks when they’re just skimming the free books for resale and hoping their victims will forget about pursuing compensation.

    Shoulda known better,
    Briana L.”