Valore Books ranks toward the bottom of our list of top online booksellers. No single aspect of the company’s services are truly remarkable, and many features are wholly disappointing. While the store’s main business lies in selling text books, this doesn’t excuse the fact that they are lacking in just about every category ranked.
The company has some of the most limited product selection of any online bookstore reviewed. There are no collectable books available and no other merchandise for sale. While this may seem reasonable at first, it would only make sense for the company to at least offer educational DVDs that may be used in addition to textbooks. Their failure to even provide at least this option is an indicator of how limited the entire site seems to be. Even most college bookstores offer some additional items for sale aside from just books.
They do allow users to sell books back to the site, just as an on-campus bookstore would do. Selling to the site is easy, just enter your book’s ISBN number, decide if they are offering enough money for the title and then send it back using free shipping.
The website is one of the most disappointing aspects of Valore Books. While the design is attractive, the functionalities expected from the most basic online retailers are severely lacking. Essentially, the only features the site offers are a basic search and a browse feature. They claim to offer an advanced search, but the only enhanced search criterion is to search by school.
The product pages are even more disappointing as they offer little more than the choice of which specific copy to buy. There are no sales, no customer reviews, no professional reviews –not even a basic synopsis of the title. The site does not provide wishlists –presumably based on the idea that textbooks are purchases students need immediately, but many students tend to buy additional titles outside of their coursework and ignoring this fact is certainly not helping their sales.
Valore Books offers an acceptable number of shipping options, but, yet again, fails to provide anything impressive. Students are known for being broke, which is why it would make sense for the store to partner with certain physical bookstores to offer local pick up or at least provide free shipping with a minimum purchase, but Valore Books fails to provide either service. Any shoppers out of the country cannot shop through the site, as there are no international shipping options.
On the upside, students who waited too long to order their books have a number of options to ensure the titles arrive before they need them, as they can be sent overnight, two day, expedited or via media mail. Tracking is provided.
The site backs up their refusal to offer wishlists by failing to offer any gift options, including the mere option of a gift receipt. Many students receive textbooks for Christmas, graduation and birthdays, so this once again causes the company to senselessly throw away potential profits.
The secure site offers a highly limited selection of payment options. In fact, the payments accepted are limited to Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Discover or PayPal. They also refuse to offer gift certificates (again a common idea for student gifts) or promotion codes.
Customer support is limited to email and FAQs, which is seemingly as basic as an online bookstore could get. Their FAQ section is reasonably full and includes useful solutions, but these support options are still minimal.
If all the bookstores reviewed, Valore Books is one of only a few companies to charge a restocking fee –and at 15%, their fee is also the most expensive of those that do charge these fees. The site does not offer free return shipping, even when the error was their fault –although they do at least waive the restocking fees in these situations. The return window is average –stretching for 30 days.
Whether you are shopping for textbooks or casual reading, Valore Books may have the title you want at a reasonable price –but they are still best to avoid. Their multitude of shortcomings makes for an all-around poor experience. While the overall experience is not horrible, the store is certainly a poor choice and should be avoided whenever possible.
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