RedShelf, found online at RedShelf.com, is taking a new approach to academic reading and learning, creating a service which offers textbooks and other academic materials in digital rather than print format.
How Does It Work?
According to their website, RedShelf’s digital academic resources can provide their students with significant savings over purchasing printed materials, as well as superior access, mobility, and convenience.
When you become a RedShelf member, you are given an option to either buy or rent your textbooks and other academic content. Rental periods are flexible, and range from just 30 days to 180 days, depending on your personal needs.
The materials you access through RedShelf will work similarly to any other eReader based material – customers will be able to search through materials for specific terms, flip back and forth through chapters, make notes and annotations, and more.
Members will also be able to access certain kinds of content from various publishers offline. You will be able to tell through your Settings what percentage of content is accessible in offline format.
In addition, some materials will be printable while others will not be. Each textbook or resource will have its own guidelines for printing that members should look at closely – sometimes you will be given a page limit, while other times you will be limited to specific sections.
RedShelf materials are accessible to any device that has internet access through a 5 HTML browser, including laptops, personal computers, tablets, and smartphones.
It appears as though creating a RedShelf account and searching through their available materials will be free. As for buying or renting books and materials through their service, the price will depend on the specific book, whether you are buying or renting, the time period of the rental, and potentially more. That being said, their website does say that customers will save up to 60% on materials purchased through their company.
The website says that their members are invited to request a refund within 14 days of purchasing any item, as long as you have not read more than 10% of the book and have not yet printed any pages. If you have purchased custom digital content sold by a specific university, the Refund Policy will vary depending on the guidelines provided by that institution.
Customer Service Contact Info
Customers who would like to contact Customer Service with any questions, concerns, or complaints can do so by phone at 888-622-9838 or by email at either [email protected] if you need support assistance or [email protected] for general inquiries or if you are unsure who should be fielding your question.
There are not many customer or member reviews for this service published online at this time, but there are reviews offered by third party blogs and publications, almost all of which are positive and enthusiastic.
The reality is that most people are aware of how incredible expensive today’s textbooks are, how little money you receive when you attempt to sell them back to your university or another student, and how large and cumbersome they are to haul around your campus all day long. Being able to purchase or rent all your textbooks at a fraction of the cost on your tablet, phone, or laptop is obviously an appealing circumstance.
Unfortunately this service is only available through a few university bookstores and campuses at this time – unless your university has chosen to partner with this company, you may only be able to access a few popular, largely used textbooks from this service for your needs at this time.
Competitors and Alternatives?
As mentioned above, with so much money to be made in the textbook industry there are many, many different services which offer you the ability to either rent your books or purchase them used at discounted rates, but it doesn’t appear that there is another service that is offering all textbooks for digital download at this time.
If you have experience with this company or their products, please leave your RedShelf reviews below.