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Books FAQ

Questions and Answers:

Many people consider the local bookstore the only solution to purchasing books. Today, purchasing and downloading books online provides more options than ever before. How does the online book market work versus the conventional local bookstore? InfoFAQ has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions when purchasing books online.

Frequently Asked Questions About Books Online

How can I tell if a book I want to buy online is being sold by the website I am visiting or an outside affiliate?

IToday it is very common to see books for sale on websites that don’t actually do the selling themselves. When you click on the link for one of these books, you are taken to another website like www.amazon.com. The merchant who’s website referred you will get a commission from any books you buy when you click over from their website.

What is the advantage to buying an ‘E-Book’ online?

With E Books, the book is downloaded into your computer. You can then read it on your computer at your own convenience with out paying for shipping and handling.

What formats are E Books provided in?

Most E Books for PCs are provided in .txt, .doc., .pdf, or .html files. For Palm Pilots they come in .pdb or .prc. Other online book sellers will provide software to read the books and will give you a download in the software’s own file type.

Can I convert the file type of the E Book I downloaded?

Yes you can change the file format from one type to another. Just search the web or the web site where you purchased the E Book for File “Format Conversion” and include the types of file you have and what you want to convert it to.

How can I find the best deals on books online?

Large online book sellers will typically offer discounts off of what you would pay in a regular store. You can also use a product search tool like Google Product Search to search for a specific book that is sold by more than one web retailer. This tool shows you the product price from each vendor.

How can I make sure that the book I am buying online is the most recent edition?

Since many books are reprinted with updated information and corrections, it is always best to make sure that you are buying the most recent edition. Be sure that the website you buy from shows you the edition number and date.

How can I avoid accidentally ordering the same book twice?

Since online booksellers will list titles in different ways, like shortening the name versus showing the name and description, it can be easy to get confused. There could also be a slightly different name on a paper back versus a hardback book. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you saw a picture of the cover and the description of the book.

Are used books online a better deal than new books?

Yes, now many large booksellers online will offer you used copies of the book you want to purchase. These sites make sure that the book is in good condition so are assured that you are getting a good deal. Just look for sites that offer used books.

Can I sell my book online?

In many cases, you can sell your used book back to the same website where you purchased it. To find out you will have to look around their website for their buy-back offers.

Is it safe to buy books online?

It is generally very safe to order books online. Just make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company by researching their site a little, and pay by credit card so that you are protected if your order never arrives or you have other problems. Stick with the large, recognized names if you are in doubt, or call the website to get to know them better.

Consumer Safety and Information


Consumer Booklet - www.attorneygeneral.gov

Information on consumer issues.

Tenant Book - www.dca.ca.gov

This website is designed to help Californians become informed consumers by learning their rights and protection.

Home Improvement Books - www.cpsc.gov

Information on books that contain errors.

Data Book - www.ftc.gov

The 2008 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book.

Ask a Librarian - www.loc.gov

The Online Books Page Full Text Books and More.

Visit our Credit Card Fraud section for useful information.


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