|Headquarters||Columbus, Ohio, USA|
|Key people||Phil Smyres (CEO)|
|Products||New and used textbooks, textbook rental, books, movies, video games|
TextbookRush is an Internet company based in Grandview Heights, OH that specializes in online textbook buyback, textbook rental and used textbook sales. The company was founded in 2002 on the campus of the Ohio State University and expanded nationally over the next several years. In the 2013, the company rebranded from TextbooksRus following the expiration of a licensing agreement with the toy company Toys “R” Us. The company’s logo is known as “Rush the Rabbit” and their slogan is “Your online campus bookstore.”
In 2008 the company launched a marketplace only website, Bookstores.com. Bookstores.com is a marketplace similar to the one offered by TextbookRush.com, but has a global reach.
TextbookRush purchases new and used textbooks via its online buyback program as well as from traditional wholesale and publisher channels. The company is also known for buying and selling International Edition textbooks, which was formerly controversial.
In addition to its core textbook offering, the company sells trade paper and hardcover books as well as professional titles. In an effort to expand its reach outside the book space, the company added DVDs and video games in 2009 and consumer electronics in 2013.
In 2008, TextbookRush was amongst a group of small, independent textbook companies sued by the major textbook publishers for importation of International Edition textbooks and other issues. TextbookRush countersued and the parties eventually settled with no admission of wrongdoing on either side. The major claim by the publishers in this suit - that they should be able to limit distribution of discounted versions of their texts - was thereafter invalidated by the US Supreme Court in the decision Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The court held that it is legal for companies to import product manufactured overseas for sale in the United States. Previously, publishers had claimed that such actions constituted copyright infringement.
In 2013, publishers again sued a group of independent used textbook suppliers, including TextbookRush. The publishers allege that TextbookRush imported counterfeit textbooks. TextbookRush again countersued, citing breach of contract from the 2008 settlement agreement, defamation, and collusion. As of 2014 the parties remain in litigation.
In 2009, TextbookRush added an additional 55,000 square feet of warehouse space in Grandview Heights, tripling its previous footprint. The new facility has a capacity of approximately 750,000 books. The company ships to all 50 states as well as the United Kingdom. The company touts its “real person” phone support as a competitive advantage.
TextbooksRus.com developed Optima, a free web-based inventory management system for booksellers. Optima was developed and is maintained internally by TextbookRush.com under the sister site Bookstores.com.
The college textbook market has a large number of competing companies. As the market has moved online more and more, college bookstores have lost market share. Mainstays in the online space include Amazon.com, Half.com, and Chegg.
The company focuses on the college market and has conducted numerous college-centric promotions which have garnered media attention. Recent items included a $500 a day giveaway for 30 days during the fall back to school season, multiple $10,000 giveaways, and a “best decorated dorm in the country” contest.