Fighting high prices at the bookstore
Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 21:08
Like milk and medicine at a gas station, with great convenience comes high prices. Such is the case with college textbooks. A campus bookstore has an irresistible draw to it. One simply walks in with a class schedule and out with the right books, albeit a much lighter wallet. The peace of mind a student gets from making purchases at their college bookstore is tremendous. It should be stressed that there are other ways to get the right books and at a much better price.
The first option is to go online to sites such as amazon.com, half.com, and chegg.com, where used and new textbooks can be purchased and sometimes even rented, often for a fraction of the bookstore cost.
“I bought from the book store my first semester, but will never do it again. I think freshmen buy there for fear of getting the wrong book. Always buy online,” said sophomore Honors Program member and math major Megan McVicker.
To find the right books to purchase online, obtain the International Standard Book Number. According to the United States ISBN Agency website, an ISBN is 13 digits long and used to identify the title and publisher of a book or book-like product. To find the ISBN, follow these 4 steps:
1. Go to www.purduecal.edu with a copy of your class schedule handy.
2. Type the word “bookstore” in the search box. Click on the first result.
3. Hover over the “Books” tab (on the top left hand side) and select “Textbooks and Course Materials.”
4. Answer the list of questions the new page asks, starting with “Select your program.” To answer the other questions such as the department of the class in question, the course and the section, simply refer to your class schedule.
Once all questions are answered, an ISBN will appear along with a list of prices for new, used and rentals. If no ISBN is listed, that either means the course has no required set of materials or none at this time.
Search the ISBN to find an array of sites that offer the book. Prices can be compared, and money is saved.
Adam Cooper, junior and leading member of DECA said, “In almost all cases, I can find lower prices online than at the bookstore and a much greater selection that makes price comparisons possible.”
Theother option is to borrow and trade with friends, as most college students can empathize with one another over the cost of books and supplies. This usually works only if the other person is already done with that particular course and has no intention of selling the book back to the bookstore.