Story by Thomas Scearce
Photo by Baron Cao
With Amazon set to hire 5,000 new employees to meet demands, Borders’ bankruptcy in 2011 and book chains closing left and right, the end of the bookstore era can be felt by students and staff across campus.
According to a recent Pew Research Center report, 54 percent of of Americans ages 16 and older prefer to purchase their own copies of these books. Students across campus find alternative ways to purchase their textbooks with the online route growing more popular.
Plenty of students choose to buy their textbooks on Amazon for one reason: price.
“I bought some here, but mostly I bought them online because it would have been too expensive through the bookstore,” said first-year public relations and broadcast news major Nadia Valentine. “I use Amazon. It’s more trusted and safe. I’ve heard of other websites, such as Chegg, but I don’t know if they’re as safe as Amazon.”
First-year actuarial science major Lukas Georgeff chose Amazon mostly for its simplicity.
“Amazon is easier and simpler to use, especially since I already had an account, and it’s definitely cheaper,” said Georgeoff.
However, one thing students may not know about the University Bookstore is its Best Price Promise Program.
If a student walks in with an online printout of a better deal for a textbook, the University Bookstore will match and beat it by 10 percent, said University Bookstore manager Katie Wilz.
“The option a lot of students are choosing is to place web orders and select in-store pickup, so our online business is indeed growing,” said Wilz.
Wilz said each year, the bookstore increases its online business and is currently up more than 25 percent over last year for online orders. Buying from the bookstore has a few benefits, as well.
“Our students are choosing this option because it is important to them to still shop local, while still knowing they are getting the best price,” Willz said. “They get the books without having to wait for a shipment and as a part of the campus community, dollars students spend at the bookstore go back to the university.
We have had many comments from first-year students and their parents as to how smooth the pickup program works.”
First-year management major Curtis Olson took advantage of the University Bookstores convenience and agrees it was a smooth process.
“It was really convenient since it’s right here, and picking up my books was smooth and hassle- free,” Olson said.
At the end of the day, there are many ways to go about purchasing your books and textbooks. Valentine has some advice for choosing how to purchase textbooks.
“You just have to find out what process works for you,” she said. “Everyone is different.”