It’s a question college students face every semester: should I buy textbooks online later for less or bite the bullet, spend a little extra money at the OCCC bookstore and get them now?
It is no secret the majority of students are not happy with the money they pay each semester for “required” textbooks they may or may not use, but what students may not realize is that $200 textbook may not be the big scam they believe it to be.
According to www.collegeapps.about.com, a lot goes into pricing a textbook.
First is the issue of copyright. Publishers must make sure they pay copyright fees to every author in the book. This can sometimes be a pretty lengthy list.
Second, some books contain specialized materials hard to find elsewhere. Because few of these books are printed, this can drive up publishing costs.
And, buying a used copy of a textbook can actually increase the price of new books because publishers make no money when too many used books are in circulation.
That’s where the cycle of not being able to sell a book back because it’s no longer being used comes into play. Publishers must come out with new editions every few years in order to keep making money off that specific book.
In the day and age of digital technology, some textbooks are accompanied with online materials that can further drive up book prices.
In addition, there is always the cost of actually printing and distributing books.
So why should students shop at the bookstore if cheaper options are available?
If you are one of those people who wait until the first week of school to see if you will really need your book, ordering online could cause you to have to wait a couple weeks before you receive your materials. Buying from the bookstore ensures you get your books immediately.
“According to figures from the National Association of College Stores, an average of 21.6 cents of every dollar spent on a new textbook will go to the bookstore, whether for personnel costs, operations, or income,” www.usnews.com states.
This means the small profit the bookstore is making from selling books goes directly OCCC. By buying books locally, you are supporting our school in a way you would not be able to do so by ordering online.
I am not saying all students should rush out and buy all their books from their college’s bookstore. I will be the first person to say I am always in search of great deals online.
I just believe students should look into all options before buying textbooks. In some cases, the price of the bookstore’s copy may not differ much from other retailers.
For students on a strict budget, buying the $50 used copy, renting from Textbook Brokers across from the college or downloading the ebook may be the best and most affordable option.
It is simply about finding what is best for you as a student and putting your money into action.