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Convenience can outweigh price for textbooks

Spending an excess amount of money is a burden all college students bear, but the worst place for that money to go is a textbook that students might not even use.

Places like the VSU Bookstore and Dorks Books offer convenience in proximity, but there are also online delivery companies like Chegg and Amazon who often sell for a lower price than the physical stores.

Textbooks aren’t scarce unless you wait until the absolute last minute, especially when the time is near for classes to start.

Bookstore Sales Associate Lori Oppel said that there are many benefits to getting textbooks on-campus versus online and local competitors.

“You come in, you get them (the books) as you like, you don’t have to wait for them in the mail, and we also price match,” Oppel said.

Oppel also said that another benefit of shopping for textbooks at the Bookstore is the fact that they have exactly what the professor wants.

“I graduated in 2012 and I got my books from here (on-campus) and I found it easier,” Oppel said. “I didn’t have to worry about the local competitor not having the right book.”

Senior Hope Smith agrees that there are benefits to shopping in the Bookstore but not exactly the same benefits.

“They (the Bookstore) usually always have the books you need here and you don’t have to jump through as many hoops as you would on the internet,” Smith said.

Smith said that the internet can be untrustworthy and that students’ card information is safer physically than on the web.

“Some college students don’t realize stuff that could be bad for you, like you don’t know if it’s a real accredited place where you’re getting your books from,” Smith said.

Smith suggested another option for buying textbooks for a low price: students putting up their used textbooks up for sale. Smith said that she would only buy a used book from a student if she knew that they were selling it cheaper than the Bookstore.

“If it wasn’t cheaper then I’d just buy a new one out the Bookstore,” Smith said.

Freshman Courtney Penland said that she wouldn’t trust a student selling textbooks like a company, but she would trust a student who was selling their previously used textbook.

“Used books tend to go cheaper and students tend to not charge you an expensive, insane amount price,” Penland said.

Students often try to sell their used books through their graduation class’s Facebook group, but when that doesn’t work they turn to the Bookstore sell their books back for money or store credit.

Penland said that she hasn’t bought all her books yet, but when she does she’s going to check with all stores and companies to find the best price.

Written by Bryce Ethridge, News Editor. Photo courtesy of VSU.

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