Opinion: ARC’s bookstore pricing needs to get more competitive


The Beaver Bookstore’s sales are impacted by online retailers. (File Photo)

Jared Smith

College student’s wallets are crying. According to Collegeboard.org, the average college student shells out $1,200 a year for textbooks, and the price is only getting higher.

These averages are conservative with some books being as high as $200, textbook prices are getting ridiculous.

According to NACS.org, the National Association of College Stores, the average price of the new textbook has risen from $57 in the 2007-2008 school year to $82 in the 2014-2015 school year.

Luckily students have many ways to get textbooks such as buying used books online and renting books.

The Beaver bookstore offers many of the books that students need for their classes. The only problem is that the price of some of these books is still too steep.

Why would students pay $80-200 for a textbook that they can buy or rent online for 1/4th the price?

This is especially relevant considering how fast you can get a book online.

“The Physics of Everyday Phenomena” is book that ARC physics professor Shih-Wen Young requires for his physics class, Physics 310. This book is $170 used in the bookstore, or you can buy it on Amazon used for $10.

Even when it comes to the convenience of the bookstore it can be easier to just order a book online.

Amazon’s shipping is usually very fast and if you have Amazon Prime which is discounted to $50 a year for students you can get free two-day shipping.

One benefit of Amazon is that their return policy is extremely lenient. As long as a student buys directly from Amazon and not another seller on Amazon, Amazon offers a full refund for the first 30 days from your purchase.

What this means is if you buy a used book, and it’s too worn, you can return it for a full refund. However, as helpful as this can be, it can take more time for you to have a book for class.

If you were to buy a book from the bookstore and have this issue the return window is much smaller.  For full semester students, it’s within the first week of classes starting.

That means that if you find pages marked up that the bookstore missed when they were checking the book you may not get a refund.   

The best part about the bookstore is that it’s right on campus, and according to employees, the money spent there stays on campus.

“100% of our profits go back to the college,” said Andrea Hudgens, a clerk for the bookstore.

With a better refund policy and a price matching system more people would be drawn to the make their purchases at the Beaver Bookstore.