Textbook pricing creates purchasing options for students

Textbook pricing creates purchasing options for students
Jake Stevens / Alabama Crimson White

The University Supe Store carries new and used textbooks, but students sometimes opt for online retailers instead.

Each semester, the SUPestore sees thousands of students enter its doors in the first two weeks of classes. However, students are now able to purchase their books in a variety 
of ways.

While the SUPestore offers a way for students to pre-order their books before the semester begins, shopping and renting textbooks online has become the new normal amongst college students. For many, buying a textbook is as easy as adding it to a virtual cart and entering
payment info.

Matt Okerman, a senior majoring in finance, said that for him, it’s a mix of both depending on the situation. By comparing prices, he chooses the cheapest option and easiest 
availability for him.

“Some books you just can’t find on Amazon or it just will take too long to ship,” Okerman said. “The sum cost of maybe spending that extra 10-20 bucks at the SUPestore might be worth it a lot of the time. Most of the time each semester I get one or two books at the SUPestore and the others online 
on Amazon.”

To help cut down on costs, the SUPestore offers a way for students to rent their textbooks if a previously owned copy has been sold back. For some textbooks, however, the pricing depends on the edition and 
what’s included.

“I don’t like that a lot of the time, you have to buy bundles of the book and the access code,” said Katy Kornosky, a sophomore. “Most of my classes were like that, and I couldn’t just buy the access code.”

Audrey Frohlich, a sophomore majoring in interior design, said that while she normally purchases books online, she had to purchase $368 worth of equipment from the SUPestore due to availability. For her, the issue was what was being offered for the cost.

“I bought an access code, a clicker and a kit,” Frohlich said. “When you think about it, that’s a piece of plastic, a piece of cardboard and a piece
 of paper.”

As well as the price, students are switching to online shopping due to the crowding within the first week. Okerman said he ended up waiting until this week to purchase his books due to the lines.

“If you go too early, a lot of the time, it’s just slammed,” he said. “The back is awful trying to find your books and no matter what line you go to, it’s really crazy, so it’s kinda about picking out the time to go. Wait the first week out and explore your options.”

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