Lower prices, more sales

Cartoon by Beck Shields

At the beginning of each new semester, outside textbook sellers visit the Pierce College campus and target students with reduced textbook prices.

These companies are taking away sales from the Pierce Bookstore, as students are not buying textbooks on campus because of increasing retail price.

To stop students from purchasing textbooks through outside markets, Pierce College’s Bookstore should reduce the price of new and used textbooks.

An NBC News article titled, “College Textbook Prices Have Risen 1,041 Percent Since 1977,” explained the exact problem facing modern-day students: the influx of textbook cost.

Ben Popken, who wrote the story in 2015, explained that students are beginning to buy used books to escape the prices of new, unused books.

“Indeed, to avoid rocketing prices, students are renting books, sometimes through sites like Chegg or TextbookRush, buying cheaper digital versions instead of hardcovers or paperbacks, and taking advantage of free, “open source” textbooks,” Popken wrote.

The bookstore’s online shop compares the price which a textbook is sold through Pierce College, to the prices of other online retailers, such as Amazon and Valore Books.

PSYCH 5, Introductory Psychology, 5th Edition by Spencer A. Rathus is a textbook used for some of the Psychology 001 classes at Pierce. The book which retails at $77.05 at Pierce College, sells for $58.59 through Amazon and $43.13 through Valore Books.

Students will often buy books online out of convenience, as they can be delivered to your home without having to visit a store. In order for students to stop buying online texts, prices through the Pierce bookstore need to be lowered.

Though the bookstore offers to buy back textbooks, the return rate issued still is not saving students money, as on average no more than 50 percent of the the cost is returned. The bookstore also issues a 10 percent restocking fee to each returned textbook.

The bookstore should lower prices on all online textbook purchases, as buying a book online costs the same-—sometimes more.

In The Atlantic article titled “Why Students Are Still Spending So Much for College Textbooks,” Laura Mckenna explained that though some textbooks are now only electronic, they are still just as pricey.

“Along with the traditional textbooks, many college classes now require students to purchase access codes—which cost $100 on average—to online platforms created by publishers such as McGraw-Hill and Pearson,” Mckenna wrote.

The Pierce College Bookstore website reports the last day to return a textbook for the spring semester is Feb. 12, though the last day to drop a class without a “W” is Feb. 19, and to drop with a “W” is May 6.

The bookstore should extend its return date to ensure that students will be able to return their books if they end up dropping the class, therefore saving their money.

If the Pierce College Bookstore decreased the price on new and used textbooks, as well as offered more monetary returns with its buyback program, the textbook sales would flourish, with students supporting the bookstore without breaking their bank.