call students "poor college kids" for a reason, so many are turning to
online textbook purchasing due to the routinely better deals.
With the new semester beginning, online and on-campus bookstores make their case to buying customers.
Laming, director of public relations for BookFinder.com, which he
describes as "a Google for books," said the market of students turning
to online book purchasing is becoming larger every year, which leads to
"On a whole, it does increase every year," Laming
said. "Because they are doing that, the prices are becoming more and
Laming said that because students can compare
everyone's prices within seconds, sellers have to be more conscious of
He advises students to start shopping early � the
sooner the books are purchased, the better the price and cheaper the
shipping � and to check all sources to make sure they are receiving the
best deals for buying and selling. Also, students can ask professors if
older editions are sufficient, because they are usually cheaper.
textbook buying isn't the only option anymore, however: There are now
book rentals. Jeff Sherwood, CEO of bigwords.com, advised students to
be aware of the other options.
"(Web sites) support rentals; we
think it's a great alternate," he said. "What it does is it's similar
to purchasing used and selling it at the end and getting a portion of
money back, but with rentals you never have to come up with full amount
Although the market has increased, there is still an
impersonal factor that comes with online purchasing, and that fact
alone is why Tom Frey, store manager of University Bookstore, said his
store has not seen a decline in book sales.
"There is actually an
extension of the sales because a lot of people end up having to come in
and get the right book later," Frey said.
He warns students to be
aware of scams, such as the case of Nicholas Baptist, a former Purdue
student who was indicted for conning his online customers out of more
than $5 million.
However, smaller stores, like West Lafayette's Von's Books, have seen a decline in sales.
"Often students come by and get the ISBN number and we never hear from them again," said Fred Smith, a Von's employee.
It is a tough market, and the number of students purchasing textbooks online is expected to rise.
"They are always looking for the cheaper deal online," Smith said.