The Elon Campus Shop has a lot competition with online bookstores that offer cheaper prices and free shipping.
Textbooks such as “Writing and Reporting News” by Carole Rich sell for $83.95 brand-new in the Campus Shop, while online it is only $40 used from Amazon.com.
Campus Shop manager Kathy Scarborough says that the Campus Shop offers convenience. “Students do not have to wait days or weeks to receive their books,” she said.
The prices can be steep. Rich’s book sells for $63 used and $83.95 new in the campus shop while online dealers offer much lower prices.
Amazon.com sells Rich’s book in marketplace for as low as $40 used and $56 new. Brand new from Amazon, the textbook is only $71.05. Free shipping is offered on orders over $25.
Senior David Douglas said he has always just walked in and picked up his books. “It’s more the convenience,” he said. “I know that when I walk in they’ll have what I need and if it’s not there, they’ll order it and call me.”
Douglas said he knows he is probably spending more money, but it’s less of a hassle than online sellers. He also said that he has never used the Campus Shop’s online ordering options.
Tesla Mellage, a sophomore, said she has no time to order online. “I know it’s cheaper and better to order online, but the Campus Shop offers convenience,” she said.
Mellage has experienced problems with the Campus Shop not having her book in stock. After she ordered her out-of-stock book from the Campus Shop, she said, “It’s been three weeks and still no book.”
Senior Ian MacLaughlin said he doesn’t plan enough in advance to order online. “I usually just walk in the day of class or the day before,” he said.
To MacLaughlin the price of ordering online is the same with shipping rates when you do not meet the $25 requirement for free shipping.
The Campus Shop is not perfect. One semester it refused to buy back MacLaughlin’s $100 psychology textbook because a new edition was coming in the fall. He also said that selling books back to the bookstore isn’t really worth it. “You only get like a dollar.”
Other online retailers like Barnes & Noble.com and eCampus.com offer prices similar to Amazon’s that some students do take advantage of.
Barnes & Noble.com offers Rich’s book brand new for $78.95. For B&N members, the price is the same as Amazon: $71.05. Barnes & Noble also offers a three-day shipping offer with free shipping on orders over $25 and will e-mail the customer if anything changes with the shipping itinerary.
Another online source, eCampus.com, offers Rich’s text for $73.63. Shipping is free on orders over $99 and you can receive $10 off orders over $200.