Bookstore aims for convenience, competitive prices
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 02:08
At the beginning of each semester, students often struggle to find the best deals on textbooks, spending hours, even days, reading and comparing lists of prices.
Search no more. The bookstore now has a new book comparison program designed for one-stop shopping.
The new program, called Verba, is found online at the bookstore’s website (uccsbookstore.com), as well as inside the store itself.
The program allows students to see the prices of books at the bookstore and other popular online retailers – including half.com and textbooks.com – without having to search several different websites separately.
Jason Votruba, the bookstore manager, explained that every 20 minutes the program updates the competitors’ prices, providing students with the most up-to-date information.
“This allows us to see what other retailers are selling their books for,” Votruba said. “We can then price our books accordingly.”
With the new program, Votruba hopes to make most of the titles in the bookstore more competitive with online retailers, which means books – new, used and rentals – would be within five dollars of the online average.
“Our goal for this semester was to make 60 percent of our titles competitive; we are already at 65 percent,” Votruba said. “We are hoping to increase our competitiveness to 80 percent by January and increase our book rental program from 50 titles to 300.”
Some students believe colleges raise the cost of textbooks simply to make a profit and that they do not benefit from purchasing their textbooks directly from the campus bookstore.
“The UCCS Bookstore is still university-run and operated,” Votruba said. “Any additional money the bookstore generates after operation costs stays on campus. We are here to support the mission of the university, not to take advantage of students.”
Even if students are still inclined to purchase their textbooks from other online retailers, they can locate them directly through the bookstore’s website instead of navigating to the retail websites.
“When students purchase books from other retailers through our website, the bookstore receives a commission for that sale,” Votruba said.
By using the bookstore’s new comparison program, students can get the best price on books while benefitting their school at the same time.