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University Bookstore uses rentals, e-books to lure students to on-campus buying

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University Bookstore uses rentals, e-books to lure students to on-campus buying

A Chegg.com representative gives a walkthrough on the textbook rental machines located in the campus bookstore.

A Chegg.com representative gives a walkthrough on the textbook rental machines located in the campus bookstore.

Stefan Agregado | Daily 49er

A Chegg.com representative gives a walkthrough on the textbook rental machines located in the campus bookstore.

Stefan Agregado | Daily 49er

Stefan Agregado | Daily 49er

A Chegg.com representative gives a walkthrough on the textbook rental machines located in the campus bookstore.

Jack Chavdarian, Contributing Writer

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The University Bookstore has implemented several new options for students who are in search of cheaper textbooks.

Director of Communications Rosa Hernandez-Henderson said the bookstore has partnered with Chegg.com, a website where students can rent, buy or sell books that can be directly accessed through the University Bookstore.

If a book is expensive, some students may “go without,” Hernandez-Henderson said. She said renting these books through Chegg in the bookstore will let students have the textbooks they need for their classes.

Digital books have also become a cheaper option for CSULB students, as the bookstore has also partnered with Jumpbooks, she said.

Jumpbooks are the same version of textbooks, and can be downloaded, accessed digitally, or printed out at a lesser price than purchasing the actual physical book, she said.

According to Hernandez-Henderson, the bookstore is also working with Enrollment Services to make it easier for students to access book titles, authors and prices for specific classes. The service, called MyECC, allows students to compare prices to outside sources to find the best one.

“The bookstore is super expensive,” Cal State Long Beach sophomore Katelyn Marx said.

In order to save some cash, she said that going to sites like amazon.com has saved her significant amounts of money in the past.

However, Marx said she “likes the fact” that the bookstore is providing cheaper alternatives to purchasing a brand new book.

Also, the bookstore is now taking part in developing something called the “Digital Market Place,” which would allow instructors to select the cheapest books through the Digital Market Place database, keeping textbook prices low for students, she said.

Although the Digital Market Place is in the early stages of development, one day it can make buying books very affordable for students, she said.

Although the amount of alternative services would appear to be taking business away from the bookstore, Hernandez-Henderson said the bookstore’s priority is assisting CSULB students.

Hernandez-Henderson said, since the bookstore is “the messenger” frequently, it often takes the blame for high prices. However, in reality, it is the publishers who set the prices so high.

According to Hernandez-Henderson, the bookstore is part of the Forty-Niner Shops, a non-profit organization, and whatever profit it makes goes back to the university.

These new opportunities to save money through the bookstore can perhaps win back customers who were put off by high textbook prices.

 


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