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Purdue, Amazon Partner To Reduce Costs Of Student Textbooks

Amazon is establishing a physical presence on the Purdue University campus in an attempt to reduce textbook prices.

book in amazon box

Photo: Sarah Gilbert (Flickr)

Amazon says its deal with Purdue University will reduce prices, but the online retailer has also been accused of selling books below their market value.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels announced today a partnership which will give online retailer Amazon.com a physical presence on campus, starting this school year.

The internet company will allow students to order books online and then pick them up the following day at one of the campus locations.

Daniels says the move was prompted in part by the realization that some students were paying as much as $1,200 per year for their books.

“It bothered me as a parent of college students, and now I know the rate of increase in textbooks has been even faster than the rate of increase in tuition,” he says.

But Tom Frey, who runs University Book Store across the street from the Purdue Union where one of the Amazon outlets will be located says Daniels’ numbers are incorrect.

“Congressional Budget Office has been doing studies on this for the last ten years,” he says. “Prices have actually gone down. Expenditures on textbooks have gone down since 2007 – every year.”

Frey, who’s a member of the National Association of College Stores, says that group has for three years asked the federal government to intervene in what it sees as illegal undercutting by Amazon on more than 50,000 items. But legal action against the internet retailer has not progressed.

Purdue is the second school to have such an agreement with Amazon. The University of California-Davis was the first.

  • Bob Eckert

    IU Bookstore should at least explore this, oh wait, I forgot that they sold their soul to Barnes and Noble some years ago. Hopefully they didn’t sign a no-compete type of contract (which they probably did to get the good prices) and can at least contact Amazon to see if they can work something out…..

  • onlyafoolwouldsaythat

    I’m a student at IUSB, and I order all my textbooks from Amazon — bypassing all the Barnes and Noble links in my course syllabus. Personally, it’s much easier for me to get them delivered to my front door (and at better prices) than to have the “privilege” of picking them up at the bookstore, which is only open certain hours of the day. Not sure why anyone else wouldn’t want to do the same!

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