Store competiveness is discussed


Callie Burgan

Book Center employee Sean Hitchens helped junior Lexi Weber complete a price match on Jan. 16 for her textbook purchase.

Callie Burgan, News Editor

Pitt-Johnstown students who choose to shop at the campus bookstore may be getting a lesson in economics before they have cracked open their first chapter.

According to manager Tim Jones, bookstore employees have seen an increasing number of students purchasing used books and digital materials to save money.

“We always try to have the most affordable options for students, no matter the format. 

“To keep pricing for students as low as possible, The Book Center offers a substantial selection of digital, rental books and used textbooks that help offset the costs of new textbooks.” Jones said.

Online marketplaces may include textbook providers and sources offering discounted titles of poor quality, the wrong editions or missing access codes, according to Jones.

“Our employees source the correct titles, materials and access codes from only reliable sources in quantities that cover the needs for each course and every student. 

“In addition, the campus store will price match with Amazon and Barnes & Noble online stores to further decrease costs.” Jones said.

Junior Lexi Weber said for the past two years she has used websites like Chegg and Amazon to rent textbooks.

Weber said she has noticed an improvement in the Book Center’s price matching resources which has influenced her textbook spending habits.

 “Up until recently, I wasn’t able to find my books cheaply in the campus bookstore.

 “However, they’re getting better at matching prices, so this semester I’ve been buying and renting solely from them.

 “Sometimes it can be cheaper to go online depending on the book, but the bookstore has been the cheapest option for me personally this semester.” Weber said.

Junior Hannah Zeanchock said she uses a combination of outside website sources and bookstore resources for her textbook needs depending on the class she is taking.

“For example, if I know I need a book right away to start doing readings or assignments in a class, I go straight to the campus bookstore to get them.

“However, if I’m not sure if I need them for a little while longer and think I can find them cheaper elsewhere, I’ll look online first. 

“The bookstore can be expensive, but it is convenient.” Zeanchock said.

Sophomore Leighann Heisey said she has a method of using the campus bookstore website to find the cheapest textbook deals. 

“I get most of my textbooks through the campus bookstore, and I normally order them online.

“If I end up finding a book somewhere else, like Chegg, for cheaper, then I’ll get it through another source.

 “I’ll typically start on the bookstore website and then try and see if I can find it cheaper and do whatever saves me the most money.” Heisey said.