The Louisville Cardinal

Bang for the buck: Textbook prices differ between stores

By James El-Mallakh

Comparing prices and saving a dollar on anything can be a relief and can help ease the pressure of college costs. Saving a dollar here and there can quickly add up. The difference in book prices can be an opportunity to save money. Comparing prices, discounts and store policies is a good start. The fact is, book prices at different locations close to campus aren’t always the same.

According to information posted on the websites, the prices for books among the three local booksellers – Gray’s College Bookstore, College Book Warehouse and the University of Louisville Bookstore – show little differentiation. But Amazon.com has prices that are often nearly 50 percent cheaper than the local bookstores.

However, there are also advantages to buying books from the bookstores. One of these is the option to rent books and return them at the end of the semester. This makes the cost of the textbooks roughly 50 to 60 percent of the original book price. In addition, sometimes you can even highlight in rental books. But always check with the book seller first.

In short, there are positives and negatives to each book seller. Amazon.com is often cheaper, but students can’t see the condition of the book beforehand and it may take a long time to arrive in the mail. The local bookstores allow students to rent books and to receive them immediately, but they may have to pay more.