Buyer Beware: Students frustrated by bookstore crowds and prices

Buyer Beware: Students frustrated by bookstore crowds and prices

By Daniel Temple

September 5, 2008

For the next couple of days, Elon students will flock by the hundreds to the campus bookstore to purchase their textbooks for their various courses. They will enter a small store packed with individuals, search for their required readings and then wait in line for 20 minutes to pay hundreds of dollars on books.

Junior Ryan Duffy, a Sales representative, estimates that nearly 3,000 students will shop for their books in just a three-day span.

“This is definitely the busiest time for the bookstore,” Duffy said, “It’s busy like this practically the whole day.”

Once students manage to locate their books amidst the stampede of people, they then wait in a line that takes close to 20 minutes.

“I’ll see a lot of people show up at the store and then just turn right around when they actually see the line,” said Duffy, “It can be a little intimidating.”

Certainly intimidating for students who have seemingly spent the last few days waiting in lines for the upcoming year, like freshman student Sarah Huffman.

Huffman said she was particularly disgruntled at the overall experience.

“Another line? It’s like all I’ve done since coming to Elon is buy things and wait in line for them,” she said.

Once students reach the cashier, they are often shocked at the total amount due. “I paid literally $400 for just three books,” sophomore Morgan Trent said. “How can a book really cost over $100?” The prices alone are enough to cause some students to search elsewhere for their books.

“I’ll buy some books here but most of them online,” Duffy said, “I’m a student too and so I’m going to look for the best deal.”

While standing in line, a couple students began to converse between each other. One student even noticed some helpful fact sheets for Physics and Calculus and asked Trent if they were free.

“No they’re like $5 a piece,” Trent said, “Nothing is free here.”

With the surplus demand for books along with the crowded atmosphere, many students decide to simply purchase their books online.

Duffy estimates that close to a thousand online orders are processed through the school, and many others are purchased online from other sources.

“It’s a rapidly changing system,” Duffy said, “Within a couple of years online orders could make up close to 75 percent of all book orders. It certainly would help cut down on the amount of people who come in to buy their books.”


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