Original post on edtech digest | By: Jeff Lorton

It’s the time of year when the cost of higher education comes face-to-face with college students that must make an important decision that may haunt them for years come. They choose their textbooks. Many pay for these books with student loans that may take decades to repay.

From the outside, most would think that the student makes an easy decision based on the requirements of the course. The format of the book, be it hard cover or e-textbook, the vendor could be online or at the campus bookstore, the length of use as a rental book or purchase, and finally new or used. It sounds so simple. It is a shell game that every student plays and most lose.

I hope this column helps clear away the smoke and mirrors that hide the truth of this market. There are some companies that are leveling the playing field for students and eliminating the shell game advantage.

Who are the bad guys in this textbook shell game? I will identify some of the participants and you can decide.

Textbook publishers are at the top of this market. They invest time and money into creating the content for textbooks. They have field reps that work with professors and universities to help create and influence the choice of using their textbook. It is an expensive process that has not changed in many lifetimes. Most of the publishers are now part of several large companies that control the market. They sell all of the new books and try to make as much money as possible on the first sale. Once a book is used, the publisher may not make any more money on that book.

The publishers do many things to help make new books a requirement. They sell custom books, prefer selling single use e-textbooks, and sell books at the campus bookstore with required codes that cannot be reused. They try to keep students buying new books.

Textbook wholesalers purchase used textbooks and resell those books to many vendors. They buy, ship, warehouse and return the used books to the market. They attempt to buy used textbooks at a low price and resell them at a profit. It seems that they control the availability of the used books on the market so that prices do not become too low. They try to make as much money as possible before the used books become obsolete and a new version takes its place.

Universities depend on textbooks to help professors and teaching assistants deliver quality content for teaching. They run the campus bookstores, so they work with publishers, wholesalers and bookstore management companies. The bookstore profits help support colleges and universities.

There are many other pieces and participants in this giant shell game. Many vendors, resellers, and others all compete in this market and try to make as much money as possible on every textbook sale. Who are the bad guys? I think it is the whole system. It is broken. It is dependent on making as much money on every sale because the other guys may get the money on the next sale. I also know who loses playing this game, the students that pay for this broken mess.

We know everyone is trying to survive financially in the broken market including students. At our company we have built a new model for students that is based on them saving money on the textbook purchase, getting fair resale values, as well as other ways to help them save money as a campus group.

To succeed when playing the textbook shell game, students need to know who has the best the prices at that moment in time. It is very similar to how airline ticket prices change depending on the airline, number of seats available and other factors. Students use our free comparison search that shows the available textbook options and prices at that moment in time. This is an example of actual search results from a freshman English textbook published this year:

New from: $101.75 Range: $101.75 – $130.98 | Net Savings: $29.23

Used from: $105.73 Range: $105.73 – $142.15 | Net Savings: $36.42

Rent from: $49.92 Range: $49.92 – $202.31 | Net Savings: $152.39

Sell Book Back value Range: $37.80 – $52.75 | Best Price: $52.75

In this case there was not an e-textbook available and our results found the new text was cheaper than the used text, renting being the least expensive at this time, and if you will sell the book at the end of the class, there may be no savings in renting the book: 101.75 new- 52.75 sell back value= $49. So the informed student may opt for the new textbook. This is a very unique example, as used prices are usually lower than new book prices, but the demand for the used book may be pushing it past some new prices.

This example also illustrates the price ranges from the many different vendors. You might decide to rent all your books from one vendor. Maybe you chose the vendor renting this title for $49, or maybe you make a mistake in this case and spend $202.31 renting this textbook. It is a complicated game that students can’t win without unbiased, comprehensive information.

My company offers many services including a patent pending peer-to-peer textbook exchange that will allow students to sell their textbooks to students on their campus and get a fair resale price through us.

We also connect students to local business offering discounts to participants. We help student groups manage their members and even help students start and market online businesses.

Students can win the textbook shell game by knowing what prices and options are under hundreds of shells. Pick the right shell and you win.

___

Jeff Lorton has 20 years experience in sales marketing, public relations management, business development, international and domestic higher education markets and is vice president of marketing at CampusShift. Write to: jeff@campusshift.com

Comments

84 thoughts on “Who Are The Bad Guys in The College Textbook Market?

  1. Pingback: Mais

  2. Pingback: cam

  3. Pingback: More about the author

  4. Pingback: cheap beats studio

  5. Pingback: beats by dre sale

  6. Pingback: aogJlocP

  7. Pingback: BkrqdjAC

  8. Pingback: jqFxlsWh

  9. Pingback: wCqWlZmy

  10. Pingback: daVRJTvr

  11. nike tn 2010 says:


    Il s’agit d’un guide très agréable et je pense beaucoup plus en détail que la plupart de la elasewhere messages

  12. Pingback: celine bags

  13. Pingback: sac louis vuitton

  14. miu miu says:


    Who Are The Bad Guys in The College Textbook Market? | Campus Shift Blog

  15. Pingback: seo tools

  16. mulberry bags says:


    Who Are The Bad Guys in The College Textbook Market? | Campus Shift Blog

  17. Pingback: burberry bags

  18. Pingback: seo software

  19. Pingback: louis vuitton bags

  20. Pingback: wow gold

  21. Pingback: diablo 3 gold

  22. Pingback: hermes bags

  23. chanel bags says:


    Who Are The Bad Guys in The College Textbook Market? | Campus Shift Blog

  24. lebron 10 says:


    Who Are The Bad Guys in The College Textbook Market? | Campus Shift Blog

  25. Pingback: maillot de foot pas cher

  26. Pingback: cheap jordans

  27. coach outlet says:


    Who Are The Bad Guys in The College Textbook Market? | Campus Shift Blog

  28. Pingback: 整形美容

  29. Pingback: dertgusdert

  30. Pingback: mulberry bags

  31. prada bags says:


    Who Are The Bad Guys in The College Textbook Market? | Campus Shift Blog

  32. celine bags says:


    Who Are The Bad Guys in The College Textbook Market? | Campus Shift Blog

  33. mulberry bags says:


    Who Are The Bad Guys in The College Textbook Market? | Campus Shift

  34. jordan shoes 2013 says:


    Looking for forward to reading much more from you later on!

  35. flocas.gr says:


    I like this post, enjoyed this one appreciate it for putting up.

  36. archeage gold says:


    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  37. insanity says:


    Hello world! my name is Tom,I come from the earth!

  38. Pingback: cheap soccer cleats

  39. Pingback: cheap prom dresses

  40. Pingback: michael kors bags

  41. Pingback: coach bags

  42. louis vuitton says:


    Great, excellent stuff male. Now i am an enthusiastic friends. Keep it up.

  43. http://drblodgett.com says:


    one In the “about” selection, it affirms my very own type is usually 4. 2 . not six (8E200) in the event that helps.

  44. http://intravnews.com/coach-outlet.aspx says:


    My partner and i get pleasure from, trigger I ran across just what I had been looking intended for. You might have was over this several time lengthy hunt! God Bless an individual guy. Have a nice morning. L8rs To determine your web internet site appears a bit unusual inside Apple safari on my computer system applying Linux.

  45. Pingback: lacoste outlet

  46. Pingback: mulberry sale

  47. Pingback: cheap oakley sunglasses

  48. Pingback: jeremy scott adidas

  49. Pingback: nike france

  50. Pingback: pig

  51. Pingback: WimqOgDL

  52. Pingback: vNuvIgSm

  53. Pingback: longchamp bags

  54. Pingback: louis vuitton replica

  55. Pingback: CHAUSSURES CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN

  56. Pingback: prada handbags

  57. Pingback: celine outlet

  58. Pingback: cheap oakley

  59. Pingback: CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN OUTLET

  60. Pingback: 整形美容

  61. 59fifty caps cheap says:


    I feel strongly about it and really like reading additional on this subject.

  62. Pingback: HERMES REPLICA

Comments are closed.

click to chat