Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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GW Bookstore combats growing online book sales

The bookstore has enhanced its Web features this year in order to keep up with online textbook vendors.

The high cost of textbooks prompts many students to turn to online services selling books at lower costs. Students can now go online to place a backlog order on the bookstore’s Web site for a book not in stock at the store. The bookstore will send students e-mail notifications informing them when the book has arrived.

Follett, the company that owns and operates the bookstore, launched the new online service nationwide.

Managers at the bookstore said they have been able to keep up with online book vendors.

“People have always had other options for buying books,” said GW Bookstore Director Patricia Lee.

“We are keeping up with those options by offering a backlog feature on the Web site and being able to show students exactly what books are needed for each class they are taking,” Lee said.

Lee said innovations like this one have allowed the bookstore to keep up with competing ways students obtain books. While the bookstore does not release specific financial information on book sales, Lee said sales are “right on target” this year and have not declined in recent years.

Cliff Ewert, vice president of Public and Campus Relations at Follett, said students continue to shop at the bookstore because convenience is the most important factor for students in book shopping.

“Students shop in the GW Bookstore because we have all the required and recommended course materials that are adopted by the faculty. The bookstore provides convenient one-stop shopping,” wrote Ewert in an e-mail.

While many students continue to use the bookstore to purchase their books, other students are looking to other means to get their required readings.

Junior Leah Gould, found lower prices for textbooks at online vendor Even with a Naval Reserve Officer Training Core book stipend of $375, Gould spent more money than she had budgeted for books.

“If I bought books at the bookstore it would have been $700 and I can’t afford $700,” she said.

According to a report released last year by the Government Accountability Office, college textbook costs have risen at roughly twice the rate of inflation over the past two decades. The GAO estimates that students pay an average of $900 a year, triple what they paid in the mid-1980s, not counting for inflation.

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