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LETTER: Are textbooks price gouging?

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 13:02


To the editor:


Starting off the new semester is lots of fun, but can be pretty stressful. On top of starting up the new classes, getting into the swing of things, and adjusting your work schedule to fit with your classes, you have to pay for your tuition. After paying for tuition, you have to get your book list and pick up the list of required literature for each of your classes. As I checked my books in the USU bookstore, I was appalled at how expensive they were, even used. I started thumbing through them to get an idea of the content, but was informed by one of the employees that we are not permitted to look through the books. I must ask, How many people honestly buy a book they have never looked through? Apparently I am not allowed to review the material before making a large purchase here at the bookstore at USU. One book, Writing toward Hope, cost $31.95 used in the bookstore. I pulled out my handy smartphone, scanned the barcode, and like magic Amazon came up with the identical book, but for $12.00. Total cost after expedited shipping: $19.56, a 49 percent reduction in cost. I moved on in my list and got to my next book, Latinoamerica: su civilizacion y su cultura. Cost at the bookstore: New $156.95, used $99.95. Once again, out came the smartphone, and like magic once again, the identical book shows up for $50.95 used, a 50 percent reduction, or from new, a 68 percent reduction! 

If I elected to get an older edition (which I did) I only payed $24 including shipping, which is a 75 percent price reduction. I am starting to wonder why anyone buys their books at the USU bookstore when things seem so overpriced. I may be crazy, but it looks like price gouging to me. 


Chase Hicken

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