The Textbook Shell Game

23 Sep

It is the time of the year when the price of further education comes face to face with students that must make a crucial call that will haunt them for years come.  They select their textbooks.  Many pay for these books with loans which will take decades to reimburse.  Most would think the student makes a straightforward call primarily based on the prerequisites of the course. The structure of the book, be it hard cover or e-textbook, the seller may be online or at the campus book shop, the length of use as a rental book or purchase, and ultimately new or secondhand.  It sounds very simple. It’s a shell game that each student plays and most lose Who are the criminals in this textbook shell game? I’ll identify some of the players and you can decide.  Textbook publishers are at the very top of this market.  They invest money and time into making the content for textbooks. It’s a dear process which has not modified in numerous lifetimes.  They sell all the new books and try and make as much money as practicable on the 1st sale.  Once a book is employed, the publisher may not make any cash on that book.  The publishers do many things to help in making new books an obligation.  They sell custom books, like selling single use e-textbooks, and sell books at the campus book shop with needed codes that can’t be reused.  They try and keep scholars purchasing new books.  Textbook wholesalers purchase used textbooks and resell those books to several sellers.

They buy, ship, warehouse and return the used books to the market.  They try to buy used textbooks at a reasonable price and resell them at a reasonable profit.

It appears that they control the supply of the market so that costs don’t become too low.

They try and make as much money as feasible before the used books become outmoded and a new version takes its place.

Schools  rely on textbooks to help professors and teaching aides deliver high-value content for teaching.  They run the campus bookstores, so they work with publishers, wholesalers and book stores management firms.

The book shop profits help to support schools and schools. There are several other pieces and players in this giant shell game.  Many sellers, resellers, and others all compete in this market and try and make as much cash as practical on each textbook sale.  Who are the wrongdoers?  I think that it is the entire system.  It is damaged.  It is conditional upon making so much money on each sale.  I also know who loses playing this game, the scholars that pay for this damaged mess.  At our company we have made a new model for scholars that is founded upon them saving money on the textbook purchase, getting fair resale values, as well as alternative ways to help them economize as a campus group. To be successful while playing the textbook shell game, scholars have to know who’s got the best the costs at that point.  Scholars  use our free comparison search that shows the available textbook options and costs at that point.  This is an instance of real search results from a freshman English textbook released 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

Our results found the new text was less expensive than the used text, hiring being the cheapest at this time, and if you may sell the book at the end of the class, there might be no savings in leasing the book.  This is a unique example, as used costs are often lower than new book costs, but the clamor for the used book could be pushing it past some new costs.

This example also illustrates the price goes from the various different sellers. You may choose to hire all of your books from one seller.

Perhaps you selected the seller leasing this title for $49, or perhaps you make a boo boo in this situation and spend $202.31 leasing this textbook. It’s a difficult game that scholars can’t win without fair, thorough info.  Scholars  can win the textbook shell game by understanding what costs and options are under loads of shells. Choose the correct shell and you win.

Original post on edtech digest | By: Jeff Lorton

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