Simpson College’s bookstore offers a price match program, giving students the opportunity to buy or rent textbooks at a cheaper price.
If Simpson students find an identical in-stock textbook priced lower at Chegg, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or any local competitor, the bookstore will match it and issue the price match to a bookstore gift card.
Follett Higher Education Group, a corporation that works with more than 1,200 campus stores across the U.S., including Simpson’s bookstore, launched the price match program after testing a pilot group in the fall of 2014 and receiving positive feedback.
The $2.6 billion privately-held company works with schools and college campuses to ensure they are running smoothly and focuses on changing critical details that could affect communities.
Kyle McVay, manager of the Simpson bookstore, said he feels the program is a big step toward showing the level of commitment and affordability to students.
“The market is very competitive, and by adding price match, we hope to drive down the cost of course materials,” McVay said. “This gives the student the lowest possible cost.”
Textbooks have to physically be in-store, and students can’t pre-order a book to redeem the matched price.
There are many advantages, though, to using the price match program.
Students can be sure they are getting the right book, they don’t have to pay or wait for shipping and it’s convenient and affordable.
McVay explained price match is valuable and financially beneficial for college students.
“As a past student of Simpson, I understand what it was like to buy books for class and wonder if you’re getting the best deal and hope the book was correct, which at times it wasn’t,” McVay said. “With price match, the uncertainty is gone. You will get the exact book assigned for class with the best value.”
McVay said the bookstore is working on becoming more familiar with issuing a gift card for the difference in price. He said students can use the gift card for future purchases.
“Later, when that student needs a future book or sees a great new jacket or sweatshirt they’ve wanted, they can use that gift card to make a purchase they may not have been able to out-of-pocket otherwise,” McVay said.
The bookstore has several other options for students if they don’t feel comfortable using the price match program.
Students can take advantage of the bookstore’s digital options and can now rent books up to 80 percent off the new purchase price.
Some Simpson students will continue to buy their textbooks online, but McVay said he believes students will begin to recognize the value of price match and take advantage of it.
“Obviously, students will make a decision that financially makes the most sense to them,” McVay said. “There was a night class student who needed the book immediately and didn’t want to wait for Amazon, so they took advantage of our price match offer. They got the book they needed fast and now they have a gift card to spend on future books or merchandise at any time in-store or on our website.”