Buying textbooks gets a little easier for DelVal students

Aug 02, 2012

The Delaware Valley College Bookstore is now displaying competitors’ prices right next to its own prices on its site. This is the first time the Bookstore has offered this feature. Students can click another site’s price, such as or, and they’ll be taken to that site's listing for the book, where they can purchase it.

“We’re attempting to provide as much transparency in pricing as possible,” said Bookstore Manager Rob Hirsch. “If students want to shop around, we’re here to provide that information.”

Hirsch said that while the Bookstore has been working to keep its prices competitive through innovative programs, like the textbook rental option, he realizes they may not always have the best price.

He added that the Bookstore does offer the convenience of walking to pick up books, instead of getting them shipped, and he said the store provides easy returns. Hirsch also would like students to remember that buying from the College Bookstore helps put money back into the institution, which is used to enhance their educational experiences.

The first year of the cost of introducing the price comparison feature is being covered by a federal grant that the College received in 2010. The same grant covered the cost of introducing the textbook rental program.

He said the price compare feature will not only help students, but will help remind the Bookstore to look for ways to reduce prices and to remain as competitive as possible.

He said the price compare service is relatively new, and that he is not aware of many other schools using the service.

The College is using Verba to provide the price compare service.

“It is a great addition to the process and hopefully, will help our students make informed decisions,” said Hirsch. “Sometimes we’re cheaper, sometimes we’re not.”

The Bookstore’s rental program, which it introduced in 2010, has helped it remain competitive. The Bookstore has more than 40 different textbooks available as rentals.

Hirsch estimates that renting has saved students approximately $215,000 compared to buying the same books new, since the Bookstore launched the rental service.

“This should make us a good first stop,” said Hirsch. “We’re also small enough that we can work to make adjustments if we find we’re priced too high.