pennbookstore

With the advent of ecommerce companies like Amazon, traditional brick and mortar booksellers like Barnes & Noble are attempting to remain competitive through price-matching programs. | Courtesy of Giang

Barnes & Noble is making a new effort to compete with textbook giants like Amazon — price-matching.

The price-matching program currently exists in over 300 Barnes & Noble stores and has recently extended to the Penn Bookstore through the first week of classes.

“Barnes & Noble created the Price Match Program this past year in an effort to continue to offer students the most affordable and best cost savings options for textbooks,” said Katie Woodward, the manager of the Penn Bookstore.

The program stipulates that the Penn Bookstore will refund students who find required course textbooks at a lower price online. The Bookstore will price match all used, digital and new books if they are in stock.

This offer extends to books found on Amazon, BN.com and local sellers but excludes online marketplaces such as “other sellers” and Amazon’s warehouse deals.

In order to be price matched, students must authenticate their refund request by providing a receipt or showing a Bookstore official on a mobile device or computer that the same item is for sale at a lower price at a different vendor.

Such price-matching might provide a better option for buying books than does Amazon because the Bookstore works closely with professors to ensure that it provides the same edition. The Bookstore also has information on which materials are necessary for the first day of classes.

The Penn Bookstore also offers a more lenient return policy. This way students will not feel inclined to delay purchasing or hesitate to drop a class simply because they already purchased their materials.

The Penn Bookstore hopes that this effort coupled with others in the past to make books more affordable will increase access to books for Penn students as well as all other local residents.

“Efforts to increase the availability of used books ... and the new buy-back program have all been a part of B&N’s (Barnes and Noble’s) efforts to support Penn goals in the area,” said Christopher Bradie, Associate Vice President for Business Services and manager of the Bookstore contract with B&N.

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