Noticing that many students choose to purchase their textbooks through sites such as Amazon and Chegg based on cheaper prices, the Fairfield University Downtown Bookstore has recently instated a new price-match system for Fairfield students buying textbooks. The new policy guarantees to compensate for the price difference between other textbook sites by providing the buyer with a gift card to the bookstore.
“It’s encouraging to see Follett address the high cost of textbooks in a very creative way. I hope for more of these ideas benefiting students over the coming semesters. It’s a win/win for students and Follett,” said Jim Fitzpatrick ‘70, assistant vice president at Fairfield University.
According to Fitzpatrick, about 100 students took advantage of the new policy this semester. He hopes this number will double by the fall of 2016.
“I definitely think this new system will be beneficial for the bookstore because we are giving the money back to students in the form of book store gift cards,” said Jessica Bowls, an employee at the Fairfield University Downtown Bookstore.
In order to get the price-matched gift card, a student must bring in a screenshot of the ad, whether it is printed, on a mobile device or a traditional print ad.
While most price match programs simply lower the price of the item to match that of the competitors, this program ensures that the Bookstore still receives that revenue through the gift card. The program only applies to textbooks bought through the Fairfield University Downtown Bookstore.
“I think it would be nice if they just gave us the money back instead of making us spend it at the bookstore, but there are a lot of things you can buy there and they always have such cute Fairfield apparel that it is still a good deal,” said Erin Rowland ‘18.
Certain limitations include a seven-day limit between the transaction time and the ability to redeem your gift card. In addition, the ad of the competitor’s price must be shown at least seven days since the day it was accessed. Also, the ad must be for a book with an identical ISBN, found in the United States and the marketplace that it is found must be similar to that of the Fairfield Bookstore.
“I wish they had started that before this semester. I know I’m still a freshman so it is nice that I will be able to benefit from this for the next three years, but it still would have been great to have done that for this semester’s books,” said Will Carlin ‘19.
The program was actually announced on Jan. 7, 2016, a week and a half before the second semester started, but students like Carlin, Rowland and Francesca Racanelli ‘18 were unaware that this new policy for buying textbooks existed.
“I think it’s a great policy, but it seems a little late coming at this point. I’ve bought my textbooks from Chegg since second semester last year because it’s so much cheaper than the bookstore,” said Racanelli.