Wednesday, September 14, 2005

College students more savvy about buying textbooks

Through the Kept-Up Librarian (great site, for well, keeping up), a link to an article from The New York Times for September 5, 2005. The article discusses how much smarter students are when it comes to purchasing their textbooks. Given how often editions change, and the fact that once a new edition is out, the resale value of the previous one becomes practically nil, students are learning about predicting when revisions are due to come out and avoid buying older editions if they know a revision is about to come out. The article discusses new research on the topic as well as provides an overview of the textbook sales process. From the article:

"The data collected by Ms. Chevalier and Ms. Goolsbee - covering sales at more than 1,000 colleges over five years - suggested that, if anything, students pay more attention to the age of an edition than they should. They almost seem more sensitive to a book's potential for resale than to its purchase price.

But there could be a rational explanation for that, too. Parents sometimes pick up the bill for the new textbooks that a student buys at the start of a semester. The cash that comes from reselling the book often has a way of not making it back to mom and dad."

Savvy indeed.

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