Textbook Tarif: What are you paying?


The worst part about classes is buying notebooks, and spending hours combing through the internet for the cheapest prices. Sometimes students get creative and even go “halfsies” with a friend, just to soften the blow.

But if Le Moyne were Binghamton University, students wouldn’t have to do so much searching because of  a policy called Price Match. At the Binghamton University bookstore, they match the price of any textbook purchased from Amazon or BN.com.¹ That means if the bookstore is charging $100 for a textbook and you find the exact same textbook on Amazon for $80, then the bookstore is obligated to give you the difference.

Since Le Moyne’s bookstore is run through Barnes and Noble, just like Binghamton University’s, one might be inclined to think Le Moyne’s bookstore abides by the same Price Match policy. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Assistant Manager at the Le Moyne bookstore Sahra Roberts  said that the issue of whether or not to price match is not up to the individual store, but rather a company wide policy. The reason Binghamton University has the policy and Le Moyne doesn’t is because of size. Le Moyne is a smaller school than Binghamton University, so we don’t get as much business as larger schools. For that reason, the Price Match policy is not worth it for this store.

In addition to Binghamton University other schools offer a Price Match policy, and not  just from Barnes and Noble run bookstores. Another company that has a Price Match policy is Follett. According to their website², they manage over 1,200 college bookstores in North America. Follett has a company-wide Price Match policy, meaning that every Follett-managed college bookstore offers Price Match. Colleges such as American University in Washington D.C.³, and Durham College in Ontario, Canada, both offer price match in their bookstores.

However, these policies are usually very limited. For instance, Durham College only allows price match when it’s  in person, for a physical textbook [not an ebook], and only match the price to Amazon Canada and Canadian Chapter-Indigo. At the Follett-run American University bookstore, they have a similar process but are working to make it better.