Top 4 Reasons for Inflated Prices of College Textbooks - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Top 4 Reasons for Inflated Prices of College Textbooks

Educational expenses have inflated manifold in the past decades. A larger number of students are opting for college loans to bear the educational expenses. In the past years not only the college tuition fee has increased but also the prices of college textbooks and other materials have immensely increased. In this article, we have shed some light on the reasons of inflated prices of textbooks. They are:

1.   Access Codes on Text Book Bundles

Many colleges are providing textbook in a bundled form which are only accessible through unique logins after paying for the access codes. These codes are valid for that particular semester only in which the bundle has been bought and after the expiration date, the bundles are not accessible. The bundles include workbooks and tests along with the textbooks. These bundles are expensive. If the books were not accessible in bundles, then single used books could have been bought for only one-third of the price of the new books.

2.   Nonchalance of Professors

Another issue causing the increase of college textbook prices is that the professors may or may not be price sensitive. The professors pay more attention to the content of the textbooks rather than their prices. At the end of the day the ultimate consumers, i.e the students have to bear the consequences of the overpriced textbooks.

3.   Strategy of Publishers

In the time when students are opting more and more for buying used books for almost half the price of new ones, the publishers have adopted different tactics to sell new books. They create new editions of books particularly those which are high in demand. These editions have minimal design related changes. The publishers also persuade the professors to add the new additions to their course books. Further, they tend to publish special editions without stating the name of the authors which makes it almost impossible to find alternative books on the same topics. Hence students have to buy these expensive books to complete their course books.

4.   Monopoly of Big Players

Big publishing companies such as McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Cengage have the power of setting the price rates of textbooks as they influence and monopolize the market due to their huge market share. It results in the availability of overpriced and expensive textbooks in the market that the students have to buy.

Solutions to Reduce the Prices of Text Books

To overcome the issue of overpricing college textbooks, a movement has been growing to provide copyright free, open-access textbooks for students. Through these open educational resources, students will be able to access college textbooks at any time without the access codes.

Along with that movement, many publishers are providing the facility of renting textbooks, buying old textbooks and textbook buying-back facility so that the students can minimize their expenses through reselling the textbooks that are no longer useful for them.

There are also websites which provide the above-mentioned facilities. Further e-books are also available on these websites which are cheaper than the hard copies of these books as the cost of printing and binding a book is more than the e-books available in the market. On these websites, you can either buy e-books online for a much less price or  resell textbooks which will refund up to 50% of the price you paid on buying the new book from the publisher.

If you want to get further information about renting, purchasing or reselling of textbooks and the procedure of the online transaction, feel free to contact us. We will be glad to be of your assistance.


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