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Back to school 2015: How post-secondary students can fight ‘grim reality’ of rising textbook costs | CBC News

Brock University Campus Store student employee Trevor Szaniawski stocks the shelves with books for the fall term. Prices have been reduced for about 650 titles in the store to make them more competitive with online retailers. (Brock University)

Matching prices

“There seems to be a lot of online competition, so we thought it would be almost prudent, if not necessary, to watch what the online retailers are selling textbooks for,” says store director Dan Lewis.

“With dynamic pricing, what we’ve been able to do is identify their prices and match them.”

Brock University student Cate Talaue says she prefers a physical copy of a textook over an online version because she is able to retain more information. (Lauren Valvasori/Brock University)

After using the new technology to run a pricing algorithm that can make recommendations for price adjustments on a daily basis, the store, which now has about 800 titles in stock, lowered prices on about 650. Some went down by a dollar or two. For others, it was $40 or $50. On some titles, the store will lose money.

“We’re OK with making less money on a book because we fully understand that we’re going to sell more books because there’ll be no motivation to buy it on an online retailer,” says Lewis.

He also thinks dynamic pricing will “get us working better with our publishers, which is really one of the goals in mitigating the acquisition costs.”

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Back to school 2015: How post-secondary students can fight ‘grim reality’ of rising textbook costs – Canada – CBC News.

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