Students may sacrifice affordability for convenience when they purchase some items at the University Bookstore.
Some basic school supplies are more expensive at the University Bookstore, which manager Jacqueline Slaughter said is necessary because the store can’t purchase products in bulk. Corporations have larger clienteles, which is why they can afford to buy mass quantities of products to sell at lower prices.
For example, a four-ounce bottle of Elmer’s glue costs $.74 at Walmart and $2.99 at the University Bookstore. A pack of 36 Crayola brand colored pencils can be purchased at Walmart for $4.47, while the University Bookstore charges $5.99 for a 24 pack.
A pack of 12 erasable Crayola colored pencils costs $3.47 at Walmart, while the bookstore charges $5.99. A 24 pack of Crayola crayons costs $1.17 at Walmart and $2.79 at the bookstore. A pack of Dixon pencils costs $1.24 at Walmart and $2.79 at the bookstore.
Slaughter said though items are often priced as much as 30 percent higher at the University Bookstore than at businesses like Walmart, students are willing to pay the cost for convenience.
The University Bookstore is not part of a chain, and its products are bought individually, Slaughter said. Because the bookstore is not buying and selling in bulk, prices must be marked up for the shop to make money. She said issues with stealing have also led to raised prices.
Slaughter said she feels the store’s prices are “pretty good,” and doesn’t feel the products are overly expensive.
“A lot of times, the products that we sell are a better quality or a bigger amount than what (students) are getting at Walmart,” Slaughter said.
Steven Diaz, biology freshman and art minor, said he feels prices at the University Bookstore are too high for students, especially ones seeking art supplies. Diaz said he feels the convenience of shopping at the bookstore is not worth the price.
“If I buy art supplies from the bookstore, it’s about $400,” Diaz said. “If I buy them from Hobby Lobby, it’s around $300. I’m broke.”
Slaughter said the University Bookstore makes a 25-percent profit from its sales. Any revenue left over at the end of the year goes back to the university.
Almost 50 students and 22 full-time bookstore employees have to be paid, which Slaughter said also contributes to high prices. These prices are necessary in order to pay these expenses, she said.
Rhevan Rhodes, exercise and sport science junior, said while the bookstore is convenient, prices are too high.
“If I needed (something) last minute, to be honest, I still wouldn’t shop there,” Rhodes said. “I’d probably just take some tape from a teacher or something. We’re college students. I wouldn’t spend $2.99 on some glue.”