Amazon to no longer offer campus textbook programs

Amazon will continue to have locations on the West Lafayette campus, but will no longer offer its campus textbook program.

Posted: May. 22, 2018 12:35 AM
Updated: May. 22, 2018 3:34 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — "Amazon is the devil." A strong opinion from John vonErdmannsdorff who owns Von's Book Shop in West Lafayette. He's been in a battle with changing times and larger book corporations for years.

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Camila Marrero-Torres represents the student population who choose the convenience and prices at Amazon, though newer students may not be aware of that option in the future.

"Yeah, it was really easy. It was really straightforward and there was that great thing where you could just go to the Union and you could just give it back at the end of the year and you wouldn't have to do anything else," said Marrero-Torres. 

Rob Wynkoop is the Managing Director of Service Enterprises at Purdue. He explained the move Amazon is making at Purdue and other campuses nationwide.

"The Amazon Campus program is no longer being marketed by Amazon," said Wynkoop. "That was a program that specifically worked with universities on textbook adoption."

Now that Purdue is unable to promote Amazon Campus as its number one textbook option to students, those who bought their books with a simple click may go somewhere else in the future.

"They made a business decision to do that, I'm not sure exactly why," said Wynkoop. 

Rob Wynkoop said even though Amazon provides a tough competition to local businesses, many owners have made an effort to close the gap in recent years.

"There was a pretty significant savings of 41 percent, it's now 30 to 31 percent," said Wynkoop.

vonErdmannsdorff says now, students may be more aware of shops like his.

"At a disadvantage, now it'll be a lot better where everyone is not told avoid anything local, you can get things locally too," said vonErdmannsdorff. "We have lots of things that Amazon doesn't have which is kind of strange."

As Amazon adjusts its business model, Wynkoop said their relationship will continue in different capacities in the interest of the student body.

"All of the money that we got from that partnership would go straight back into student affordability to help keep tuition flat," said Wynkoop. 

Students can still purchase and rent textbooks on Amazon.com.

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