By: Mr. Wade
Being a large, research one school, the University of Georgia has a history of high costs for students. Textbooks are no exception. The UGA bookstore make lots and lots of money by selling new, buying used, and reselling back to students. However, online retailers have been making a dent recently. Amazon, Chegg, and many other smaller players are now direct competitors. Students can shop around online for the best buyback price, and they no longer have to just take what they can get on campus.
UGA doesn't operate its own bookstore, it is run by a private company: Follett. They are responsible for handling all the textbook sales, and I'm sure UGA gets a big cut of their profits for their on-campus store. Follet isn't going away precisely because they operate these campus bookstores - that's integral to their survival. People are always going to spend lots of money on campus, and as long as Follet can keep a grip on that market, they will make it.
Several of these exist right around UGA's campus, and depending on supply and demand, students can snag some good deals. I always tried to visit the off campus bookstores at the beginning of each semester and go to the on campus one as a last resort. Something about spending my money in a store not owned by the same college I spend so much more of my money at feels pretty good.
Most importantly, students at UGA can sell their used books to each other. This works especially well for freshmen and sophomores because they all basically take the same classes and therefore need the same books. Students can use this site to find other students at their school to sell textbooks to. Just login with Facebook, and use the dashboard to manage what books you're selling and which ones you need.
The internet and cheap shipping rates are increasing competition for brick and mortar stores like Follett that operate on campuses throughout the country. From what I've heard, Follett is falling pray to al the new competition, and their business isn't what it used to be. Probably the biggest culprit is Amazon, which is wrecking so many other retailers all over the country. Every day I see another news article about a slew of chain stores going out of business. I believe JCPenny is going to be one of Amazon's latest victims - the just announced a bunch of store closings. Macy's is another big fish that's slowing getting eaten.