The next time you visit the website of the Hiram College Bookstore, you might notice something that both you and your emaciated wallet will enjoy. Two new features in the bottom right corner of the home page shine like beacons of hope for the starving undergrad.
First, the website now has a database in which you can compare the prices of books at the bookstore with the prices of books at competitors like Amazon, Half, and AbeBooks. According to bookstore manager Shane Kardos, this database was established to make price comparisons more convenient for students. Gone are the late nights when you had to cycle through a hundred Firefox tabs to find the best deal on that dreadfully expensive chemistry textbook. Now, it’s easy to get an accurate and fairly comprehensive idea of your options without even navigating away from the bookstore’s website.
If that last bit got you excited, then you’re going to be jumping for joy after you read this next part: The bookstore now has a rental system. Tired of eating the cost of the books for those required classes that don’t quite interest you in the first place? Well, rest easy because it’s no longer necessary.
Kardos says that there are several reasons for establishing the rental system. First and foremost, he and the bookstore staff are concerned about Hiram students. “It’s no secret that book prices these days are ridiculous,” he says. “We want to make purchasing books as easy as possible for the students.” He goes on to explain that the rental system will allow Hiram to profit because it will help to keep sales within the college. “It’s a win-win situation,” says Kardos.
While Kardos admits that not every required book will be available for rental, he says that the selection pool will be considerable. “You’ll be able to rent about half of the books that we have available at the bookstore,” he states. The reason for this is that right now, Hiram’s book rental system is external—the bookstore is partnering with an outside company to provide the rental service. Ideally, Hiram will internalize the book rental system within the next few years to provide the students with more rental possibilities and the college with more profit opportunities.
By renting a book instead of purchasing it, Kardos estimates that you’ll save about 50%. The rental system is also accessible, flexible, and lenient. The interface is set up so that you can select your term and course and then see which materials for the course are available for rental. Rentals start at 30 days, but you can pay to extend this period for as long as you want. Of course, it’s a good idea to place your rental order as soon as possible to avoid seeing “Out of Stock!” instead of a starting price. And even if you escape that, you won’t want to deal with the business end of supply-and-demand as demand dissipates. So, get in there quickly!
Also, when you make your rental order online, you can select when your rental period begins, and your book will still be shipped in the meantime. Say you won’t need a certain book until the 18 of September. If you make this known when you place your order, the book will be shipped, but you won’t be charged until your rental period begins. Essentially, you have some free time to work with. And shipping the book back is as easy as dropping it off at the bookstore.
Along with these updates to the bookstore, some of the books will be available for purchase and rental as E-books. “I’m excited about the new changes to the bookstore and optimistic about the rental system’s success,” Kardos says. He encourages any questions about the new-and-improved bookstore. You can reach him at (330) 569-5205 or KardosSD@hiram.edu or simply stop by the bookstore if you happen to be on campus.