Press "Enter" to skip to content Adds Textbooks Announces Textbook Store
It looks like Amazon is getting into back-to-school mode by announcing they’ve added “textbooks”: to their Canadian site.
It’s interesting to note that they’ve had to make the process of finding books a little more complicated, effectively putting an advanced search on the “Textbook Store main page”: This is probably too be expected given the obscurity of authors and topics for some required texts, and the duplication of titles in this space (“Introduction to Economics” generates 314 results).
They are also really emphasizing the value of resale by giving half of the page to explaining how you _sell_ your textbooks.
Think about that for a moment – a good chunk of their sales floor is taken up with information on _selling, not buying._ Why might that be?

To me adding the “Sell Your Textbooks” box to the Textbooks home page (complete with “learn more” link) is more an example of persuasive selling than site design. Putting the idea that it is easy to sell your textbooks via Amazon in front of textbook buyers gets them thinking about resale. And of course it plants the seed so that when it is time for them to sell, they think of Amazon.
And for returning students, this might be an “aha moment” where they stop thinking about last year’s texts as ways to prop up a broken chair and think of them as an asset to subsidize their current purchases.
In effect Amazon gets to profit twice from the sale of textbooks.
Another smart move.

One Comment

  1. Ryan - RFD
    Ryan - RFD August 25, 2005

    As an 05 grad I can say that as many as 80% of my peers sell their old text books. My school (Queen’s) had a dedicated used book store in the student centre and also sold used books through the regular book store.
    I was spending over $1000 per school year on textbooks, so recouping some of that was a major priority for myself and most of my peers.
    I suspect this is similar across most campuses. With tuition as high as it is, holding on to unneeded textbooks is a luxury few can afford. Have to have some money to spend on beer… đŸ™‚

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