As the start of the fall semester nears, the college bookstore market is heating up with the launch of a second Amazon co-branded online school store, at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
The Purdue Student Store on Amazon, which will be the first to offer staffed on-campus pickup and drop off services, opened online on Tuesday, August 12. The pickup location for the online store will open in early 2015. University of California, Davis, tested the first Amazon co-branded university program last fall.
For Purdue president Mitch Daniels, the Amazon store is “another step” to make college education more affordable. Books, he noted, are the third largest expense for students. The university already has a three-year tuition freeze and dropped the cost of room-and-board by 5% for two years in a row. “With the pressure on college campuses to reduce costs, this new way of doing business has the potential to change the book-buying landscape for students and their families,” he said.
Students can buy or rent new and used print textbooks as well as Kindle eTextbooks through the Purdue Student Store on Amazon. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Purdue can also enter the online store and shop for books and other merchandise available on Amazon. Amazon will return a percentage of eligible sales on the student store to Purdue.
Early next year, Purdue students will also be eligible for free one-day shipping on Purdue textbooks shipped to the West Lafayette campus area. Amazon Student members at Purdue will also be eligible for free one-day shipping hundred of thousands of other products shipped to the campus pickup location. The Amazon Student membership program was created to enable college students especially to get free two-day shipping for six months, and then 50% off Amazon Prime.