Saturday, November 01, 2014
Pricing Policy - Thursday, September 30, 2010

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Textbook Pricing Policy

The graphic above shows what portion of the student textbook dollar goes to the publisher (for paper, printing and editorial costs, general and administrative expenses, marketing, author income, and publisher income) and what portion goes to the typical college bookstore (for personnel and labor, freight, operations, and store income) for new books.

The total amount of the dollar going to the college store represents 24.1 cents or 24.1%. This, as reported by the National Association for College Stores, is an average for stores from across the country. At the SDSU Bookstore, for the academic year 2009-2010, the amount was slightly below the national average and was 22.5%. The 22.5% mark-on covers the costs of bookstore personnel, store operations and other expenses.

The National Association of College Stores FAQ on Used Books (visit for more info) states, "used books are typically priced at 75% of the retail price of a new book". At the SDSU Bookstore used books are priced at between 62% and 77% of the new book list price. On average, at the SDSU Bookstore, the bookstore dollar mark-on is about the same for both new and used books.

The SDSU Bookstore also greatly expanded its textbook rental program in the fall of 2010. Nearly all textbooks priced at $25 or more are available for rent.  Used and new books are included in the rental program.

In addition, the SDSU Bookstore offers etextbooks, when available. These are priced at about 40% to 55% of the new physical textbook price. Currently, about 350 of the 3,500 titles used on campus each semester are available in digital format.

Custom textbooks offered by publishers and Montezuma Publishing can also offer significant savings.

Please note that Aztec Shops is not-for-profit and income generated by the SDSU Bookstore, SDSU Dining Services and our other operations is put back into programs and projects at SDSU.

*Textbook Dollar printed with permission from the National Association of College Stores

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