Lieberman’s, Barnes & Noble both guarantee lowest prices on textbooks, student opinion varies
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
Both Lieberman’s Bookstore and the university bookstore at Barnes & Noble bear signs guaranteeing the lowest prices on textbooks, but student opinion varies on the stores’ prices, experience and convenience.
Lieberman’s has had a lowest price guarantee for years and when a student presents the staff with a book at a cheaper price than their store has to offer, they lower their prices in response, owner Dan Lieberman stated in an email message.
Lieberman’s staff works hard to offer the most amount of used books, Lieberman said.
Lieberman said the store tries to provide convenience with preorders for textbooks and various buyback locations at the end of each semester.
“We offer more used books, lower prices, less waiting and hassle,” Lieberman said. “We pioneered textbook preorders at this campus many years ago so a ton of students enjoy the service we provide. We offer more buyback locations and we believe we provide the best overall customer experience.”
With a changing textbook industry, the store now offers more books for rental than ever before, Lieberman said.
Similarly, Barnes & Noble has found that textbook rentals have become the “option of choice” for students, as it is the least expensive option, store manager of Barnes & Noble Jen Galt stated in an email message.
Both bookstores on Main Street are aware of one another’s pricing structures, Galt said. She said Barnes & Noble offers a lowest price guarantee, in which they match Lieberman’s prices during the first week of classes, but the guarantee is not applicable to online purchases.
As the official store of the university, Barnes & Noble is “a brand that many consumers are familiar with,” Galt said.
“When you purchase from the bookstore, you are giving back to the university as well,” Galt said.
Freshman Joe Joyce identifies himself as a frequent Barnes & Noble customer and said he orders all his books there.
He said there is a “welcoming vibe” at Barnes & Noble that makes him sure he is purchasing books from the right place.
“I even bought my summer reading books in high school from Barnes & Noble,” Joyce said. “They always have what I need at a price I’m willing to pay.”
He said Barnes & Noble is more convenient because it is the default option for purchases after signing up for classes online.
Since Barnes & Noble is an identifiable brand, there is an obligation to provide certain services like the café and Apple authorized campus store, Galt said.
“We are constantly evaluating our customer service and efficiency to always try and better service the students, faculty and community,” Galt said.
Joyce said he is opposed to going into Lieberman’s because of their policy of making students leave their belongings at the door.
Joyce said the whole time he shopped, he could only think about his bag and whether someone could take it.
Senior Kelsey Deboda said she is a casual customer at Lieberman’s.
“Buying books can be overwhelming, and I love how helpful Lieberman’s staff has been to me and my family” she said.
Deboda said Lieberman’s carries more used book options than Barnes & Noble, which helped her save money on textbooks.
She said she does not understand how each store claims to have the lowest prices.
“Every book I’ve needed that I found at Barnes and Noble was cheaper at Lieberman’s the majority of the time,” she said.
Lieberman said students deserve to have options and the opportunity to search for the best deals on textbooks.
“At the end of the day, it’s the competitive marketplace that really benefits the students,” Lieberman said.