On average, 64.8% of the sticker price on new books goes back to the publisher (to cover the cost of development and normal business expenses), the author gets 11.6% in royalties, the freight company that ships the books get 1.2%, and the bookstore gets the rest. In the end, on average, just 4.5 cents (before taxes) on every dollar you pay for new textbooks represents profit to the store.
The bookstore does not select the books for the courses offered. Your professors spend time reviewing books to find the right one for your classes and then orders them through the bookstore for you. Photos, color, graphs, exercises, and quizzes, which can be helpful for students, also add to the cost of the textbooks.
These extra materials have been developed by the publisher and are normally included with the book at no extra cost. At the community college level some instructors add extra materials for their course and the bookstore shrinkwraps it for purchasing.
Many major sellers do not keep stock on hand and have to order books through a distributor which may take extra time. To have your textbooks in hand on the first day of classes order your books as early as possible to account for delays. When ordering books online through the LCC Bookstore you can either pick up your order at the bookstore or have it shipped to you.
Purchasing through the LCC Bookstore, items shipped to your address cost $8 for the first $100 purchase and go up in $1 increments for each additional $100 purchased. Tax is 7.9% (effective April 1, 2009) for Washington State. When buying textbooks online through other sources the shipping costs vary from seller to seller. Also, depending on certain factors, you may have to pay sales tax.
Many online sellers do not give refunds or have very restrictive requirements. At LCC, you can bring in your purchase with receipt for a refund through the 10th day of classes. Please see: Textbook Refund Policy for more information.
Contact the bookstore for the ISBN number (in-person and/or online and check with the seller that the ISBN number matches. Some online sellers offer old editions, for less money. Be wary of advertising claims with some online sellers who promise huge discounts. If you really want to save money, be sure to compare the price of each book through different sources.
Also, books purchased elsewhere can be offered to the buyer for resale.