April 3, 2014
Writer: Brian Baker
The BYU-Idaho University Store offers a tool called "I-Compare" which helps students and faculty quickly find the best prices available for their books. It compares the University Store's prices to prices offered by competitors like Amazon.
The University Store strives to provide flexible and competitive pricing, but when they can't offer the best price, they want to be transparent and show who can.
In 2012, students at other universities spent an average of $331 per semester on textbooks. The average BYU-Idaho student spent $181. In 2013 that average dropped to $154.
"We believe we are headed in the right direction," said Brett Cook, the University Store's Operations Manager. "The numbers that we see both nationally and what we turn in are showing that we are doing the right things to benefit our students and the University."
The I-Compare tool can be found on the University Store's website at https://www.byuistore.com/c-260-price-comparison.aspx.
On this page are three options. The "Automatic List" lets students compare prices for all the books they need. After following prompts to login with their BYU-I username and password, students will see a list of the books they need for the classes they are currently registered for.
The "Faculty Lookup" option allows faculty to find books they need by course and section.
The "Search Manually" option allows students and faculty to look up books individually course by course. This is helpful if students want to look up books for a class they are thinking of taking but are not currently registered for.
Last semester 5,500 books were sold using I-Compare. Eighty-six percent of those were sold by the University Store, showing that the store is usually able to provide the best combination of low pricing and convenience.
Faculty can include the I-Compare URL in their syllabi and are encouraged to promote this tool to their students.
Click the following links to see video clips about I-Compare: