Online Bookstore Orders Double, Lines Diminish

Shatto Light
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Students have begun to catch on that there’s an easier way to buy books than to wait in line in front of the bookstore.

The online book-buying service initiated last year has so far received more than 600 orders this semester, which is encouraging news to the staff of the campus bookstore.

Online orders have increased nearly 100 percent over the fall 2000, and there have also been nearly 300 telephone and mail orders, said Gail Cloutier, supplies and soft goods buyer for the store.

“We still have lines, but it’s getting better,” said Cloutier. “We would probably know by the end of the month the figure on how the line is doing.”

By logging on to the bookstore Web Site,, students will find clear instructions on how to place an order. The guided order form lets the student choose the class by ticket number and instructor. It displays the new or used books if they are available. A Web confirmation number accompanies each order.

Cloutier said that credit cards are billed after the books are pulled off the shelves. The site encourages credit cards users to click “security” for peace of mind. When picking up orders at the store, students must show a photo ID or have a signed authorization for using a parent’s card.

The Web site also provides a wide range of merchandise from T-shirts to backpacks and gifts.
Acknowledging that there are other online book services competing with the bookstore, Anjali Stanislaus, the bookstore director, said she doesn’t see them as much of a challenge.

“These online stores, as far as the textbooks are concerned, cannot meet the student
demands, so they shy away from them,” she said. “Besides, the students shoulder the shipping and handling expenses in cases of returned books from
some of these sites.”

By ordering through the campus site, students can pick up their books in just 24 hours, on their way to class.

“It will take a while, but it will definitely be a success,” said Stanislaus. Many new students aren’t aware of the service. “We only knew about it when we were in the line to buy our books,” said freshmen Lovella Gomez.

To pass the time for students waiting in line at the store, Stanislaus has set up a big-screen TV that she won from the bookstore convention in New Orleans. This week, students have been glued to the set watching non-stop coverage of the terrorist disaster.

The bookstore will promote the online service more aggressively by distributing flyers to students and posting banners around campus.