It’s back to school time, which means I’m back to yelling at my wall because I don’t like yelling at people.
Every August, as freshman start moving into dormitories, the last minute phone calls and e-mails from campus bookstores start flying into Black Irish Books.
Them: Do you have The War of Art available?
Them: What is the discount?
Us: Fifty-five percent off orders of ten copies or more.
Them: A professor wants six books for her class.
Us: It’s cheaper to buy ten books.
Them: She only needs six.
Us: I know, but you’d save money if you bought ten.
Them: I’m only authorized to buy what the professor orders.
Us: Six books it is.
I know I need to drop it. Their poor business practices shouldn’t bother me, but . . . Drives me up the wall.
Whenever I read about the rising costs of college tuition and the costs associated with running these centers for higher education, I want to scream.
The books that go along with the tuition would be less if the schools inspired better decision making. AND—this is a BIG AND—in addition to ensuring lower costs for students, the schools would ensure profits for themselves.
Here’s a breakdown of the costs related to purchasing one to ten copies of The War of Art. Note that the 55% bulk rate hits at the ten-book mark, which means it is cheaper to buy ten books than it is to buy five-to-nine books.
1 = $12.95
2 = $25.90
3 = $38.85
4 = $51.80
5 = $64.75
6 = $77.70
7 = $90.65
8 = $103.60
9 = $116.55
10 = $58.30
We don’t pay for shipping either, so the school stores have no way to run on the positive, unless they sell the book above the cover price—an act that would turn students running for alternate shopping locations.
I contacted the corporate office of one of the stores in the past, to let them know that they could save money. I was thanked for the information—and then the next semester rolled around and more of the same occurred.
It’s like being in the movie Ground Hog Day, except I’ve failed in the role of Phil. Each time he faced Crazy he tried a different strategy, until he finally hit upon something that worked. Every semester I’ve faced Crazy, Crazy shows up just as he did the semester before.
Stay tuned for next semester, when I complain about the professors who e-mail requests for free desk copies because their departments don’t have a budget for buying desk copies.