Akademos Versus Amazon

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By Angel Adegbesan

York College is advancing with the 21st Century in technology. Just as the YC Cardinal app is growing rapidly, the school launched an online bookstore called Akademos recently. So, in honor of a new semester, I decided to compare the prices of some textbooks for freshmen courses on Akademos with Amazon Prime. The main goal of this comparison is to find out if Akademos is affordable for students.  

Akademos is available for CUNY York students or those with textbook accounts to purchase, rent or sell books. It lists the required textbooks of registered courses on CunyFirst provided by the professor. Akademos provides free shipping on most orders over $49 dollars and free economic shipping on retail items which takes four to 12 business days to be delivered. It also has a few other shipping and transit options with some additional costs for delivery. Akademos is free for all York Students.

Meanwhile, on Amazon Prime, you get unlimited free two-day shipping, no minimum purchase to get free shipping, and ability to choose from 50 million Prime eligible items. Amazon itself is free and you can still buy, rent and sell but Amazon prime comes with better deals though it requires monthly payment.

As a new Prime member, you get a 30-day free trial which you can cancel. After the free trial, Amazon prime is $10.99 dollars per month or $99 dollars per year. Amazon started as an online bookstore but it comes with a lot of deals than just books. There is unlimited music and TV shows, music streaming, reading on any device, free unlimited photo storage and free same day delivery in eligible areas.

Marketplace books are available on both sites from trusted third-party sellers. It provides a list of other sellers whose prices may vary but it shows you the most affordable price in terms of the condition of the book. On Akademos, these items do not qualify for free shipping offers typically because the cost of the book is already discounted. On Amazon, these books may or may not qualify for Prime shipping and their prices may or may not be lesser than Amazon’s.

I compared the prices of textbooks that are required for five courses that most freshmen students take in their first semester. The courses are English 125, Math 111, Health Ed. 111, Cultural Diversity 100, and Sociology 101.

For English 125, the required textbook was the Norton Reader with 2016 MLA update, 14th Ed. The prices compared are represented in the table below.

Paperback             new Paperback used Paperback rent Marketplace eBook buy eBook rent
Akademos $58.81 unavailable $30.44 $49.50 unavailable unavailable
Amazon Prime $51.09 unavailable unavailable $69.90 $35.00 $30.60

For Math 111, the required textbook was the Elementary Statistics: picturing the world.

The prices compared are represented in the table below.

Paperback

News

Used Rent Marketplace eBook buy eBook rent
Akademos $73.33 unavailable unavailable unavailable unavailable unavailable
Amazon Prime $185.19 $68.83 $34.39 $35. 74 $137.79 unavailable

For this textbook, the new, used and rent version for Amazon were all hardcover while the new textbook for Akademos was paperback version.

For Health Ed. 111, the required textbook was My health: an outcomes approach, 2nd Ed. The prices compared are represented in the table below.

Paperback new Paperback used Paperback rent Marketplace eBook buy eBook rent
Akademos $106.80 unavailable unavailable unavailable unavailable unavailable
Amazon Prime $94.81 $79.48 $29.82 $75.49 $61.26 unavailable

For Cultural Diversity 100, the required textbook was Communication between Cultures, 9th Ed. The prices compared are represented in the table below.

Paperback new Paperback used Paperback rent Marketplace eBook buy eBook rent
Akademos $149.95 $96.87 $57.50 $86.62 unavailable $38.51
Amazon Prime $84.00 $58.19 $33.60 $64.99 $66.99 unavailable

For Sociology 101, the required textbook was Introduction to Sociology, 10th Ed. The prices compared are represented in the table below.

Paperback new Paperback used Paperback rent Marketplace eBook buy eBook rent
Akademos $124.57 $62.17 unavailable $46.09 unavailable $50.00
Amazon Prime $62.65 $56.78 $15.09 $37.96 $40.00 $25.50

Akademos has gotten some mixed reviews from York students. Some were appreciative of the new online bookstore and its features while others, though appreciative, disliked the prices of books.

Abbie Mayne, a freshman nursing major, said she was going to use the online bookstore but has yet to use it because of the prices.

“I wanted to rent principles of microeconomics and the bookstore charged $85.66 for their eBook,” said Mayne through the YC Cardinal app. “But Chegg charged me $65.10. I checked [Amazon] and the prices were in the middle.”

Despite her disappointment about the cost efficiency, Mayne still raved about other features of the bookstore.

“It told me the required books and had it orderly,” said Mayne. “[It] provided info on what to do even if I was using financial aid to purchase, it has an organized way of showing the books that you want and a possible price range.”

However, Patricia Robinson, a fellow York student, found the online bookstore’s prices affordable. She says that although Amazon is occasionally cheaper, she likes supporting her school financially when possible.

“One of my books was $80 dollars at the bookstore but only $50 dollars on Amazon,” said Robinson through the YC Cardinal app. “But that was the exception to the rule. All my other books were more affordable in eText form and from the college online bookstore.”

Ashiful Islam, a fellow York student, says that he has never shopped on Akademos. He further states that some books are the same price on Akademos and Amazon while some are more expensive at the bookstore than other online bookstores.

“I have been to the actual York bookstore for textbook shopping,” said Islam. “I always felt like it was a good resource to find actual textbooks, but not really cost effective unless you were to rent.”

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