Cost-Effective Way of Acquiring Textbooks

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Final Project
Research to figure out the most
cost-effective way of acquiring textbooks

1. Executive Summary
The purpose of our research is to figure out the various ways of acquiring a textbook for the University of Cincinnati students. We want to help students minimize the cost of textbooks by helping them compare different options. We also want to find out what are the different options of selling the book afterwards. Our goal is to help students stay cost efficient but also find out convenient and easy methods of attaining the book as well as getting rid of it afterwards. From focus group discussion and interviews, so far, we have found out that the majority of students prefers to buy them online and used, and prefers to resell them afterwards as opposed to renting or other alternatives. We plan to execute more research studies, such as an online survey, to find out more details about what more students prefer and help our classmates with making the right decision.

2. Research Purpose & Objective
The purpose of the study is to figure out the various ways of acquiring a textbook for the University of Cincinnati. Our objective is to help students minimize the cost of textbooks by helping them compare different options, and save money. Specifically, the research objectives are to * differentiate ways how attain the textbook at lower costs * provide a basic information what´s the best option to resell books afterwards

Research question 1
Do you always buy all required books for classes and if yes what do you think is more cost effective buying and reselling a book, renting it or buying an e-book?

Research question 2
What do you do with the books after the class is over if you don’t need it anymore? Do you keep them or resell them?

Research question 3
Did you change your habits in buying books throughout the past few years because you gained experience?

3. Focus Group
We wanted to know what students think about the options for buying textbooks and what they prefer to do. We wanted to find out if everybody understood our questions and analyzed their answers afterwards. The focus group also helped us to find some options we have not thought about and we experienced what students thought about the topic. After the focus group we could change our questions and readjust them until we got the final questions we wanted to ask participants.

* Do you always buy all the required books?
* Where do you get your textbooks from? Bookstore, internet, e-books, other students? * Do you prefer buying them new or used?
* If you are buying textbooks online do you have special preferences for specific websites? * How do you feel about the option of using e-books?
* What do you do with your book after classes? Do you keep them or are you going to resell them again? * Which option to you consider for reselling books? Online, bookstore, other students * Do you share books with other students during quarter?

* How do you feel about the option of renting a textbook? * Did you change your habits in buying books throughout the past few years because you gained experience? * What do you think is more cost effective? Buying the book and then reselling it, or renting the book?

4. Sources of secondary data
In our process of defining the final research question we tried to find useful secondary data online to get more insight into topic. Finally we could find an article of “The New York Times” and a website which covers our topic. We also used the search engine Google to gain data.

* http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/03/how-to-find-cheaper-college-textbooks/ (The New York Times, “How to find cheaper college textbooks”, August 11, 2010, by Tara Siegel Bernard) * http://www.campusbooks.com/

5. Personal Interview
We asked three students from the University of Cincinnati about what their preferences are for acquiring the required textbooks for...
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