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The Prospector

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The Prospector

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The Prospector

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The war for words: UTEP bookstore or Amazon?

Joel Molina
The UTEP bookstore carries all required and recommended materials by the professor.

The debate on buying books at UTEP’s bookstore or on online stores like Amazon is constantly discussed among the student community. Both options have their benefits, but where should students buy next time? 

Shopping from the bookstore can offer benefits for students and other members of UTEP’s community, one of them being convenience. Even though the bookstore prices are higher, it’s easily accessible for students due to its location on campus.  

Buying from the university bookstore can help students avoid shipping costs. They provide different methods of payment, such as financial aid or using the Miner Gold Card. 

“The benefit is ‘right here, right now’ so you get it at the moment, the instant that you need it,” said campus store manager Xochitl Meyer. “In some cases, if you don’t know how to look or where to look for materials, we offer that service.”  

Amazon provides a service that allows students to shop for books and materials from the comfort of their home or any place with Wi-Fi access. The downside of purchasing online is the delivery since it can take days or weeks to arrive.  

One of the advantages of Amazon is the ability to read reviews and ratings from other customers who have purchased the same school materials. These reviews provide insights into the quality, usefulness and suitability of the materials. 

“I like buying my books at the bookstore; however, Amazon prices are lower,” said UTEP student Gretel Aldana. “If I desperately need a book, I look on Amazon for the digital version and if it’s not available, I simply go to the bookstore and buy it there.” 

The bookstore makes the search process much easier. Students need to provide their ID number and required materials that appear on the site. This is mostly recommended when professors ask for specific editions.  

Amazon frequently offers deals, discounts and special promotions, especially during back-to-school season. This helps students save money on school material purchases. 

Both stores offer new, used and rent options, which is helpful for students who are looking for more economic alternatives. Nevertheless, students purchasing a used book from the bookstore can make sure the book is in good condition and ready to use.  

While Amazon provides more affordable products, the bookstore is a local business that can contribute to the local economy and college programs. Not only that, but purchasing locally can positively impact individuals, communities and environment.  

“We are part of a community, so we want students to shop here, to shop local,” Meyer said. “It all comes back to service and selection and being able to purchase with financial aid. Any sell that comes from the bookstore, automatically benefits the school and the students.” 

So, the next time purchasing books becomes a hassle, there are options to choose from. It just depends on which struggle and/or victory route the student wants to take in the war for college book deals.  

Angelica Gutierrez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Angelica Gutierrez, Contributor/Reporter
Angelica Gutierrez is a sophomore at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is a contributor for The Prospector. She wants to integrate into the film industry as a writer and director.
Joel Molina, Photographer
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a staff photographer who began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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