It is well known that a part of college is closely monitoring your finances. This sometimes means we have to substitute the latest Supreme and Gucci lines for Goodwill and Target. As part of saving money, we should be aware of how much products cost and not overspend.
However, the main provider of student supplies on campus, Wolfpack Outfitters, frequently overcharge students. The stores’ prices for needed supplies are much higher than their competitors.
As such, students should avoid the bookstore altogether and instead focus on shopping in other areas like Target, Walmart, Staples and Amazon, for both financial and personal convenience alike.
As far as monetary reasons go, a TI-84 Plus calculator at the bookstore will cost $128.49. However, if one were to buy the same calculator at the Target on Hillsborough Street, it would cost $119.99. This a markup of seven percent. While the increase may seem small, it is a lot worse on cheaper products.
A pack of 36 Crayola colored pencils at the bookstore cost $9.49. The same box of color pencils will cost $4.49 at Target. In this instance, Wolfpack Outfitters charges more than double for the same product.
Furthermore, if a student were to buy a two-inch binder, five notebooks, a package of mechanical pencils, five plastic folders, a utility box and 100 sheets of college-ruled notebook paper from Wolfpack Outfitters, the total cost would be approximately $65.03. If a college student were to buy the same exact supplies at Target, their total would be approximately $33.26, spending half as much compared to the bookstore.
Although Wolfpack Outfitters is expensive, it’s one of the only stores that NC State students can easily access without driving. Other stores, like Walmart, Staples or Target may offer even better prices, but are not nearly as accessible.
However, with the rise of online shopping, that advantage is becoming meaningless.
Students can save even more money by shopping online, particularly on Amazon. Not only is Amazon generally cheaper than the bookstore, but it also replaces the convenience of Wolfpack Outfitters. Amazon Student Prime offers free two-day shipping and costs $6.49 a month. Since Amazon delivers directly to various locations at NC State, it saves the trouble of walking to Talley.
Since college students are short on money, they should be taking every opportunity to save funds and time. When shopping for school supplies, students should heavily consider avoiding the bookstore, since their products can cost twice as much compared to their competitors, and instead focus on shopping more at places like Target or Amazon and receive nearly the same convenience at a fraction of the price.
Students have to be wiser with their money, and the first step to doing that is to avoid shopping at Wolfpack Outfitters.