It’s worth shopping around, even for course books. A foreign student who ordered his books from Pakistan got them cheaper, even with the shipping fee, than he could have done in the Netherlands. But even without going that far afield, a little effort can save you quite a bit on books.
In the case of that page-turner An Introduction to Statistical Methods and Data Analysis, by R. Lyman Ott & Michael Longnecker, it’s just the other way round. At the WUR shop it costs 65 Euros (82 full price). But if you cycle down to the town centre, you can order it at Kniphorst bookshop for 60.99. For students on a tight budget, those four Euros might be worth the bike ride.
For another standard work in our price survey, Organic Chemistry by John Murray, the price difference was minimal. The WUR shop charges 61.50 for it (67.50 full price), and Kniphorst charges 61.95. So that’s only of interest to students who do not belong to a study association.
The internet, incidentally, is not always a cheap option. Quite apart from the postage costs, most books cost more at Bol.com. And in spite of the low dollar, it’s not even worth looking on Amazon.com, since course books can cost between fifteen and forty (!) Euros more in the US. Prices do of course vary depending on the edition, the impression and the format (hardback or paperback).