UMass Amherst Selects eCampus to Operate Virtual Bookstore

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AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst has selected eCampus, one of the nation’s largest online textbook retailers, to operate its virtual bookstore through June 2024.

The service, which will be integrated with SPIRE, the university’s online student information system, offers new, used, rental and digital materials and buy-back options.

Amazon, which has provided the service since 2015, is moving away from its campus bookstore business model and will cease to be the university’s provider of course material after the fall semester.

The first five months of the eCampus contract, which went into effect Aug. 1, is considered a transition period. eCampus will provide textbooks and other course materials for academic terms beginning with the four-week 2018-19 winter session, which begins Dec. 26.

Terms include two-day free shipping on all orders placed on the eCampus Virtual Course Materials Store, excluding Marketplace, with orders received by 4 p.m. shipped that day.

“We recognize the challenges students face with the rising costs of higher education and are dedicated to increasing textbook affordability through our new partnership with eCampus.com Virtual Bookstores,” said Andrew Mangels, vice chancellor for administration and finance at UMass Amherst.

“We’re thrilled to welcome UMass Amherst to the eCampus.com Virtual Bookstore program and applaud this institution who is making college affordability a priority for their students,” said Matt Montgomery, president and CEO of eCampus.com. “Through increased access to best-fit course content, we look forward to providing a new online bookstore standard for the institution that aligns with their mission of excellence and innovation. Together with UMass Amherst, eCampus.com will promote academic success through a superior customer experience that best serves the needs of both students and faculty.”  

Using eCampus’ adoption tool, faculty members will select required and recommended course materials. The adoption tool will be integrated with SPIRE, so materials and notes added in the adoption tool will appear in course description information.

The adoption tool will also provide unique features that are designed to aid faculty in accessing library and other open education materials.

Digital material will be delivered through Vault eReader, which gives students 100 percent online and offline access to all major operating systems, including Mac, Windows, Chromebook, iOS and Kindle Fire.

eCampus.com can also offer custom digital course-packs and faculty authored textbooks through Vault and can integrate eCampus’s Vault eReader within Moodle and Blackboard to simplify students’ accessibility to digital course materials.

UMass Amherst Libraries will collaborate with eCampus top make low-cost and open education resources easy for faculty to find and adopt and easy for students to acquire.

The university will provide an approximately 300-square-foot space for a staffed facility in the Campus Center. Each semester during rush and buyback, eCampus will have a pickup point at Hampden in the Southwest Residential Area. On-campus book buy-back will be offered near the end of each semester and offered online year-round. Amazon will maintain its pickup point in the UMass Amherst Campus Center, but all shipping options will be consistent with Amazon’s rules.

Established in 1999 in Lexington, Kentucky, eCampus.com is one of America’s largest online textbook sources. Featured annually by Internet Retailer as one of the top 500 retailers in the country, the company was founded by a core group of executives who recognized the need for a reliable online source for students to purchase affordable course materials.