After a few seconds of struggle, the big red ribbon was finally cut, marking the official opening of Stony Brook University’s Amazon Pick-Up location.
Fall 2016 has been an eventful semester on campus. Stony Brook became the first location in New York to host one of the country’s eight Starbucks trucks, and now it is the first New York college campus and the 15th college in the country that will utilize Amazon as its official bookstore.
At the beginning of the semester, many students were shocked to see that the library bookstore lacked one necessary component – books. Stony Brook decided to pursue a new agreement with Amazon Campus to provide students with a location to pick up and return Amazon orders.
The idea is that instead of the old fashioned bookstore with shelves of literature, students purchase books directly from Amazon.com. A Stony Brook University logo lets students know if they are buying the correct book for their class.
“We spent a lot of time talking to students in this generation and sort of the college customer, and we realized there were a few things that they needed: one was they needed safety and convenience in their pick up, they wanted speed, they wanted everything as quickly as they could get and they wanted variety and low prices,” said Tony Caravano, senior manager of business development and university relations at Amazon.
This is how the system works: first, students have to add Amazon@StonyBrook to their shipping address book. When students get an email notifying them of their package delivery, they choose when to pick it up. Students are also given a bar code in the email that they scan, prompting a white locker to pop open revealing their package.
“As a student, I need to save some money for myself, so getting it on Amazon, it saves time on commuting,” Anvinder Singh, an electrical engineering graduate student, said. “I can easily browse through the book online and buy it.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday Nov. 3 in the lower level of Melville Library celebrated this new addition. In the small brightly lit room, music played, food and coffee were provided for guests and employees presented demos on how to use the new system. With every demo, a white locker popped open displaying an Amazon water bottle, notepad and sunglasses that were given as small prizes for participating in the presentation.
Students who are Amazon Prime members will also receive free one-day shipping on select items including required textbooks that are ordered by 11 p.m. the previous day.
“I think this is the thing that will make this a more viable option because this will create a convenience,” Timothy Ecklund, assistant vice president for students affairs and dean of students said. “Students will have to be able to get their books in a more feasible way.”
The Amazon Pick-Up location will operate on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.