I am long overdue for a new computer. I’m ashamed to admit this but I have watched my computer slowly die on me for months and I’ve done nothing about it. Can you really blame me? Technology can be expensive and the thought of buying a new laptop doesn’t just hurt my heart; it hurts my wallet.
Fortunately, USF’s e-store quite literally fell into my lap the other day. Some of you may already be old friends with the e-store or, like me, you may quizzically raise one eyebrow and think, “how does this help me?”
The e-store is ITS’s virtual mall, where links to individual stores like Apple and Dell can be found. The difference between going to Apple through the e-store instead of just going directly to the website all circles around one word: discount.
After perusing the website, I found that I could save over $100 on some laptops. I know that as a college student I’m supposed to fall into the stereotype of being a poor, starving student who eats ramen for every meal and I am willing accept my current role in society. So if I can find a discount on anything, I’m stoked. But a hundred bucks? It seems too good to believe.
One of the larger ticket items in the e-store is the “USF Technology Marketplace” where you not only find links to our four premium partners (Lenovo, Dell, Apple, and HP) but other useful stores students are likely to buy from (Toshiba, iTunes, GameStop, ect.). Since I’m buying from these stores anyways, might as well do it through USF for several reasons: we get a discount, security and convenience is already built in, and we can help fundraise some money for USF.
By going to these sites through the e-store, every item you look at has your discount as a student, faculty, or staff member already built in. For the skeptics out there, let me assure you that these discounts are nothing to be scoffed at. The e-store has collectively saved its users over $300,000 over the last two months!
One of the other things I like about the e-store is the fact that my online shopping security is already built into the website. If you are not already signed in, the site will prompt you to sign into connect.usfca.edu before bringing you back to the webpage. This is a great because if you have tried to buy something with a student discount before, many places make you show them some proof that you’re a student, whether that means sending them a copy of your school ID or transcripts. Sometimes that’s such a hassle, I just forget the discount or the product all together. But going through your USF account you bypass the red tape and go straight into shopping heaven.
In additionally, the e-store brings benefits to the school. Some of the stores give back a small portion of sales to USF. As Information and Security Officer and Director Walter Petruska put it, think of it as the college version of box tops without having to eat pounds of cereal. The school saves you money and your purchases help support USF. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
Meghan Maher is a junior English major
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