Buyback happens a couple times a year when students are in finals. Usually, the spring buy is much larger because students are graduating or going home for the summer and cleaning out their rooms. The main idea behind buyback is that students can sell back books they don't want or think they will need for cash, and the bookstore then can sell them as used if we have orders for them or we can sell them back to our wholesale partner. The price is determined by the demand for the book. If we need it we will pay the student 50% of what they purchased the book for and if the wholesale company needs it they will get 10-30% of the list price of the book. Unfortunately, old editions and damaged books have no value. Can you see where this is going to cause a problem.
I love buyback it is a fun time and in my mind a fantastic service for the students. It is a win-win situation. You buy a book use it for four months and then return it for money at the end of the semester. We sell books at the start of the semester and then can sell them as used the following semester, saving the students money and increasing our margin. I can go on forever about the retail benefits of this program but i will stop here and begin a recap of why students think buyback is bad.
1) Ugh, do I actually have to bring my books all the way to the store to find out how much you will pay me for them? Can you create a spreadsheet and email them to me? Tell me the prices over the phone?
No, we have a couple off site locations where you can sell back your books but you will need to bring your books there I can't give out prices over the phone because the demand for books changes ever time one of you fellow (non-lazy) students brings back a book.
I can't create a spreadsheet specifically for you, nor can email you our entire 900 page list of books we are giving money back for, it a big university, there are a lot of books and a lot of students I can't do this for all of you, it is an impossibility.
Ah yes, and most importantly, I spent a majority of my days lugging books back from our off site locations on carts in sweltering heat, you lazy fat bitch get no sympathy from me. Put those books in a bag and carry them over. Walking is good exercise and believe me, YOU NEED IT!
2) Why are you ONLY paying me this much for this book, I didn't even use it.
Well lets begin with the fact that it is not my fault that you failed your class because you never even took the book out of the shrink wrap. Second, i don't decide the price I am paying you, it is a set price.
You cant haggle with me, I will show you my screen or my list and the price won't change, I am a big business not a sidewalk vendor. If you were buying a hemp necklace from a folding table on the street, then you try to haggle. If you are selling your books back to a large corporation, haggling will get you nowhere.
3) Can i leave these books with you, I don't want them?
No, if I wanted your books I would have given you money for them, I am now not going to be responsible for throwing away or recycling the books that you don't want.
4) Are these the only 30 books you buyback? Why can't you give me a full list?
No we buyback thousands of books dumb ass, some of you even have 30 books in one semester. This is our top 30 list, see in bold print where it says "The bookstore will give you CASH for these titles and THOUSANDS MORE!"
Another part of buyback i that we have competition in brick and mortar and online, so we have to aggressively market buyback on campus. We put up fliers on all the public bulletin boards (which have way too many rules). We email students, and we get the final exam schedule and pinpoint fliers to the big books and exams and flier outside of these exams. This is actually very easy except when the students get pissed. Things were going smoothly until I went to a business exam where students were receiving $84.25 back for their book. I was handing out fliers and telling them the amount when a woman grabs a flier crumbles in after she reads it and yells, get off of my campus, you shouldn't even be here!
Apparently, she bought the entire campus and as an entity contracted by the school to provide a service to students she felt I was not allowed here. And this powerful woman who bought an entire college campus apparently failed her business exam!!!
Buyback and finals sure brings out the best in people!!