Students upset with Bookstore buy backs


    By Koon Lin Wong

    Every semester, students find the BYU Bookstore is not buying back textbooks the students would like to return.

    Mike Foster, assistant textbook manager of the BYU Bookstore, said professors must submit a textbook request before the bookstore will buy textbooks back from students.

    “We want to buy the old textbooks from students as much as possible,” Foster said. “However, we can”t buy the textbook back from the students until we get the textbook request in.”

    Some students say they feel the lack of communication between the BYU Bookstore and professors is main reason why textbooks not being bought back by the BYU Bookstore.

    Professor Renee Gluch of the geography department suggested the Bookstore make the textbook request policy more clear, so that the professors understand that the buyback depends on them.

    Gluch said she realizes that the buyback depends on the timely submission of the request forms, and that the bookstore has to make a profit.

    Joyce Tate, secretary for the business department, said the Bookstore sends a reminder about the textbook request forms to department secretaries a few weeks before the end of each semester.

    She said department secretaries send the textbook request forms to the professors who fill them out and return them to the secretaries. The secretaries then return the requests to the bookstore, she said.

    Tate said she feels the pressure from the bookstore to get the requests in on time. Unfortunately, some of the professors didn”t get their requests in on time, she said.

    Foster said the BYU Bookstore cannot buy old textbooks back from students for the typical 60 percent of the original book price if the Bookstore has not received a textbook request.

    If the BYU Bookstore is able to buy the book back, he said, it can only give students 10 percent of the original price, and then the textbooks are sold to the wholesaler.

    J. Matthew Shumway of the geography department said he did not completely understand that failure to submit the request form on time would affect student”s ability to sell back textbooks.

    He said his primary concern in changing textbooks is the content of the book.

    “Helping students get money back from the old textbook is not the primary element when I consider to keep or change the textbook,” Shumway said. “The textbook”s content is most important.”

    Shumway said he does choose the cheapest textbook with the necessary content in order to help students.

    Dr. Jim Brau of the business department said he is aware of the BYU Bookstore”s textbook buyback policy. He suggested that students try to sell the textbooks on-line at sites that include free shipping, such as or, if the Bookstore does not buy the books back.

    Emly Carr, 25, a senior from Fort Gibson, Okla., majoring in math education, suggested trying to sell books back at a later semester.

    “I just keep going back every semester trying to resell some of my old books, in hopes that the bookstore will take them back that time,” Carr said.

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