Book buyback one of best in U.S.


    By April Ebbert

    Despite what many might think, the BYU Bookstore buyback policies are some of the most generous in the country.

    The Bookstore has a policy of paying students 60 percent for textbooks that will be used again by the department, according to Mike Foster, textbook section assistant manager.

    Foster said that the rest of the books are bought back by a national buyer at 10 to 30 percent. The bookstore does this in conjunction with their buyback as a service to students.

    The national sellers buy books hoping they can find schools that still use that edition.

    The buyback could be more profitable if departments coordinated more with the bookstore.

    If faculty notified the bookstore about which textbooks will be reused before the buyback, more students would get 60 percent back instead of 10 to 30 percent, said Foster.

    “The problem is, a lot of it is out of the teachers” control. The department assigns and reassigns who will teach the classes. The department is trying to organize class schedules, and that is not always possible before textbook buyback,” Foster said.

    Joyce Tate, business management department secretary said that a lot of professors try to use a book more than one year to keep it less expensive for students. They try to help students with cost as much as they can.

    “Usually if they use the same text again, we can place an order with the textbook department before the semester is over so students can sell back their books if they want,” she said.

    Tate mentioned a few of the reasons that a professor or a department might not be able to place an order before the buyback deadline.

    Sometimes there is a delay in the publishing of a new book and a teacher wants to review it before making a decision.

    Other times there may be a new edition of a text and they want to review it.

    “We usually get 95 percent of our orders in before the buyback. The teachers are pretty good about it,” she said.

    They try to keep the needs of the students in mind so they can accommodate them as much as possible, Tate said.

    Foster said that the bookstore promotes buyback, even though buyback and selling used books is less profitable for them.

    “We do it for student benefit,” Foster said.

    Even if a teacher or department lets us know during buyback that they will reuse a book, we immediately put it on the list and begin buying them from students.

    Some bookstores don”t even have a buyback, he said.

    Another part of textbook buyback the bookstore promotes is The Student Exchange on The Hub. That”s where students can list books to sell to each other.

    “We provide the textbook lists so that students know which books are needed for their classes,” Foster said.

    Many students favor the bookstore”s buyback policies.

    “Education is expensive and the money you get back from your textbooks helps you buy the ones you need next semester,” Adam Monteith, 27, from Virginia Beach, VA, a senior majoring in Spanish Teaching.

    Other students recognize that they won”t be able to sell back many of their books.

    “It seems like the bookstore would like to save us money, but with publishers coming out with new editions every couple of years, that money just ends up going into a hole,” Adam Brown, 21, from Santa Rosa, CA, a senior majoring in international studies.

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