Some unhappy with sellback policies

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    By Natalie Clark

    ?We have met our quota.?

    ?We do not buy back course packets.?

    ?There is a new edition coming out.?

    With the semester coming to an end and textbook buyback looming, students are preparing to hear these phrases from BYU Bookstore employees.

    At the end of each semester, students can sell their textbooks back to the Bookstore. And, in turn, the Bookstore resells them to students the following semester. In theory, textbook buyback should be a win-win situation: students receive money back for their unwanted texts, and the Bookstore saves money by not needing to purchase as many new textbooks.

    The Bookstore offers 60 percent of the current new price for buyback, while most other Utah universities only offer 50 percent, said Mike Foster, the assistant manager of textbook operations at the Bookstore.

    But that is not good enough for some, and to hear students tell their stories, the buyback is nothing but a losing proposition.

    ?I did a speech on how the Bookstore offers 60 percent for buyback, but places like Half.com actually give better prices,? said Jenna Platt, a senior majoring in public relations. ?Take your books elsewhere.?

    Some would agree that 60 percent is better than nothing, but nothing is what some people get.

    While the Bookstore pays 60 percent for qualifying books, students are out in the cold if a new edition of the textbook is published.

    ?One time the line was wrapped around the upstairs floor of the Bookstore, and when I finally got through, they wouldn?t take back my books because they?re using a new edition next year,? said Jill Newbold, a senior from Newhall, Calif. ?Some classes use new editions every year. What?s it going to hurt to keep the old edition? Maybe a paragraph was added to three chapters. The professors should just incorporate the new information in class.?

    Newbold?s complaints, and literally dozens like it, come as no surprise to Foster. However, the Bookstore is caught between students wanting to get rid of ?dead weight,? and the store only needing so many textbooks back.

    ?[Our biggest complaint from students] is that the Bookstore can?t buy all their books back,? Foster said. ?It would be an ideal situation, but it is never possible. People need to understand that?s the economics of things. We want to buy back as many as we can, based on the request that we get from the faculty.?

    After the Bookstore meets its quota at the 60 percent mark, which is usually around the sixth day, they buy back books at anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent for a national wholesaler, Foster said.

    The wholesalers offer 30 percent if it has a strong national resale value because they?re not going to put money into a book they don?t have some hope of being able to sell to another school, Foster said.

    For students stuck with a textbook that does not qualify for buyback, candy is little relief to the frustration they are left with.

    ?It is irritating that after I stand in line forever, I can?t sell back any books, and then they give me a piece of candy for compensation,? Platt said.

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