Bookstore helps students save through textbook exchange

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With the semester drawing to a close, it’s nearing time once again for students to gather up their textbooks for returns. Each semester this process is repeated, but what some students may not know is waiting in line at the Bookstore isn’t their only option.

The BYU Book Exchange is a way for students to sell their used textbooks directly to each other. Bookexchange.byu.edu acts as an online classified section where students can buy and sell. Those looking to earn some money from their used books can add a listing with a book description, contact information and a price that they have set themselves. Because there are multiple listings from various students, a buyer can search the site until they find the book they are looking for with a price that fits their budget. Both parties then meet on campus for the swap.

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The BYU Book Exchange is a way for students to sell their old textbooks.
Bryce Turnbow, a junior from Sandy studying manufacturing engineering technology, said the greatest perk of BYU Book Exchange is that it benefits students, whether buyer or seller.

“The people who are buying are saving money because the prices are lower,” he said. “The people who are selling books back benefit because they are selling them back for a little more than they would at the Bookstore.”

Turnbow, who has saved hundreds of dollars by using the BYU Book Exchange, said it’s a better option than online shopping.

“One advantage is you get to see the person you are buying it from, face to face, and make sure the book is what you need before you buy it,” he said. “And it’s a lot faster than waiting a couple of weeks for a book to be shipped in the mail.”

Jenni Matthews, a senior majoring in home and family living, said she has used the BYU Book Exchange numerous times and has never been disappointed.

“I’m pretty frugal,” she said. “I did a lot of research online about places to buy books, like half.com and amazon.com, and a lot of books were cheapest on the BYU book exchange, and so I really would recommend it to anyone.”

Besides saving time and money, Matthews said she likes using the BYU Book Exchange because it gives her a chance to get advice from other students about classes.

“When I picked up the book I was able to talk to the person about the class and see what they liked and didn’t like,” she said.

Tom Hirtzel, Bookstore textbook manager, said most people don’t realize the online book exchange is run and operated by the BYU Bookstore — all in an effort to save students money.

“I sometimes hear students say they were able to get around the Bookstore, not knowing that we were the very ones that supplied that route for them to get a book from another person,” he said.

Hirtzel said although the BYU Book Exchange can take customers away from dealing directly with the Bookstore, sales aren’t the most important part of being a BYU Bookstore employee.

“Technically [BYU Book Exchange] is a competing store because it doesn’t generate any revenue for the university,” he said. “But we feel like that’s part of the service that we provide to students. The potential of losing sales is there, but we have a larger purpose for being on this campus.”

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