Getting the most out of textbook buybacks

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The patience of BYU students is tested during textbook buybacks. Individuals spend hundreds of dollars at the beginning of each semester and expect just as much money back in their pocket at the end of the semester when they sell books back.

Why do some students receive so much more than others for a book just as expensive?

Tom Hirtzel, a full time employee at the BYU Bookstore, explains what they look for each semester during buybacks and how they determine what they do and don’t take.

“The faculty makes requests for which books they want their students to have the following semester,” said Hirtzel. “We pay 50 percent of the new book price on the ones that will be used the following year, even if the student bought the book used.”

Hirtzel also said they buy the books based on demand, how many students will be in the class and how many classes will use the book.

If the professors do not request to buy the books back, the Bookstore may still buy it back if the national market is in need. They often will pay 10-30 percent on these books.

The Bookstore does not buy workbooks, books with pass codes, books with pages coming out, water damaged books, books with broken bindings or loose leaf editions.

“I recommend students come to the Bookstore first to see how much the buyback price is. I think students will be pleasantly surprised,” said Hirtzel.

Slade Sinkins is the owner at Boomerang Books. He said they will often buy back books that the Bookstore will not.

If a book has a little bit of water damage, is an old edition or is missing a cover, Sinkins said they may still buy it.

“It depends on the demand,” Sinkins said.

Students can receive a quote for their books at the Boomerang Books website. Sinkins said it is a good idea to check before selling your books somewhere else.

Ryan Hendrickson, a former employee at Bucks 4 Books, said the books they buy are really based on the national demand.

Both Sinkins and Hendrickson said they are a good alternative if the Bookstore will not take your books.

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