As summer term ends, textbook sellback tables pop up around campus and the online BYU Book Exchange explodes with posts of textbooks for sale. As students rush to sell back their books, they also search for the best textbook deals for fall semester.
Choosing where to buy books is a balance between convenience and saving money, and students have discovered creative ways to buy and sell textbooks.
Many freshmen use the bookstore exclusively for textbook purchases and buybacks; Austin Vaclaw, a chemical engineering major from Bartlesville, Okla., has plans to both buy and sell his books at the bookstore.
“I don’t know any other scholarly textbook place available besides the Bookstore,” Valaw said. “I really don’t know any other options.”
While some students use the Bookstore because they do not know about other choices, others shop there for pure convenience. Kelsey Knecht, a freshman from Vacaville, Calif., and a Bookstore employee, said the bookstore is the easiest choice for her.
“I buy them at the Bookstore because it’s too much work to figure out the other Amazon prices,” Knecht said. “I plan on selling them back there, too.”
Some students sell back books at other stores or online, hoping to recover a portion the price they paid for their books. Matt Pettit, a freshman studying neuroscience from Las Vegas, is like many freshman because he purchases his textbooks on campus, but sells them back elsewhere.
“I sell them through eBay,” Pettit said. “I get better, more competitive prices.”
In addition to eBay, there are many other outlets that buy and sell textbooks. Students who have been attending BYU longer often choose vendors other than the Bookstore.
Chase Romney, a senior from Connecticut studying Spanish, avoids the Bookstore as he searches for better deals. Based on his experience, the Bookstore’s buyback offers are lower than other places available.
“Sometimes Amazon gives me a good idea of what I can get online,” Romney said. “They’ll even send you boxes to send the books in for the best price. …. I usually try to go to Boomerang Books or somewhere else where I can get the best value.”
To communicate with other BYU students about trading and selling textbooks, students can go to the BYU Book Exchange (bookexchange.byu.edu) or the Facebook page “Textbook Exchange.” Outside vendors that will buy books include Amazon online, and Boomerang Books and Bucks4Books, both of which are located in Provo.