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Win or lose?

Bookstore manager Karla Schaefer and student worker Tori Mens display the buy back sign in Waldorf bookstore.

Bookstore manager Karla Schaefer and student worker Tori Mens display the buy back sign in Waldorf bookstore.

By Karissa Vetsch

Do you think you didn’t get enough money for your books when you tried to sell them back? At the end of every semester students have the opportunity to sell books back to the bookstore in the hopes of regaining some of their original cost. Many students find the Bookstore Buy Back to either be a rip-off or very helpful.

Some students get a great deal and find the opportunity to be worthwhile. Jacey Thompson is one of those students. “I just didn’t want them anymore,” Thompson said. The Bookstore Buy Back was a way for her to get rid of her books quickly and efficiently without “the hassle of mailing them.”

While some agree with Thompson, there are students using other companies to purchase and sell books. Buying books can be expensive and the bookstore won’t give you the whole value back. Some think it isn’t worth it based off of the percentage of money they would get back. Using other services like Chegg or Amazon can allow students to rent them, or sometimes purchase them for a cheaper price. “Many complaints were heard,” said bookstore employee Karsen Houck. She recalls that some students believe that they “didn’t get enough money for their book, or were disappointed.” The best deal to be found depends on the student because it varies between cases. It might be worth it to buy it from the bookstore and sell it back, or rent it from Chegg or Amazon.

Though there are complaints, there are reasons why each student only receives so much money for each book. Bookstore manager, Karla Schaefer, provided more information to help clear up some of the complaints. The bookstore does not select the prices, instead it works through the wholesaler. The wholesaler sets the price based on the nationwide demand for the book. The amount of money the book receives can be a great deal for some students and not for others. It all depends on the type of shape the book is in, if it is a popularly used book, if you are towards the front of the buy back line, which edition the book is, or if it will continue to be used by the professor in both fall and spring semesters.

The bookstore does offer a new program called the Guaranteed Buy Back, helping to raise incentives to buy books from them.  Through this program you buy or rent a book from the bookstore and they guarantee they will buy it back. Schaefer gave an example. “A biology book sold for $209.50 and during the Guaranteed Buy Back the student would get $110 or more, never less,” she said. She also mentioned that buying your books through the bookstore is “good for all of us.” “Spend (sell) it here, keep it here.”

Some students feel strongly that the bookstore is the worst deal out there and others think it’s the best option. It depends on the student. Whether you choose Chegg, Amazon, the Waldorf Bookstore, or another company there are many options to find what is right for you.