Book buy back

By on November 28, 2002

At the end of each semester, many students try to get some extra cash by selling books back to the bookstore. However, not all books are accepted, which leads to frustration and anger from many.
“It is good that they buy back books, because you get some extra money to spend right before Christmas, but it’s bad because they don’t give you back all the money you spent, and sometimes they won’t even take [the book] back,” said junior Richard Grassia.
According to bookstore employees, a book will be bought if a professor has reported that he or she will be using that book next semester.
“We try to aggressively go after professors that we know are using the same books the next semester,” said Textbook Manager Siobhan Tivnan. “We have to order what [the professors] want us to order.”
Professors usually put in orders for new editions of books, especially in the science department, since new research is frequently published. When a new edition of a book comes out, the old edition loses its market value. Tivnan said that publishers now come out with new editions of books every other year or even every year, because they want to limit the used book market.
“Sometimes [the publishers] just put a new CD-rom in the back and say that it is updated,” said Tivnan. “They like to dry up the used book market since there’s no money there for the publishers.”
If the book is being used again by the professor, however, students should have no problem selling the book back to the bookstore. If the book is in good condition, the bookstore will buy it from the student for 50 percent less than the retail price, no matter whether the book was bought used or new by the student. The bookstore will then resell the book for 75 percent of its retail price.
For example, if a student purchases a new book from the bookstore for $75, and the retail value stays at $75 when the student is selling his or her book back to the bookstore, the student will get $37.50 for the book. The bookstore will then resell the book for $56.50, and make a total profit of $94. If the student originally bought the book at a used price, $56.50, he or she would still get $37.50 for the book if the retail value had stayed the same. The bookstore, however, would only make a profit of $75.50.
“We make more money off of used books, so we like to sell a lot of those,” said Tivnan.
When the bookstore sells a new textbook, it gets to keep a little more than 11 percent of the purchase price, of which a little over six percent goes to costs associated with operating the store. If the store sells a new textbook at $75, the store gets to keep $8.55. Of those eight dollars, a little over five dollars will go towards insurance, utilities, maintenance and data processing charges. The store gets to keep $3.50, but then has to pay federal, state and local tax on that.
Most books that are bought back stay in the Quinnipiac bookstore. However, if the bookstore gets too many of some books, the books are sold to a wholesaler at the wholesale price. The wholesale price ranges between zero and one-third of the retail price, depending on how new the book is and if there is a market demand for it.
“Sell your book before finals week if you don’t really need it,” said Tivnan. “You get the most money before we place orders for the spring semester.”
The bookstore will be open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during finals week.
See below for a list of reasons why a textbook may or may not be accepted by the bookstore.


About Viktoria Sundqvist - Editor in