Bookstores Prepare for Buyback Season
Bookstores this week are bracing for the wave of UA students selling back textbooks. The day before Dead Day is usually when students will receive the most money, Hossman said.
“Once the demand for certain textbooks is filling up, that is when the price we pay students back for their textbooks goes down,” Hossman said.
The Campus Bookstore usually pays 50 percent of the actual value of textbooks, Hossman said, but that is subject to change. If the textbook is in high demand, they may pay as much as 70 to 80 percent of the actual cost of the textbook.
“No, I’m not satisfied with the money I get back from book buyback,” said sophomore psychology major Kerwin Davis. “You spend so much to buy a book, only to not be able to sell it, or get less then what you spent on it in the first place. I think it is a bad system, especially for broke college kids.”
The Campus Bookstore would give students more money if possible, Hossman said.
“We cannot fill our shelves with just buyback books, so we have to buy wholesale. We would much rather just give as much cash to students as we can,” Hossman said.
There are three factors in how the Campus Bookstore pays students during buyback season. If the bookstore is not already fully stocked with the book, students will receive 50 percent of the wholesale price.
If the UA bookstores met their bookstore quota for a particular book, then they compare against a wholesalers database. Students can also use Hog Auction, where students auction their used textbooks to the highest bidder, according to the UA bookstore website.
The demand for the textbook is finite and is maintained in real time. The demand for textbooks decreases instantly with every sale and can expire quickly as other students sell their books back, according to the UA bookstore website.
The best times to sell textbooks back are near the end of a semester just before and during finals. Wholesale prices dominate the rest of the year. Textbooks used in fall- or spring-only courses may have a lower demand, according to the UA bookstore website.
Rising enrollment at the UA has increased demand at the Campus Bookstore, but not the amount paid back to students, Hossman said.