Book buy back begins as spring semester draws to a close

Dylan Boyle

As book buybacks begins this week, many students are left wondering if they are truly getting top dollar for their used books.

Campus Book Store, 2300 Lincoln Way, has already started buying back books as the spring semester quickly comes to its end.

The University Book Store will begin buying books back May 6-8 at four additional locations across campus: the Union Drive Community Center, Fredriksen Court, Buchanan Hall’s main lounge and the Maple-Willow-Larch Commons.

“We always have book buyback going on,” said Amy DeLashmutt, marketing supervisor for UBS. “But students are going to get max dollars back at this point.”

Bethany Crane, sophomore in music education, doesn’t think she is getting the fairest amount of money when she sells her books back.

“We pay a lot for these books,” Crane said. “And we get almost nothing back at the end of the semester.”

DeLashmutt said it is a common misconception that bookstores are buying books back for cheap and selling them at the beginning of the following semester for a much higher price, in order to maximize profit.

“Actually, what you get at buyback is purely dependent on your professor,” DeLashmutt said. “If they’ve turned in what books they are going to use for next semester, we will buy those books back at a much higher rate.”

DeLashmutt said the University Book Store will buy back books at 50 percent of the new price if the book is being used next semester, but if professors haven’t turned in their book orders yet, the bookstore has to buy the book at a whole-sale price, which is usually 20 to 30 percent. Buyback prices are also determined by how high of a demand there is for that book next semester and what quantity is needed to meet that demand.

“We want to pay maximum for books,” DeLashmutt said. “Students should urge their professors to turn in book orders on time so they can get the maximum back.”

Last week, the Iowa Legislature passed a bill that strongly encourages professors to release the ISBN numbers of textbooks to students two weeks before classes begin.

The Internet is also an alternative environment to sell and buy books in.

Alex Nickels, junior in interior design, said he has sold books online through and has been pleased with the results.

“It’s hit or miss sometimes,” Nickels said. “But I’ve gotten $30 more than what the bookstore offers.”

DeLashmutt said although UBS hasn’t seen a decrease in sales because of the Internet, they are concerned with students buying online.

“When you buy online, there is a lot of risk,” DeLashmutt said. “It’s harder to return books if you get the wrong one, if the teacher assignment changes, or a teacher changes what book they want.”

DeLashmutt said the benefit of buying from a bookstore is you will always be able to return or exchange the book two weeks after classes begin, even if you used the UBS online site.

“We’re in business for the students,” DeLashmutt said. “We’re going to do what’s best for them.”