Published on March 17, 2014 | by John Samuels Photography by Francis Stea0
The Hell of Buy and Sell
Teaunna Gray has spent thousands on textbooks in her three years as a social services student. She’s tried to sell the books back to the Humber College Bookstore but said that can be a gamble.
“I don’t think it’s worth it. You get a fraction back of what you paid, and you probably get more if you sold it to a friend,” she said.
There are so many places to buy books that the bookstore doesn’t get as many buyers.
Debby Martin, Manager of the North Campus Bookstore has always known students to find other resources for course material.
“Not all students buy books, students share, and students buy books elsewhere,” said Martin.
She mentioned competitors like Amazon.com and CourseSmart and said the bookstore continues to adjust.
The manager said she and her staff considered historical data to estimate how many books they can order each semester.
She added statistics year-to-year can determine how lenient the bookstore can be when it comes to buying students books back.
Many students leave the bookstore surprised or disappointed when they discover how little they’ll get in exchange for a book that was so expensive for them.
First-year Business Marketing student, Dexray Aikedo is not a fan of the exchange process his first time around.
“You can buy a book for 120 dollars plus tax, and when you want to go sell it back to the school it isn’t even half the price you bought it for. Telling a student they’ll buy it back for 30 bucks is nuts,” he said.
Martin said there are factors behind the bookstore’s policy.
She said everyone has to get paid and that includes the copyright, the authors, the publishers, the retail store and anyone involved in producing the text.
So while the buyback method is a way for students to regain as much money as they can after the semester, it really depends if the school can use the books again.
“If you’re looking at a 100 dollar book that you [students] used all semester, you bring it back we give you half your money back,” said Martin, but the professor is also an influence.
She said a professor has to be using the exact same text for this to happen.
If books are not being used again for future semesters it goes on to be distributed across North America.
In other words, students are looking at getting 20 to 30 per cent back of the original price.
“Selling books back at the end of the semester is a lot harder than it needs to be,” said, Narley KariKari, a third year Public Relations student who wishes there was an easier way to buy and resell textbooks.
Martin is very excited about the new book payment programs Humber College has to offer.
A new program titled “include-ED” is in development, where course material textbooks will be included in your course registration at a discounted price for one total fee.
Pre-Payment options are being considered more than ever before. To find out more alternatives to pay for books and buy books back you can go to humbershop.ca.