Notes from an Insider
This is the third part in a series about university textbooks and other course materials. You can read the first installment HERE. >>
The Duck Store is not oblivious to student needs.
As I stated early on in this series, it’s not any wonder why students get cantankerous about textbooks. Students need low cost textbooks that are easy to buy and, when it comes to selling them, to be offered all the money the store can afford to pay.
Lease stores can drastically reduce inventory after Week 1 when 90% of their sales are done; the Duck Store keeps most books until they are sold out or until after the term is over. Big retailers can leave margins a little higher because the performance at one store isn’t going to threaten the business as a whole. At the Duck Store it’s an all or nothing deal.
The Duck Store’s 10% discount is only the standard discount; there are many books that have discounts that go beyond 10%. We compare our entire catalog to online competitors each term and trim where we can. Look for book prices that end with 7 cents ($14.97, $63.27, $17.97) as this is an indication your book is on a higher than normal discount.
We buy books from students 359 days a year (best prices during finals week!). We work with multiple wholesalers to assure that as many books as possible have at least some value. We encourage faculty to reuse books repeatedly, even old editions, to allow us to buy books from students for the best prices possible. We research and buy dozens of titles each term at higher-than-wholesale prices even when a professor or department hasn’t told us they intend to reuse the book. So what is that last little thing?
We are here in your community everyday.
We’re approaching 2,000 words and three months for this blog entry and I could probably go on for another couple of blogs whether you were paying attention or not. To wrap this saga up, let me say that you, as an educated consumer can and should investigate those that you choose to do business with. Being a local store, run and operated by local people, you have a chance to simply come in and ask questions that you can’t ask our big online competitors. Competition from online sources has driven even big businesses from the book market; if all you are looking at is prices you are getting only part of the picture.
On that note though; Want to compare our prices verses mega-giant online corporations? Check here. Want to rent that $90 book? Your book list tells you if you can rent it in the store or through our online rental partner. Don’t want to pay for the book at all? The Duck Store donates many of the higher priced books to the Knight Library Reserve room, offering students a free (if competitive) option for their course materials.
Insider tip: Keep your receipts and bring them with you when you sell books. Anecdotally people inflate costs by about 30% at the time they sell a book. It’s just a trick of human memory; we all tend to do it. If you have the receipt with you, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of deal you are getting at buyback and whether you want to sell your book.