Bookstore Textbook Strategies
Books to college students are kind of like gasoline is to cars: textbooks can be expensive, but they provide the fuel to get students where they want to go. But textbooks are a big expense and it can cause sticker shock at the bookstore. However, with some savvy online and offline strategies, Alfred State College students can recycle their textbooks and recoup a good percentage of their original investment without sacrificing any of their school work. Here's how to get savvy on college textbooks:
Textbook prices are rising along with everything else: manufacturing costs, marketing and distribution costs are all going up. Textbooks for nursing and engineering students are particularly expensive because they are so large and in many cases will become reference books that can be kept for an entire career. Many books come with CDs that contain practice materials, mini tests and study pointers that help students retain the information. Textbooks like these can have a high resale value once the course ends if they are gently used and the study aids that come with them are still in working order. Textbooks that are not directly tied to major coursework are often less expensive and can have a high resale value at the end of the semester. More about resale values in a moment. Some books are available electronically, with no traditional printed version required. These digital titles are downloadable and printable as needed directly from your computer. E?books are typically 30?35 percent less expensive than their printed counterpart, but have no resale value at the end of the semester. More and more students are moving away from the traditional book to this more ecologically responsible and portable method of study. Used books are a great way to stretch your textbook dollars without sacrificing quality. The ACES Campus Store makes sure that their used books reflect the correct edition and contain all the supplemental materials that belong with the title. Sometimes used books can even be resold at the end of the semester as well.
Use the Bookstore
The Campus Store is dedicated to serving students by providing the fastest service, the highest value and the most convenience. Use them as a resource. Every book sold at the bookstore is immediately available when you need it. The Campus Store staff can get you in and out of the bookstore during book rush in as little as 15 minutes. By using the bookstore and its textbook counter service, you don't have to wait for the post office, pay for shipping charges, or wait to begin using your textbooks. Students who choose to buy their books on?line can get behind in their coursework during the first week of classes if they haven't received their books when classes begin. College courses are difficult enough; there is no need to dig yourself a hole during your fist weeks at school for a dollar or two in savings - that's no bargain.
The Campus Store sells all of their textbooks on?line and the books can be shipped to you, or you can pick them up at Alfred or Wellsville Campus Store. Use caution if you choose to buy from an off?campus bookstore - your purchase could be costly in both time and money. Check the guarantee in case the book is faulty, but if you have to return an on?line book, you've lost valuable study and classroom time that could be very costly indeed. And if you buy from an individual, you run the risk of receiving a book that is unusable or missing valuable information or tools that can sink your grades. Be cautious with these types of purchases. It's best to know the seller personally.
Preserving your Investment
Once you have your books, keep in mind their long?term value. Use them gently. Highlight with reserve. Keep the supplemental materials handy and in pristine condition. Don't doodle in the margins. When you're out walking in the snow or the rain, keep your books from the elements in a book bag or backpack.
At the end of every semester, it's time to clean out your bookshelf. Great news ?? the bookstore will buy back the books that you no longer want or need! If your textbook is in good condition, is the latest edition, and it will be used by an ASC professor in the coming semester, you can receive up to 50 percent of its value back in cash at the bookstore. Some other things that effect value are available supply and how effectively faculty and the Campus Store have worked together to define the textbook needs for the coming semester. The following table gives an example of the total cost of ownership for a textbook.
Table 1. Total Cost of Ownership Example
|New Book Price||Used Book Price||eBook|
|Buyback (if adopted)||$50||$50||N/A|
|Buyback (no adoption)||$20||$20||N/A|
|Total cost (if adopted)||$50||$25||$65|
|Total cost (no adoption)||$80||$55||$65|
|Total cost (old edition)||$100||$75||$65|
You can also sell your books back on?line using the bookstore's easy Web site http://www.alfredstatebookstore.com  if you'd like. The Web site outlines the easy shipping and packing procedures for your books.
Using the ACES Campus Store and the buyback program wisely is a great way to stretch your textbook funds and recycle them throughout your college career. For more information on textbook purchasing strategies, contact the Campus Store at (607) 587?4022.
Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services, Inc. (ACES) is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the mission of Alfred State College by providing dining services, campus bookstores, cable TV, transportation and vending services to Alfred State College students.