A sign in the University Union advertising the bookstore’s end-of-semester book buyback program says “Cash for books: milk it for all it’s worth.” But just how much exactly are students getting back in return for their used textbooks?
“If I buy a $200 book, I don’t want to get $15 dollars back or $30 dollars back,” said sophomore Jeremy McCool. “That’s just a complete scam.”
Students typically pay hundreds of dollars a semester for their textbooks. However, when it comes time to sell those textbooks, they are only offered a fraction of what they paid. Meanwhile, those establishments who are paying for your books – the University Union bookstore as well as other bookstores, along with online textbook sites and Amazon – sometimes resell these textbooks for close to the amount that a student originally paid.
“I really think it’s unfair for the simple fact that we pay hundreds of dollars for these books that these teachers say we need… and only receive a few dollars back in return,” vents senior Katherine Hallmon, who was outraged when she tried to sell a $100 textbook back and was only offered one dollar. “It was actually old edition, so they said I couldn’t give it back, but they were willing to give me a dollar back for this book.”
“They advertise it as if you are going to get a lot of money back, but so many of the books have old editions,” says A.J. Swenson, magnifying the overall consensus that the offers students receive for their textbooks are not fair.
“I feel like they should give you more back for the book, or at least half,” Hallmon continued to plea. “But a dollar or 15 dollars for a $100 book? No it’s not fair!”
VIDEO: Book buybacks frustrate college students