The College Store will buy back books for its shelves from students if we know that we need them for the next semester. We will also buy back books to sell to a wholesale marketer, just like we buy from them. When a student sells his/her textbook there are two different prices they can be paid for their used book which reflects whether the book is going on the CS shelf or being sent to the wholesaler.
When the CS buys back a book to put on its shelf, it pays the student up to half the purchase price of textbooks from the CS.. The CS does not set the price. The publisher establishes it dependent on demand and supply for any given book, at any given time. This price set is "Beyond the Control" of the College Store.
The CS anticipates how many books it needs to buy back from students to put on its shelves based on 1) how many the CS has on hand already 2) how many the CS has ordered from the publisher 3) how many the faculty have told the CS to have on hand, which is based on how many students have enrolled in their courses.
After the CS has bought back books to fill its shelves, the CS then purchases books to sell back to the wholesaler. So when a student sells back a book to the CS and the shelf quota has been met, then the wholesale price is offered to the student.
When a student sells back a book that is being sent to the wholesale market, the student receives a price that is determined by the wholesale market. Once again, the amount that is offered is "Beyond our Control," –the wholesaler determines it based on the supply and demand chain of the wholesale market. This can work in favor of or against the student as prices varies based on the current market value of the book.
Another important issue to remember is that PACES, who owns and operates the CS is a not- for profit arm of the College and all our net revenue goes back to the College in the form of grants, subsidizes and scholarships, and reinvestment in campus facilities used by PACES, so by buying and selling your textbooks with us you are actually helping the current student body, as well as future students.
The pricing process starts when your professor selects the textbook for a course. They spend a lot of time reviewing course books and choose the ones that are best suited to your needs. We supply a web site to faculty so that they can compare the costs of different textbooks. They decide what books we need to have in stock and then our work begins.
Our first step is to buy books back from you. What we can’t get at buy back we purchase from the publisher or from the wholesale market. On average 64.8% of the sticker price on new books goes back to the publisher, mostly to cover development of the book and normal business expenses. The author gets about 11.6% in royalties and 1.2% is spent on freight to get the books here. The profit to the bookstore has to cover labor to shelf and process the book as well as regular overhead such as; heat, electricity, rent and often the shipping costs to return the unsold books back to the publishers.