The theme was all things green for the Wildcat Bookstore at West L.A. College on Earth Day this year. In keeping with the Earth Day mantra of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” the store coordinated a sidewalk sale, a buyback event and a recycling effort that encouraged students to donate books that weren’t eligible for buyback through OnePlanet Books.
Staff members brought specially-priced merchandise outside to the designated sale area near the buyback table. The bookstore worked together with the Associated Student Organization, who arranged accessory swaps nearby. Olga Pech, assistant manager, said that they were pleased with the results of their first sidewalk sale/buyback combination.
“Our MBS Representative Chenda suggested the idea and really got it moving. She talked with the president of the A.S.O. and got them involved. It was one of those times where someone has an idea and it just snowballs from there. Within a couple of weeks we had signage created and had posted it online. It just worked: get some green and save some green!”
In the weeks leading up to the sale, they handed out flyers and posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In fact, Pech was told by many students that their Instagram offerings especially sparked referrals.
“Students told their friends, who came by and said ‘We heard about it being on Instagram.’ I told them that they should make sure that they are following us too, so that they don’t miss out on events like this. It was a great chance to push forward and get more followers.”
“It plays a huge part,” she said. “We’ll promote the next sale even more, but word of mouth really gets around with students, especially on social media sites.”
The event was a cash-only blowout sale, featuring $5 t-shirts and $10 sweatshirts as well as a variety of other affordable merchandise.
“The students were happy. They thought the prices were great,” Pech said. “We brought stuff outside to the students, and they stopped as they went by. Even some instructors came out—we don’t usually see them in the middle of the semester.”
An important component to Earth Day is recycling, so of course a OnePlanet Books carton was prominently displayed.
“One Planet Books worked great with the theme. There’s no need to throw away your money or throw away your book. Sell it back or if it doesn’t have value, there’s a place to recycle it right there,“ she explained.
With so many benefits in one location, student feedback was very positive. This was the first outdoor buyback event other than those at the end of semester, and the first time the store had ever offered a sidewalk sale. As a result, Pech and her staff are very enthusiastic about trying it again in the future.
“We’ll definitely do it again,” she said. “We’re planning another one during the fall term, in the middle of the semester. It’s especially convenient for students with 8 week classes—we’ll find another event to attach it to.”
Overall, the bookstore staff was happy to step outside their walls. They enjoyed the fresh air and change of scenery and, best of all, the chance to reach out to their student population in a fun and exciting way.
“We wouldn’t have had the idea without Chenda,” Pech said. “She facilitated the whole thing with the A.S.O. We love our MBS Rep!”