Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



April 2014: Be Happy at Buyback

Posted by Stephanie Kubas on 4/1/14 4:30 AM
Topics: buyback, MBS Monthly Marketing Plans
It’s no secret that students don’t always love buyback. If they walk away feeling like they didn’t receive a fair price for their book, it can affect the way they perceive your store. So, you want to do everything in your power to make sure they leave smiling. Cue the music…

Help Students Be Happy at BuybackPharrell William’s hit song "Happy" has occupied the No. 1 spot on the charts for more than a month, and it’s a tune that can put virtually anyone in a good mood. That’s why we created an entire event around the catchy lyrics that will help you ensure everyone who visits your buyback leaves feeling happy.  How does it work? Read on to find out!

Pick your dates: Will you host fun and games every day during the week of buyback or make this a one-time extravaganza? It’s up to you! If you opt to have the event span the entire week, we suggest choosing one activity for each day and scheduling them for a specific time during a “Be Happy Hour.” For instance, if you know that buyback is typically slow over lunch, host your activities at this time to draw in a crowd.

Choose activities: Regardless of how long your event is, we’ve come up with some fun activities you can host that are sure to make students happy! Simply pick and choose from the list below or come up with your own.

Movie marathon: Let students relax during finals week with back-to-back showing of Despicable Me 1 & 2. Be sure to offer free popcorn as a snack during the double feature.

Clap your hands dance contest: One of the best parts of the hit song “Happy” is its energetic music video, which features people from all walks of life busting a move to the song in a variety of locations. In fact, it was so popular that Pharrell created a 24 hour version! So, why not make your own? Invite students to be a part of a campus music video by setting up a camera in a designated location within the store. Then, encourage them to stop by and groove to the song. You could give out prizes to the best dancers and, after the event, post the final edited video as a buyback promotion on your Facebook or Twitter.

Photo booth fun: Setup a background in a designated location within the store, print out some photo props and invite students to strike a pose! You can integrate buyback into the photo op by having students hold up white boards describing what they’ll use their cash toward, then post the pictures to your social media pages. That way, all your fans will see why it pays to sell books at your store.

Crazy hat contest: Pharrell is known for his crazy hats, so of course he sports a funky fedora in the "Happy" video. See if your customers can live up to his style with this fun contest. Invite students from your school’s fashion program to act as a panel of judges or get your merchandise buyers involved by having them vote for their favorite entry. Be sure to award the winner(s) with prizes; a discount toward the purchase of  a new hat from your store is perfect!  

Flash sale: Students will have cash in hand after buyback, so it’s a great time to direct them into your store with a sale. Offer sporadic one hour sales on selected merchandise throughout the day or week of your event. Build up a buzz by teasing the sales before they happen on your Facebook page, so students know to stay tuned for updates.

Source giveaways: No event is complete without prizes! Ask your vendors for donations and look through old inventory for low-cost items you can give away without breaking your budget. Free food is a great way to get students in the store too. Talk to on-campus food service groups or even local restaurants about partnering up for the event.

Assign staff members: This will vary depending on how many activities you plan to offer, but we suggest having at least two staff members dedicated to managing your buyback events. They’ll need to be on hand to get students engaged in each activity, answer questions and  direct participants to buyback after they're finished.

Download: Buyback Happy Hour station signs
Download the station signs
Download Station Signs

Set the atmosphere: It wouldn’t be a happy event without the official anthem playing! Cue up Pharrell’s hit at the top of each hour to set a mood-lifting atmosphere. We also suggest having  colorful decorations such as balloons to brighten your store even more. Plus, we've created Station Signs that you can use as free décor! Use them to direct students to the activities listed above or customize the blank one with your own idea.

Spread the word: Get students excited for this special buyback event by promoting it through every channel you can think of. Take out an ad in the student newspaper, post about it on your Facebook and Twitter pages, hang posters; the options are endless. We’ve created two promotional kits to get you started. Theme 1 works best if you plan to have all the festivities happen at one time. If you’re hosting your event over several days in the “happy hour” format suggested above, then check out theme 2.

Download: “Be Happy at Buyback” theme 1 marketing kit
Download the marketing kit
Download Marketing Kit
Download: “Be Happy at Buyback” theme 2 marketing kit
Download the marketing kit
Download Marketing Kit

Get happy: When the time comes for your buyback event, get involved and enjoy the fun! Take some time to talk with students and thank them for stopping in. Then, watch as they walk out smiling and feeling happy!

About Stephanie Kubas

Stephanie was our former MBS Marketing Communications Manager. She helped Foreword Online evolve from simple reposts from other industry-related sites, to original content sourced directly from our college stores. Although she no longer writes for Foreword Online, it still holds a special place in her heart.

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