Rental programs offer significant upfront savings to students; however, not all are aware of the benefits. To help students better understand the advantages of his store’s program, Jeff Wieck, textbook program coordinator. of University Bookstore at Eastern Washington University, decided to show rather than tell them about the cost-saving option.
“Our program is fairly new and, as we got started, we took note that several students were able to gain substantial savings with textbook rentals,” he explained. “We wanted to bring that fact to the attention of our customers and figured that there was no better way to do that than by showing them real examples of how much their peers were saving.”
After working with a student to sort out questions about the program, Wieck realized that this customer presented the perfect opportunity to spread the word.
“He was trying to get his degree in 3 years and, as a result, had lots of books he needed to purchase for the 19 credit hours that he was enrolled in,” he said. “It would have cost him $600 to purchase those books new but, through our rental program, he was able to save nearly $450! It was really a no brainer to show that number off.”
Wieck approached the student and filled him in on his prospective rental promotion.
“I told him his story would make a great testimonial and he was on board right away,” he added. “He was very gracious and came into the store to have his picture taken for the ad; it worked out great.”
The store’s staff then collaborated to put the student’s testimonial and image on posters, which now hang in the store, and flyers that are handed on at the start of each quarter. According to Wieck, the advertising effort has been well worth it.
“Students listen to their peers and respect what they have to say,” he described. “I think seeing their fellow classmate’s savings really reinforced the benefits of our program.”
As for the future, Wieck plans to create a new poster for the fall quarter.
“We found another student whose books would have cost them $910 to purchase new, but was able to save $600 by renting,” he said. “I think we’ll probably continue to update the posters each time we find an increase in the amount saved.