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The College of the Holy Cross Bookstore Streamlines Buyback

Posted by Liz Schulte on 11/25/19 6:00 AM
Topics: buyback, campus store, textbooks

Now more than ever, it is important for campus stores to simplify and streamline buyback events. The College of the Holy Cross Bookstore has made its buyback a success by ensuring that its student body always has a consistent experience. Students can count on always getting the same great buyback service each term from the same familiar faces staffing the event. The store’s consistency ensures that students always know what to expect and where to get the best return on their textbooks.

College store streamlines textbook buyback

How buyback has evolved in the campus store

In years past, the campus store offered buyback incentives to encourage students to make the bookstore their first stop when selling back their textbooks. They implemented giveaways and handed out coupons, neither of which produced the results they hoped to achieve. In 2012, they gave away a t-shirt to the first 200 students to sell back their textbooks — which successfully helped drive student traffic to their buyback event. However, the effectiveness of offering students incentives waned over the years.  

“We began to notice that the incentives brought the students in early, but it never really increased the whole buyback,” College of the Holy Cross Bookstore Textbook Manager Doug Schutz said. “It just increased the busyness of certain times. We decided to stop doing the buyback incentives in favor of a more streamlined approach.”

Now, when the store is preparing for buyback, they keep things simple.

“As far as alerting students about buyback, I send out a series of emails leading up to it and during the event. We remind them that buyback is going on and they can sell back their books,” College of the Holy Cross Bookstore Director Peter Zona said. “Email is definitely the most effective buyback promotion that we do now. We have a little bit of local competition. There is a van that shows up off campus. We try to encourage students to come to us first. But really the emails are just informative for the students. We view buyback as a service to our students.”

It’s simple for students to sell back their textbooks

Part of providing students with great buyback service is ensuring the store has friendly and knowledgeable workers running buyback. Every term, the bookstore reaches out to a retired College of the Holy Cross employee to help run the buyback event.

“When we staff our buyback, we always start with people that we know. Our head buyback buyer used to work for the college then she retired. So, we knew her, and we knew she would do a terrific job,” Schutz said. “She told us that she had some friends who might also be willing to help. That’s how we put together our group of buyback buyers.”

“They’ve been doing it for quite a while,” Zona said. “ The students have become familiar with their faces and that helps. They see friendly smiles every time they come to buyback rather than being greeted by strangers.”


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