Organizing buyback and rental returns is top of mind for many college stores as they work to develop strategies that will best support their store, students and school. We invited stores to join us for a Campus Store Conversations roundtable discussion to share what their stores have planned for the end of term.
Campus Store Conversations
On Thursday, April 23, 2020, we hosted two panel discussions where panelists explained how they will handle buyback and rental returns this term. More than 200 college stores joined us to hear about what their industry peers are doing in response to these unprecedented conditions.
The first session included panelists:
- Ray Karasek, Community College of Rhode Island Knight Store
- Stacy Moore, Southeastern Illinois College Bookstore
- Kevin Poindexter, University of Dayton Bookstore
- Terri Mitchell, Navarro College Bookstore
- Kathy Griesmaier, Milwaukee School of Engineering Bookstore
- Josh Hilbert, Kutztown University Campus Store
- Natasha Rodgers, Seminole State College Bookstore
Watch the video below.
The second session included panelists:
- Matt Avena, CU Book Store
- Martha Hoppe, University of Minnesota Bookstores
- Kristine Herman, Johnson County Community College Bookstore
- Jon Spores, Whatcom Community College Campus Store
- Tammy Staudinger, Bismarck State College Bookstore
Watch the video below.
Panelists and attendees shared some of the resources they have created or are using for this term’s buyback. Below, we have compiled those resources.
Julie Ferguson (Morehead State): Morehead State University Store's PDF Rental Return Packing Slip
Jessica Traver (Anoka-Ramsey Community College): Anoka-Ramsey Community College Bookstore's website shares forms and directions for PSEO and Rental book returns.
Tammy Staudinger (Bismarck State College): BSC buyback form and site.
More store strategies
Thank you to everyone who attended the panel and shared in the comments how your store is arranging buyback and what resources you are using. Below, find some additional methods attendees shared.
Stacy Simpson (Shawnee Community College): At Shawnee College we are doing a drive through. I am not doing cash. We are adding the amount to the students account and the bursar is mailing out refunds.
Sheri Christensen (Anoka-Ramsey Community College): We are also doing a drive-up to table, fill-out form, and drop in bag for PSEO (high school students) and Rental Returns. We will be keeping them in quarantine for a while before we put back on our shelves. We have added it to our school calendar & our bookstore website, emailed and mailed out letters to students
Mike Brockfield (Ohio Wesleyan University): Something that hasn't come up yet: Senior Leadership at our school (Ohio Wesleyan University) asked that we also loop in Library and other offices to have one standardized method and communication for anything and everything that needs to get back to the University. (Rentals to us, Library to Library, etc.)
Leslie Smith (Westmont College): Our library directly asked our method and included it in their email to the students.
Meredith Schreiber (Chemeketa Community College): We work with the library and share their drive-up book drop, but not the messaging to our students.
Stacy Simpson (Shawnee Community College): Our store is doing our books and the Library material.
Emily Colton (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville): We are a rental school where all students pay a fee and have access to their textbooks by just bringing in their ID and having books scanned out to them. We have over 16,000 students. We sell consumable items such as lab manuals, annuals, and workbooks and consumable items. We purchased a large metal drop box with a slot which is outside the textbook rental building and students can return their rental books that way or mail them back.
Joshua Hilbert (Kutztown University): For us, the student has the copy of the label as PDF so they can track the package. Also, when we check in the books in our register, they will receive an electronic receipt from the POS that it was checked in
Kevin Poindexter (University of Dayton): We plan on emailing receipts. Plus, students have the tracking number as well.
Barry Waters (Central Michigan University): Here at CMU, our UPS labels went out via email to rental book customers last week and today we sent labels to all the student athletes as well.
Julie Ferguson (Morehead State): I am directing everyone to our online MBS buyback link.
Martha Hoppe (University of Minnesota): At UMN, we also pulled data from our Point of Sale and emailed students who purchased a book that we really wanted. We offered a cash price and a gift card price.
Molly Yunkers (Gustavus Adolphus College): Our provost has weekly Q&A with faculty: this week specifically she is addressing bookstore questions - great connection! I emailed her detailed answers and a separate email she can forward to faculty. It adds some value coming directly from her office.
Tammy Staudinger (Bismarck State College): We do rentals and I didn't mention it, but we plan on piggybacking on this with our buyback if needed otherwise we will email them through inSite as well.
(For more information on how to use inSite to send students messages, check out this post on buyback alerts.)
Thank you to everyone who participated and helps support the college store community.