The Hawk Bookstore at Santiago Canyon College has found a solution that helps lower overhead costs, improve student savings and increase sales. What has made such a difference in the store? More used books.
Between the fall and spring semesters, the store began using SimpleSource, MBS’ new ordering tool. Through SimpleSource, the store has decreased the amount they pay for shipping and getting more high-quality, low-cost books. This translates to better student prices, which has made a world of difference.
“Overall, SimpleSource has been really simple to use. Everything has been great. I started using it over the holiday break. I set my parameters and could see my list being worked multiple times a day, essentially doing my job while I was at home over Christmas,” Hawk Bookstore Textbook Buyer Charles Kang said. “Up until then, my process had always been to hit up one wholesaler and then go to another. With SimpleSource, I was able to get more books than normal, which really cuts down on freight costs and has helped lower student costs.”
Like many college stores, the Hawk Bookstore’s textbook sales have been impacted by industry developments. Cost-conscious students often head online to find the best possible textbook price. SimpleSource has helped the store turn that back around.
“Our new book sales aren’t what they used to be, and I can’t promise administrators that I can increase them. However, used book sales can still go up considerably. I can show that our used books sales and rentals are way up. That’s powerful,” Kang said. “We aren’t a big store, but we have increased used sales by 41 percent from Spring 2019 to Spring 2020. Our rentals have really grown, too. From Spring 2019 to Spring 2020, rentals have increased 156 percent! That’s all thanks to more used books.”
Mr. Kang’s focus isn’t on marketplace materials. Instead, when he submits a wantlist, he’s primarily interested in obtaining more MBS inventory. With SimpleSource, customers have access to more textbooks at multi-discounted levels. What that means is you can get more books than ever before at a lower average cost.
“SimpleSource helps us keep our prices lower for the students, and we can offer them better savings and more used rentals. Students are savvy, and they are looking for the best prices they can find. When our store gets more used books, we are more competitive with prices students can find online,” Kang said. “One of the biggest benefits to our store is cost savings. Ordering most of our wantlist from one location has saved us a lot of money in shipping costs. We no longer have to order from a bunch of separate publishers and pay for each shipment. Now, it is all in one order. It has provided significant savings for the store.”
While SimpleSource is an intuitive and easy-to-use tool, Kang was also impressed with the service he has experienced with MBS. His MBS rep introduced him to SimpleSource and helped him get started, walking him through the process. Since then, everyone he has worked with at MBS has continued to help him with any request.
“The one thing that really surprised me about SimpleSource is how easy it is to use. I really didn’t expect that, but it is,” Kang said. “Also, everyone at MBS has been so accommodating. I call them with a request and everyone I speak with helps me do whatever it is that I need to do. It’s been great. I would definitely recommend SimpleSource to other stores.”