Last week, MBS hosted a weeklong virtual forums event where college stores discussed different ways they can use the MBS system to meet current industry demands. On Tuesday, the focus was on buyback and rental returns in 2020.
Manager of Customer Education Wayne Jones was joined by University of Central Missouri Bookstore Director Charlie Rutt and Colorado State University Assistant Director of Course Materials Kurt Kaiser to discuss how their stores used MBS inSite to help communicate about their retail buyback in the spring and summer.
“We wanted to do the best we could to make the experience as close to in person as possible,” Rutt said. “ One thing was doing our own retail buyback.”
After the pandemic closed campuses across the country, University of Central Missouri Mules Apparel Store was able to stay open. They offered students curbside service, but they knew they would still need to have a retail buyback. The UCM Mules Apparel Store manages their own robust rental program and students needed to be able to return those books. So, the store worked with UPS to provide students with shipping labels from the UCM site.
Students could download a pre-paid shipping label that was already embedded with the store address, the student’s information and a subject line that read “Textbooks.” The store used MBS inSite to email students about the new procedures. They modified the standard student rental return reminder email to include the information students needed most, purposefully repeating pertinent information in the email to help students remember vital details.
The Colorado State University Bookstore took a slightly different approach to their buyback set up. The store uploaded its retail buyback data into the MBS system, so when they sent out the buyback reminder emails to their students, they could see the retail and wholesale buyback values of their books.
The store sent seven emails about their buyback, starting at spring break. The store also decided to extend their rental return deadline, but Kaiser advised that rather than extending the deadline, it might be a better practice to offer students more deadline leniency rather than actually changing the date.
For the CSU students, all they had to do was fill out an online form. Their student ID number would appear on their prepaid shipping label. Students could also select curbside drop off. After the books were received, they were quarantined for three days. The store worked directly with the school’s financial services department to credit student accounts or issue them a check.
MBS systems customers can watch the recorded panel discussion here.