Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

The Last-Minute Buyback Plan

Posted by Liz Schulte on 4/3/18 5:30 AM
Topics: buyback, Marketing to Students, Bookstore marketing

Buyback will be here before you know it. Do you have plan? How will you get the word out to students about where and when they can sell back their books? Do you have an incentive for them to choose your store rather than the competition? If these questions have filled you with anxiety, have no fear. We have gathered some easily-implemented ideas your store can use to ensure your buyback is a success.

The Last-Minute Buyback PlanIncentive

Hosting big events tend to take a lot of time, planning and money. Consider something easy that encourages spending that extra cash in your store. The University of Virginia offered a 20% off one item coupon and a choice of candy bars with buyback. Students get something tangible as well as a coupon they can use in the store. The plan is simple, easy to implement and encourages further shopping. That’s a win in our book.

The Last-Minute Buyback Buyback Coupon and Candy bars.jpg

Direct appeal

Dalhousie Bookstore in Nova Scotia has a wonderfully direct approach to buyback. Using the new feature on Instagram where you can upload multiple images in one post, you can easily flip through pictures singling out specific textbooks their college store needs and how much they are offering for buyback.

The Last-Minute Buyback Plan Buyback Textbook with amount.jpg

Consider the faculty adoptions that have already been made. If you know you will need the book next semester and you also know how much you are going to offer then that is a great starting off point. Follow Dalhousie’s example and make images. Flyers can be posted outside of the classrooms that use the book, share on social media and use in a targeted email campaign.

Eye-catching poster

We found three great examples of signage that could catch a student’s eye either on social media or on campus.

  • The meme-like sign: It’s clever, sharable and quickly read. Go for brevity and wit with the design in this type of sign. A student should be able to be read at a glance, planting the seed that buyback is coming soon into the student’s mind. This particular sign was also shared by Dalhousie Bookstore
    The Last-Minute Buyback Plan Buyback meme.jpg
  • Topical appeal: California State University, Long Beach appeals to the environmentally conscientious students with the “Going Green” sign that highlights the fact that selling their books back at buyback is a form of recycling
    The Last-Minute Buyback Plan Going green.jpg
  • Concise: The most important part of a great sign is that it catches the eye and the content is easily consumed. How often do people actually stop what they are doing in order to read a sign with paragraphs of information, whether in person or on social media? Not often. Focus on a great image and a concise message like Mt. Hood Community College Bookstore did
    The Last-Minute Buyback Plan Buyback poster.jpg

Use these ideas to help publicize your buyback. Make sure you are sharing information with great images on all of your social media channels — don’t forget to use hashtags so your posts are more likely to be seen.  Good luck and we would love to hear about any promotions your college store ran for buyback that worked well.

With social media, word of mouth and a little bit of ice cream, the University  of Montana Bookstore turned its buyback into an end-of-year celebration. Read  the story

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