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Tips to Streamline Rental Return Processing

Posted by Liz Schulte on 5/2/22 6:30 AM
Topics: textbook industry trends, the future of textbooks, Course Material Management

The end of term is naturally a busy time for college stores. There is a lot to do in a small amount of time and you may have limited resources available. We have gathered some time-saving tips for you to help streamline rental returns this term.

Tips to Streamline Rental Return ProcessingLet’s take a two-pronged approach: improving communication and increasing efficiency. First, it is necessary to communicate to students that they need to return their rentals and how — while also providing your store enough time to do what you need to do. Second, work to increase efficiency in rental return processes.

Streamlining student communication

  • Confirm wholesalers’ deadlines and terms
    Before you start communicating about rental returns with students, confirm your store’s deadlines and terms with wholesalers. Give your store enough time between rental deadlines and wholesalers’ deadlines to process the rentals that need to be sent back so that you return them in time.

  • Remind students early and often about rental returns
    You know firsthand how hard it is to get students’ attention. Sending out one email, during the busy and stressful end of the term might go unnoticed. That’s why it is necessary to begin talking to students about this as soon as possible. Plan to send out multiple communications (emails and text messages) to students to get their attention.

  • Make it easy for students to return their rentals
    Approach rental returns with one key goal in mind: convenience. In addition to buyback events, offer students locations where they can drop off books. MBS system partners can use Arc Mobile to quickly process rental returns and move lines faster. Another obstacle that might be standing in the way of students getting their rental returns turned in on time is that they don’t understand how the process works. Try to communicate the return process as clearly as possible. Recording a quick video for how and where to return books gives students an on-demand resource.

Add more efficiency to processing rental returns

  • Assure returned books are in resalable condition
    As books are returned, check that the condition meets rental return standards.

  • Sort into piles
    As books are returned, sorting books into separate piles (one for books you are keeping and others for each wholesaler) can help you save a lot of time when shipping back the returns. Make sure your staff understands what goes in each pile.

  • Use the blue rental guide labels for shipments to MBS
    For MBS, use blue rental guide labels for faster check-in to our warehouse. Check out the complete guide to shipping to MBS.

Additional tips for MBS system partners

MBS Store Technology Solutions partners also have some additional options available to them to streamline rental returns and student communication.

Use inSite reminders for effective student communication. You can select from several customizable standard reminders for students, and send personalized letters, emails or text messages at any point during the term to remind students about how they can return their rentals or inform them about an overdue return. Learn more about how inSite Alerts can help you improve student communication.

For rental returns, the process is simple:

  1. Upload your rental quotes.
  2. Identify the rental quantities you want to keep
  3. Scan rental returns
  4. Quickly check rental books to the rental shipment list or as keep at the store
  5. Create a shipping list of books and quantities for each vendor

Another way to add efficiency to the check in process is with a fast and easy-to-use handheld device. MBS Store Technology Solutions partners can use Arc Mobile for rental returns. Arc Mobile works on any smartphone, tablet, or other handheld device with a camera function. Watch this Tidbit Tuesday to learn more about rental scanning.

Learn more about Arc Mobile here. If you have any questions about how you can further streamline rental returns, please contact your MBS representative.


Find out how MBS can help you reduce overhead, save students money and  streamline operations with a tailored retail management system. Learn More


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