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Wichita State University Bookstore Saves Time and Effort with Non-Serialized Rental

Posted by admin on 3/26/12 11:00 PM
Topics: back to college, textbook rental, college store stories, textbook affordability, MBS Rental

With upfront savings on their minds, students across the country are demanding textbook rental. But, many college stores are hesitant to offer the option because of the extra labor and financial risk involved. Wichita State University Bookstore, who has offered rental for the past three semesters, was definitely no exception.

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“We were very nervous!” admitted Lisa Fitzsimmons, course materials manager. “But, it was becoming such a popular choice that we knew we had to give it a chance. It was important to offer our students another affordable option.”

According to Fitzsimmons, the store’s biggest concern was the logistics of implementing a program.

“We were concerned about the effort it would take to get rental up and running both on the front end, of offering the books through our system, and the back end when students returned their books at the end of the semester,” she said. “It’s one thing to see or hear about how something will work, but it’s always different to actually experience it.”

Based on their apprehensions, the store decided to start small by renting only 5 titles in the fall of 2010 for some of their larger core classes where the option would have the most impact. After seeing how the process worked, however, they wished that they had rented more!

“It was much easier than any of us originally thought!” Fitzsimmons described. “The process wasn’t difficult at all and we were very relieved that the reality was much better than our expectations.”

In fact, the following semester, the store offered 125 titles for rent, demonstrating their confidence in the program. After that, rental at Wichita State has only continued to grow.

In the fall of 2011, the store took advantage of MBS Rental’s non-serialized option, which significantly reduced their labor and allowed them to expand the program yet again.

“It was an absolute night and day difference,” she explained. “Before, we would spend so much time placing stickers on our books, but that completely eliminated with non-serialized rental. Plus, we no longer have to worry about running out of inventory; we just assign the book as a rental, put it out there, and go on with our day. The reduced workload has been so valuable to us!”

Non-serialized rental saved time for the students too, with the ability to Rent at POS.

“We used to have a big line because students would have to stop and fill out their rental contract separately before checking out,” she said. “With Rent at POS, we’ve been able to greatly improve our processing time for rentals. Now, students just have to wait in one line and we print their contract directly on their receipt!"

Since their transition to non-serialized rental, Wichita State University Bookstore has seen increased use of their rental program, proving its popularity among students.

“This past semester, we rented approximately 6,000 textbooks which, on a campus of 15,000, means we’re renting to nearly half of the student population,” she explained. “They’re so excited to have the option of renting their textbooks and love how easy the process is; it’s been very successful!”

To stores who are considering starting a rental program, Fitzsimmons has one piece of advice: “Jump into it!”

“Enlist the help of everyone in your store and put your heads together to create a program that best meets your needs. Having a used book and/or systems provider who already has a great process in place made it much easier for us!” she said. “We were apprehensive at first and drug our feet, but it’s been a very good addition to the store. Especially once we converted to non-serialized rental; it’s been a breeze!”

Want more information on how MBS Rental works? Contact your MBS Representative.

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