News

Buying and selling textbooks on-line saves money

UM students are always complaining about the cost of the UM Bookstore and about the lack of buy-back potential of the books they buy. However, several options are becoming increasingly popular among UM students for both purchasing and selling back their textbooks.
According to UM administration, the average cost of books for a student is $775.00 per year. Unfortunately, some students spend far more on their textbooks.
“I spent $450.00 this semester,” junior Sandra Trip said. “It seems like books are getting more expensive every semester.”
Students do have options, though, when it comes to buying their books.
“UM students have it better off than other schools,” said Will Sekoff of Book Horizons. “They have two well-run bookstores nearby to get their books from.”
Many students believe the UM Bookstore has a large selection and is easily accessible.
“I like that the Bookstore is so close, but I hate waiting in the long lines,” sophomore Dan Blanchard said.
Book Horizons, located across US-1 next to Burger King, is celebrating its 50th year in business this month.
“We’ve been here a long time so we have a great reputation for service,” Sekoff said.
Students seem to agree.
“I like Book Horizons better because it’s smaller and there are always people willing to help me find my books,” sophomore Jake Soule said. “Plus, they are so organized that there is never a line.”
Other popular options among students include various websites such as Amazon.com, Half.com, Campusbooks.com and Ecampus.com.
“‘ve bought my books online before. It’s a lot cheaper than the bookstore is,” senior Heather Johnston said.
Some students have reservations about purchasing their textbooks online.
“I know that I could probably find books cheaper online, but then there is the shipping charge and having to wait for the books to arrive,” Traip said.
“The feedback that I get from students about purchasing their textbooks online is that it can be difficult to make sure you get the right edition for the right class,” Sekoff said. “Plus, you’re lacking the personal service, right books and easy returns that a bookstore can give you.”
However, most students are equally concerned about the buy-back price of a book.
“I bought a book last year for $100, but when I went to sell it back I only got $15,” Blanchard said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Buy-back typically takes place at the end of the semester during finals. At that time, you can sell your book back to the bookstore or online.
“We buy back books for the following term, so if a professor is using the book again then we will buy it back for up to 50% of the cost,” said Richard Dunham, textbook manager at the UM Bookstore. “Once we have met our buy-back quota, the remaining books will get only the wholesale value of the book.”
According to UM Bookstore and Book Horizons representatives, timing is everything when it comes to buy-back.
“Sometimes I tell students to wait until April before bringing their books back because they will make more money that way,” Dunham said.
“We try to give students something for their old books because lots of times the Bookstore gives them nothing,” said Paul Strassburg, textbook manager at Book Horizons.
If the buy-back price offered to students is too low, students can sell their books online. However, although selling online can yield a higher return, students say it also takes much more time and effort.
“I’ve heard that you can make a lot of money selling your books online, but I’m just too lazy to go through all of the work,” Blanchard said.
Overall, there are a lot of options out there when it comes to buying or selling books. It’s just a matter of knowing where, when and how to look.

Leigha Taber can be contacted at l.taber@umiami.edu

January 24, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

The question came straight at Ahmmon Richards, like a tight spiral. And this time, he didn’t hesitat ...

1. DOLPHINS: Miami seeks revenge vs. hated, Stinkin' Jets: Dolphins host Jets Sunday with Miami ...

Notes and observations on UM’s 27-19 win against Syracuse: • A UM source said Mark Richt seemed more ...

View photos from the Syracuse at Miami game Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami G ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes grabbed four interceptions and another ACC victory as they defeated Syracuse, 27-19, ...

The Miami women's tennis team split its eight matches on its second day of competition at the I ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Syracuse visits Miami on Saturday, October 21st at Hard Rock Stadium. ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.