Editorial: Online forum on Current website allows students to buy, trade, and sell books

Current Editorial Board

Students need a place outside of the Beaver Bookstore to buy, sell, and trade textbooks with each other.

The Beaver Bookstore, American River College’s student supply center, currently has a textbook buyback program in place for students to exchange their previously used textbooks for cash, but they have guidelines that are so specific that is daring to even try and get a reasonable amount of money.

With already high costs and the ever-present threat of price hikes, students at ARC face difficulty financing their education through the purchases of class materials at the Beaver Bookstore.

Therefore, it is imperative that a location outside of the Beaver Bookstore is available where students can buy, sell, and trade textbooks amongst each other.

“The bookstore is very expensive, and there [are] long lines at the beginning of the semester. It’s not the best place to buy a book,” said Alex Vlasenko, a student who is majoring in Computer Science.

The Beaver Bookstore’s regular buyback program currently operates on very limiting constraints in regards to book buybacks, which greatly hurt ARC students who are looking to maximize their savings.

Old editions may hold no value and may not be bought back, books are only purchased when buyback is in effect, books must be used during the upcoming semester, and there is no buyback option available for loose-leaf (unbound textbooks) editions.

The current buyback program in place also guarantees a specific value for books purchased in Spring 2015, with the stipulation that they be sold back no later than May 27, 2015.  The program only extends to books purchased directly from the Beaver Bookstore.

Vlasenko pays for college out of his own pocket and stated that he usually uses sites like Google, Amazon, Ebay, or even consignment shops to buy his books.

Students who purchase books off campus from outside sources like Amazon or Ebay encounter unnecessary and costly roadblocks when attempting to resell their textbooks, such as seller fees, exorbitant shipping prices for heavier textbooks, or even the dangers of meeting up with a stranger off of online classifieds like Craigslist.

Aida’s, formally located on the corner of Madison and College Oak after being closed within the last year, was a popular text consignment shop and frequented daily by ARC students who sought alternatives to a restrictive campus bookstore.

A former Aida’s location in Rocklin was closed nearly five years ago, leaving fellow students at Sierra College without near-campus alternatives as well.

The Current has developed a forum on our website where students can post textbooks they are willing to buy, sell, or trade without a restriction on where the materials were previously purchased.

This system will aid students in selling their books for maximum value and increase the potential for a more fair buyback price. It is a channel of communication where students can barter.

“I think the idea (for a book selling forum) is a great idea…for students, by students – it’s great!” said Vlasenko.

Students engaging in textbook exchanges or purchases are encouraged to meet each other on campus during the day in a well-lit area to ensure safety during transactions.

When posting to the forum, students should include their contact information, the books they’re trying to sell, and the price they want to sell the book for.

Koue Vang, the manager of the bookstore, declined a request for an interview.