Book store rentals strong in first semester

Originally published in the October 8, 2010 issue

After a successful first semester, the bookstore’s new rental program has received a lot of positive student feedback and will likely continue next semester.

“We didn’t have any expectations when we started the rental program,” said bookstore manager Paul Kroenke. “We started it because it was something that students wanted. I think we had a very successful first semester.”

Because of the success, Kroenke said rentals will be available from the bookstore next semester.

“The bookstore will provide rental books during the interim and for the spring term,” he said. “There probably won’t be too many changes to the program, but we may refine things a little. We are currently unsure if the rental program will continue during fall semester next year at this point.”

Student responses have been helpful in determining the future of the rental program thus far, Kroenke said.

“We’ve had a lot of positive student feedback in regards to the program so far,” he said. “Once the semester is over, our company will survey students who rented books to see how satisfied they were overall too.”

There have been some frequently asked questions about the program, such as if highlighting is allowed in the books, he said.

“One of the most asked questions is if students are allowed to write in the books that they rent,” Kroenke said. “The answer is absolutely yes. We expect the books to come back in used condition. Students also want to know when the books need to be returned, and the answer to that is 10 days after the end of final exams. We will send out reminder notices toward the end of the semester to help you remember.”

A lot of the business the bookstore did this semester was with digital books, Kroenke said.

“It’s very easy to see the change in the industry working at a bookstore,” he said. “There was a considerable increase in the amount of business we did in book rentals.”

Competition with Bradley-based rental company Matchio has not been an issue for the bookstore thus far.

“We are aware that Matchio is our competition, but we don’t know how well we did in comparison to them,” Kroenke said. “Regardless, this is all very new to us, and we feel that we did very well.”

Senior accounting major Anne Schnitzer said she was still a little put off by the prices of the rental books.

“I did not rent my books from the bookstore because it was still half the price to rent from a company online,” she said. “The bookstore is a lot more convenient, but the price isn’t low enough to be worth that convenience.”