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Getting the Most Book for Your Buck: Tips from the Bookstore

To buy or rent? That is one of the questions.

Campus News  |  Aug 22, 2017  |  By Jennifer Gray
Student shopping for books

Students can avoid searching through the shelves by ordering online from the UNLV Bookstore. (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Creative Services)

Barnes & Noble College has been UNLV’s campus partner since 1985. General manager Mondana Eghdami, who joined the UNLV team in 2005, offers the following advice to maximize savings on books.

Getting books has certainly changed a lot with new technology. What are all of the different ways to get books?

There are six ways: you can rent or buy your books in new, used, or digital formats. The UNLV Bookstore offers all six options in addition to running “price match” with amazon.com, bn.com, and all brick and mortar stores.

One of the best ways to get the best chance for lowest prices is to order online and early. Skip the lines at the bookstore and order your books online for store pickup for free. We retrieve, pack, and hold your books until you're back on campus. Shop online now.

What can you advise when it comes to renting versus buying books?

When you rent books, you can use the book for the duration of semester and save up to 80 percent. That’s a big savings! But if you want to re-use book you cannot. If you return the book damaged, a replacement fee may be charged.

When you buy books, it’s yours. You can use them later. For example, an education major often buys his/her books to use later when they are teaching in the field. But when you buy the book, cost is higher and you may not be able to sell it back at the end of the semester.

How do returns work?

There are no limitations on returns during the first week of class. If after reviewing the book and the syllabus you realize that you don’t have the correct materials, you can return your books.

You can still return your books after the first week of class, but now you will need to show proof that you dropped or changed classes. The book must also be in original condition. This includes access codes.

If you rent your books, you can return your books at the end of the semester just like you would at your local library.

If you buy your books, at the end of the semester we buy back at 50 percent of the value paid for the book if it is being used next semester. If it’s not being used, or if book adoptions are not finished, you will receive the current market value for the book.

Should you buy before the first class or wait to see the syllabus?

Because of the return policy during the first week of classes, I recommend getting your books early. The earlier you do, the lowest price options you have.

What are the bookstore’s extended hours?

The first three days of school we are open until 8 p.m. We are also open Saturday and Sunday prior to the first day of class. Check our social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) for the most up-to-date information.

What else do students seem to get confused about?

Often students ask why one book is rentable and another is not. Rentals are only available for non-custom books. If your professor customizes his/her book, we cannot rent it because it cannot be used in a following semester.

Anything faculty need to know about books for their students?

Early adoption is a very important part of getting the best deals. When professors adopt their books in April, for example, we can plan our inventory and buy back your spring books for fall. This lets us give students better buy-back rates and allows us to offer more used books to students the following semester. It’s all about timing for faculty, for students, and for us.

The UNLV Bookstore employs four full-time, one part-time, and up to 50 student employees at peak/rush times. Interested in joining the team for spring? Come by and talk with a bookseller.