At the beginning of each semester the Yuba College Bookstore is very busy as students rush to get books and supplies. The bookstore manager and all employees work hard to keep the textbooks stocked and assist students, but often the lines and wait at the registers can be very long.
However, some help may be coming.Al Comolli, Regional Manager for Barnes & Nobel College Bookstores, the company that operates the bookstore, stated that the company plans to update all of the approximately 20-25 bookstores that Barnes & Nobel operates in California.
“Eventually we plan on installing point-of-sale registers. These will make transactions more efficient,” stated Comolli. Point-of-sale registers are used at most stores. These registers will allow workers to scan books and other items, helping make the checkout process move faster and more efficiently. Comolli said that Barnes & Nobel plans on having point-of-sale registers on all campuses in four to five years. Asked if he is working with Barnes & Nobel on upgrading the campus bookstore, Michael Dencavage, recently hired Vice President of Business Services at Yuba College, stated that he is in the process of looking at all options for upgrading the bookstore.
Dencavage explained that the contract between Yuba College and Barnes & Nobel will expire at the end of the year and that he will be working on a new contract, in which upgrades of the bookstore may be included. “I’m going to be looking at the operations of other bookstores to get ideas for the bookstore,” said Dencavage.
Upgrading the registers will help speed up the process of buying books, but most likely students who wait until the last minute to buy books will still be confronted with long lines. Instead, students can take advantage of programs offered at the bookstore.
Chris Oakes, Manager of the Yuba College bookstore, said students can buy next semester’s books during the book buy-back process. She also said that students can reserve books early, after dropping off their schedule. The bookstore will find the books requested and reserve them for students.
“We try to make visits to the bookstore the most enjoyable as we can. If students aren’t happy, they should come and see me,” said Oakes. Oakes is pleased with the customer service given at the bookstore, but said she will be excited when the bookstore gets new cash registers. Some students who wish to avoid the long lines in the campus bookstore buy their books on-line. However, many students don’t know that on-line bookstores exist.
Yuba College has its own on-line bookstore, accessible through the Yuba College home page at www.yuba.cc.ca.us where students can reserve textbooks for in-store pickup, order textbooks for doorstep delivery and download certain textbooks.
Jerry Kelly, a second semester student, likes the idea of buying his books on-line. “Absolutely, it would offer a convenience to myself,” said Kelly when asked if he would buy books on-line. Kelly said that he’s often very busy on his ranch on the other side of town. Buying books on-line might save him some time because he wouldn’t have to drive to the college and wait in line. “Anything that would save time is valuable to students,” said Kelly.
However, there can be some drawbacks when buying books on-line. One drawback is that students must use credit cards to order books at most on-line bookstores. Another drawback is that most of the on-line bookstores charge for shipping. Book buyback policies can also be a problem with on-line bookstores. For example, standard ground delivery from Barnes & Nobel.com incurs charges of $3.95 per order plus $0.99 per item ordered. Books are shipped in three to six business days. To have them shipped in two to three business days the price raises to $6.99 per order plus $1.99 per item.Ecampus.com offers free shipping for orders over $35. For orders under $35 there’s a $2.99 charge for standard delivery and a $5.95 charge for two-day service for one item. For more than one item the charge for two-day service is $7.95.
Both Barnes & Nobel.com and Ecampus.com will buy back books that are in good condition as long as the book is in demand and is not overstocked at their warehouse. Both of these companies will pay the shipping when buying back books.
Buyback policies differ with each on-line bookstore. Not all on-line bookstores offer this service. Students who buy books on-line should be aware of the company’s policies before purchasing books. Other on-line bookstore addresses include Bookvariety.com and Varsitybook.com. Neither of these companies will buy back books.