As the semester comes to an end, many students will soon dust of their books and return them to a bookstore in hopes of getting a good amount of cash in return; some feel they are not getting what they deserve.
John DuBois, the owner of DuBois bookstore, said when it comes to buying books back, the biggest factor is demand.
“If there’s a demand for the book, if there is an order for the next semester, we will pay half price,” DuBois said. “If it’s not ordered for the upcoming term, we pay anywhere from zero to 30 percent.”
According to DuBois, the money they pay the students is based on a National wholesale price. It depends on how well the book will sell somewhere else in the country.
He described the textbook world as a mini stock market, and said the sellback price is dependent on whether or not teachers have ordered it, or if new additions have been created.
Some professors said they understand how costly textbooks can be for students, so they try to find the cheapest version.
For instance, marketing professor David Walsh said he selects his textbooks based on whether or not they are up-to-date, comprehensive and affordable.
“Cost was a particular concern because this [textbook] was a new edition of this text and used copies might not be available,” Walsh said, referring to the textbook he uses for his management 303 class. “Since the soft-bound, black and white version of this text has the same content as the full-price hardcover book, we were able to go with the less expensive option without sacrificing very much.”
Junior Audrey Inniger, who is currently enrolled in Walsh’s management class, plans on selling her book back and said she hopes she will get some cash.
“I definitely will not get as much money back as what I paid for the book,” Inniger said. “I feel as if I have been ripped-off every time I have sold books back to the bookstore.”
DuBois explained how sell-back works, and how the bookstore has no control over what books are in the demand. His employees work hard at trying to explain the price they are getting to students, but some choose not to listen.
Sarah Thacker, interim director of the Miami University Bookstores, said that some professors work with the bookstore to try to find the cheapest route.
“A handful of teachers call us and let us know that a certain book is required, and ask us to buy it back,” Thacker explained. “Some stay with an old edition, and others make custom books and work with the publisher to chop out chapters they don’t need.”
Thacker said students can return their textbooks to either of the two trailers located around campus, or inside the bookstore and they need some form of identification. The bookstore buys back all books except teacher editions, international editions or books in bad condition. A book is in bad condition if it has water damage, torn pages or over excessive highlighting.
According to Thacker, under the Higher Education Higher Opportunity Act, professors are required to know which textbooks they will be using when the students sign up for the class.
“The more textbook orders the better,” Thacker said. “We have liaisons with each department, but some classes don’t have teachers yet, or some teachers don’t know what books they will be using.”
Although students feel like they are getting ripped off, bookstores have little to no control over what textbooks are in demand. Marijo Nootz, senior director of the Shriver Center, said she feels the staff at the bookstore work hard to inform students about textbook returns.
“We try to explain [to the students] if they are willing to listen,” Nootz said. “Sarah and the staff try to explain so many variables, but most don’t want to hear it.”
If students are not happy with the price they are offered, they have the option to not sell it back right away. It is possible that the book will be needed during a future semester, and so they could potentially get a higher price.
not stop them from visiting the tanning beds.
“I know it’s not the safest thing ever, but I mean, it doesn’t stop me from going,” McCallie said.
First-year Hannah McCue said she tans once a month in the lower-intensity, 30-minute beds at Miami Beach to start a base tan.
“I don’t think its 100 percent safe, but it’s safer than going eight minutes with more intense rays,” McCue said.
Eveslage said while flash-burning in certain tanning beds is bad for those who tan, his 30-minute beds are better for the user.
Eveslage said he focuses his 27-year-old business on educating customers on tanning and his beds in particular.
The tanning beds at Miami Beach are comprised of 98 percent UVA ray bulbs and 2 percent UVB ray bulbs, according to Eveslage. He said these beds, grandfathered out in the early 1990s, contain more UVA rays than other salons.
According to Eveslage, the 30-minute beds were discontinued because some salons were using cheap bulbs, but still having customers tan for half an hour, resulting in intense burns.
“I would say the vast majority of the bulbs in the marketplace are 92:8 (UVA:UVB) and 95:5,” Eveslage said. “But you’re lying on the bulb; the 1 percent difference is a big deal, you’re very close.”
According to Ward, a recent article about the dangers of indoor tanning was published that negating the sun tanning industry’s research and claim that tanning is healthy.
“But in contrast, American Academy of Dermatology came out with a statement that said the indoor tanning’s position was not based on any evidence, and it was really based on money,” Ward said. “Indoor tanning is dangerous to your skin.”
However, Eveslage said he believes the media portrays indoor tanning in a bad light, due to the practices of some bad tanning salons.
“It’s bullshit,” Eveslage said. “Bad news makes news, good news doesn’t make news.”
Other tanning salons Uptown, A Place to Tan and Palm Beach Tan, declined to comment.
Some students said they do stray away from tanning beds for personal or health reasons. Sophomore Raya Lawson said she interned with the American Cancer Society in high school and her internship would have been revoked if she had tanned indoors.
“Hearing about the constant worry about it and dealing with the people affected getting spots removed made me not want to either,” Lawson said.
Sophomore Kathryn Rowe said she does not tan for genetic reasons. Skin cancer runs in her family and she said she does not think it is worth the risk.
“My mom had cancer, so that’s a huge reason why,” Rowe said. “I’ve had hundreds of moles removed that have been pre-cancerous, that’s another reason.”
Ward said she beli
eves indoor tanning is becoming an issue at Miami. Students may not realize the damaging impact that will occur later in life due to tanning and that there may be a psychological root, according to Ward.
“It’s interesting because with some students, it’s not just about the tan,” Ward said. “Some people do report that they feel better and there’s some aspect about it that influences their mood.”
Ward said she thinks the Miami culture has a lot to do with being a part of an image and looking a certain way, but it is important to not rely on changing one’s appearance.
The HAWKS’ “Tanning: Don’t Get Burned” program states 80 percent of Americans under 25 think they look better with a tan.
McNeill said she believes some students tan to feel better. According to McNeill, research shows that it is addicting and stimulates a part of your brain that gives you a reward.
Tanorexia, though not a clinical term, is a body dysmorphic disorder, which involves a distorted body image and is diagnosed in those who are extremely critical of their physique or self-image. Studies show that endorphins are released when a person tans, creating a high in the brain.
“Some people think they look more slender, that if your legs are tanned, you look trimmer or something,” McNeill said.
For those who tan because of a self-image problem, Ward offers a simple solution.
“I think it all comes down to psychologically, be happy with how you are,” Ward said. “Why are we always doing these things to change what we look like?”