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Take book business elsewhere

By Zachary Neal
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 5, 1999
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To the editor,

In a Wildcat article, Cindy Hawk, assistant director of the ASUA Bookstore was quoted as saying, "We are a business and we need to operate as a business," referring to the bookstore's new policy to give store credit, rather than cash, for unused textbook returns.

After calling a few local stores and checking some things on-line, I found EVERY major bookseller in the area (Barnes and Noble, Border's, B. Dalton, Waldenbooks,, Arizona Bookstore) gives a CASH refund for an unused book return. Of course, at the ASUA bookstore, a students may still return an unused textbook for a store credit - one which is good for only six months, preventing the student from buying textbooks next fall.

Again, EVERY major bookseller will issue a store credit for returns without a receipt which is good for one to three YEARS (depending on the individual chain). In a final point, very often textbooks are available at lower prices from these national chains than from the ASUA bookstore.

Now it seems that the ASUA bookstore is indeed, by this policy change, acting LESS like a business than ever before - it is operating LESS like the nation's major leaders in this field of retail.

Ms. Hawk also comments, "Competition is a good thing, but we need to operate as a business and make sure we're not losing money."

Perhaps she missed her business class the day they explained that American business is still governed by the rule of capitalism, and that to operate as a business is to operate competitively.

To give her due credit, she was apparently in attendance when they explained that to be a successful business one needs to satisfy the customer, as she claims, "we're trying to find a happy medium."

But again she must have missed the following class which taught how to apply this principle. The booksellers mentioned above, from which textbooks are often available at better prices, maintain policies obviously more customer friendly - and some even have little coffee shops inside them.

So I am urging students to take their business to these other booksellers, and to the fine used bookstore, Bookman's, just around the corner from our campus.

Zachary Neal
Philosophy and Latin sophomore