BMC Bookshop Blog

Book Buyback begins on Monday...

December 14, 2017


... but we'll be doing early buyback on Friday, December 15, 9:00 am to noon ONLY and Saturday, December 16, 1:30 to 4:00 pm ONLY, to accomodate folks leaving early.

Book buyback officially opens on Monday morning, December 18, at 10:00 am.

Click here for an earlier blog entry on buyback pricing, and click here for more general end-of-semester textbook info.

Please remember that we can take most books regardless of where you bought them.  There's a small group of 150 or so titles where your BMC Bookshop receipt is required, so bring those receipts along to be sure.  But the full buy list is over 115,000 titles long.  We partner with MBS, a division of Barnes & Noble, so in addition to what faculty have asked us to buy for future semesters here, we are also buying for every campus that MBS and B&N serve.

Happy Holidays!

End of semester textbook notes

November 21, 2017

As we hurtle towards the end of the semester, we wanted to remind you about some textbook policies and upcoming dates.

Text vendors impose deadlines on book returns, which means we are starting to clear out Fall semester texts.  If there's anything that you still need to buy for this semester, please get it soon.  Most all Fall books will need to be returned no later than the first few days of December, unless we already have a commitment from faculty to reuse the book in the Spring 2018 or Fall 2018 semesters.  We hold books here as long as possible, but we're running out of rope here.  You can check current inventory on our website at  Listings on the site will be available through November 30 only.

Book buyback dates are December 18 through December 22, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, in the Bookshop.  We are setting up dates for buyback at GSSWSR, and we are also looking at the possibility of an early buyback session for folks leaving before finals week. Please check back for details, which will be posted here soon.

Please remember that we will buy back MOST titles regardless of where you bought them from, even if it's Amazon.  But we guarantee buyback on ALL current semester books with receipt.  There is a subset of titles for which we require receipt because there are quantity limitations at our buyback partners.  Because there are limits, we reserve these opportunities for folks who purchased here.  Also buyback is not limited to current semester books.  We partner with MBS, a division of Barnes & Noble, and they're looking for books for all of the campuses that B&N serves, so the buy list is usually over 100,000 titles deep.

For more info on how buyback works -- including details on how we set buyback prices -- please refer to this earlier blog entry:

Spring semester book requests are coming into the bookshop now.  Most books won't arrive here until the first few days of January, but the list of confirmed book adoptions (such as it is, at this early date) can be found at:

November 17 is Black Friday at your BMC Bookshop

November 15, 2017

Your BMC Bookshop celebrates Black Friday with savings throughout the store on Friday, November 17, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

You know us as the go-to place for BMC imprinted gifts and clothing, along with all the textbooks you need for your classes.  But we also offer lots of great gifts and books beyond the curriculum, something for everyone on your list -- and for you too.

During our big Black Friday sale, take 20% off over 400 non-imprinted gifts and all 1200 plus trade (non-text) titles in the store.

What's on sale?  Well owls, of course:

And more owls:

These leather owls:

And these very cool Steampunk owls:

Even our very popular line of owl tapestry bags are on sale:

Take 20% off these elegant literary infinity scarves from Litographs:

And the rest of the great Litographs line, including these tattoos:

Take care of elbow grease and your cat for 20% less:

Enjoy some fun and games:

We've sold 60 Shakespeare buttons and 17 Austen buttons since October 25.  Janeites, you can catch up tomorrow for 20% less:

And don't forget savings on over 1200 trade book titles beyond the curriculum:

Friday, November 17, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm -- in store only.

In addition to all these one day specials, we're also offering additional savings on clearance clothing, in store and online: 75% off existing clearance apparel ( and a new group of clothing at 40% off (

What does "guaranteed buyback" mean?

September 1, 2017

If you buy your books from your BMC Bookshop and if you decide at the end of the semester you don’t want to keep a book, we guarantee that we’ll buy it back during finals week. All we ask is that you keep your BMC Bookshop receipt and show it at buyback.

We guarantee buyback on ALL real books that we sell. The guarantee does not extend to bundles, access codes and loose-leaf course materials, though we do buy back some books that were included in bundles and some loose-leaf titles.

Buyback prices vary considerably. We do not use a fixed percentage of original retail prices. Each title is individually priced based on market value. We obtain bids from multiple vendors, and we offer the highest prices we can based on the bids that we receive. We also pay a premium for books that faculty commit to using again here at Bryn Mawr.

In practice, during the 2016 to 2017 academic year, the middle 50% of titles were priced between about 7% and 26% of the original new copy retail price. The lowest price was about 5%. The highest price was about 46%. What that means is that for 50% of titles that originally sold for $20 new, we paid between $1.50 and $5.50. One thing to keep in mind is that the amount you get at buyback is the same whether you bought the book new or used. So for that book that cost $20 new, our used price might have been $14 — 70% of new is our default price for used (though there are a number of titles at less than 70%). If you paid $14 and you get back about $5, your percentage back is 35%, not 26%.

Books must come back in sellable condition: bindings intact and no water damage.

We understand that buyback prices are never as high as you’d like them to be. We get the disappointment. But we work hard to pay as much as we can given the constraints of the market, and we try to share price data with you as best we can. When we have bids in place at the beginning of the semester, we post guaranteed buyback prices on our websites so you can see both purchase price and buyback price, and you can calculate your net cost of use.

(What really disappoints us is the idea that we’re allowing the market to set “values” for books — as if the Invisible Hand is more qualified than, say, philosophers are to price Plato. The market is amoral and knows nothing of intrinsic value. It knows only supply and demand. But the market is also where we all inevitably go to exchange money for things, so we are stuck with its decisions on price. When we say “value” throughout this post, what we are really talking about is price. And the quip about people who know the price of everything but the value of nothing runs through our heads every time we think about buyback. We aspire not to be that person, but here we are.)

Most importantly, we are confident that in virtually every case, we are offering as much or more than any other retailer will for you books (including Amazon). Usually, the only way to get more for your book is to sell it directly to another student online or here at Bryn Mawr; that can be effective, but it can also be a pain. Because no other single retailer will guarantee to buy ALL of the books used here at Bryn Mawr, there’s no easier way to get cash for your books than buyback at your BMC Bookshop. Just as we offer one-stop shopping at the beginning of the semester, we offer one-stop sellback at the end of the semester.

We will buy back many titles regardless of where you purchased them, so please bring in books that you bought online or from other students. Last year, we were able to buy back about 75% of titles regardless of receipt. So even for folks who shopped elsewhere, the odds are in your favor.

The guarantee only applies within the current semester — i.e. books you purchase here in August/September for Fall will definitely be bought back during finals week in December. Books purchased in January for Spring will definitely be bought back during finals in May. Your books might still have a value in subsequent semesters, so it’s always worthwhile checking with us even if you’re past the guarantee period.

FAB Friday Savings: 30% Off Anything You Can Wear

March 1, 2017

March's FAB Friday Bookshop treasure hunt: 30% off anything you can wear.  One day only, in store only, Friday, March 3, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm!  First Fridays are FAB Fridays every month at your bookshop!

Ring Vendor Rescheduled (Snow Day)

February 15, 2017

BMC Official Ring Event has been rescheduled (due to last week's snow day).  Balfour will be on campus Thursday, February 16, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in the Campus Center. Seniors, this is your last chance for guaranteed graduation delivery!