Thursday, July 24, 2014

Buyback Summer 2014- Four Handy Reminders

Buyback for Summer 2014 begins today and lasts through Friday, July 25th, 8AM to 5PM, at the OTC Springfield campus. Here are some handy reminders to make the book-selling experience an easy one:

-OTC SmartCard required. We've been lenient about this in the past, but now it's very important that you bring along your OTC SmartCard so that we can verify your status as an OTC student. If you haven't registered for a SmartCard yet (shame shame!), please visit the bookstore at the OTC Springfield campus, or the main offices of any of our extended campuses in Richwood Valley, Lebanon, Waynesville, or Table Rock. If you've registered for your card and haven't received it yet, please bring in the pamphlet you were given upon registering for verification.

-Sell back early. Our buyback methodology hinges on one important phrase: supply and demand. Our need for textbooks is highest on the first day of buyback. Every semester we buy back a certain number of each book, depending on how many we need to have enough supply for all the students enrolled in the classes for that semester. Simply put, the more books we buy, the higher our supply becomes. The higher our supply becomes, the less demand we have for more. The less demand we have for more, the less money we pay out. Once the demand for more textbooks is gone, we quit purchasing them.

-Bring all supplemental materials. If your textbook comes as part of a package that includes multiple books, CDs, DVDs, or the like, please bring those with you. We may be still be able to buy the textbook back from you without the additional materials, but we'll often pay a decent sum more if they're included. Unfortunately, some books we are unable to accept without said materials.

-Please be understanding! Frankly, we wish we could buy back every book customers bring in to us. Unfortunately, from a financial standpoint, we simply can't. As has been said already, sometimes we're unable to buy a textbook because we either have all the supply we need or we can't resell the book without the supplemental materials. Sometimes the department that adopts the textbook you used last semester decides to switch to an updated edition or even a new book entirely. Sometimes the books brought in are damaged. For more information on why we may be unable to buy back your book, please refer to this blog post. Rest assured that we'll do whatever it takes to buy your books if we can!

With these pointers in mind, you're equipped with all the knowledge you need to be a successful book seller...backer.

We may need to come up with a better name for that.

Monday, July 7, 2014

I Scream, You Scream...

I don't think I need to tell you how hot it is out there.

I also don't think I need to tell you how refreshing some ice cream would be right about now. 
I can say that with confidence because it's been scientifically proven* that everyone in the world EVER likes ice cream.

Trust us, we sell college textbooks. We know these things.

The OTC Bookstore has partnered with Blue Bunny to provide refreshing relief from the summer heat. We have a wide variety of frozen dairy treats to choose from:
  • Cool Tube- $1.19
  • Jolly Rancher Bomb Pop- $1.19
  • Ice cream sandwich- $1.29
  • Champ cone- $1.79
  • Cookies and cream bar- $1.59
  • Heath bar- $1.59
  • Strawberry shortcake bar- $1.59
  • Turtle bar- $2.89
  • Big Bopper ice cream cookie sandwich- $2.89
  • Champ Bunny Tracks deluxe cone- $2.89

Don't wait until fall rolls around to realize you spent your summer at OTC ice cream-less. Stop by the Bookstore today!

I'd use a bad pun about us being the "cool" place to be during the summer, but I like to think we're all above that**.


*Not actually scientifically proven
**We're not

OTC Bookstore Employee Keeping World Cup Fans Jerseyed Up

World Cup fever is in full swing, and fans are flocking to stores to show their support for their favorite teams.

Of course, we're not a sporting goods store, but we do have an employee who works at one.

Image courtesy of KY3 News

Our own Alex Yocum, who has been with the bookstore since Fall 2011 (check out our August 2012 interview with him here), also works at Rally House, where he was briefly interviewed by KY3 for a news story on how the World Cup is driving traffic to the store. You can read the article or watch the news story on KY3.com.



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

We're hiring! Fall 2014

Our bookstore currently has a staff of around 30 people.

On average, we serve over ten thousand students per semester.

Needless to say, that's a LOT of work for our small group. We need some more help!

If you're looking for some fulfilling part-time work, the OTC Bookstore is hiring for the fall semester. We have openings at OTC - Springfield, as well as our locations in Lebanon, Richwood Valley, and Waynesville. Anyone over the age of 16 is welcome to apply, whether you’re an OTC student or not. We have employees ranging from 16 to 60 years of age, students and non-students alike. The work itself is fun, fast, and for you students out there, INSANELY flexible with your class schedule. Can you work four hours a week? Fifteen? Twenty-five? No amount of help you're willing to give is too small or too much!

Keep in mind that this is a temporary position; the busy season typically lasts from mid-July when we begin putting together Textbook Reservation orders till mid-September when the last of the students makes their purchases for the semester. However, if we happen to have a need and you've proven yourself an exemplary employee, we may just keep you on as a regular.

If you want to see for yourself why the bookstore is an enjoyable place to work, don't take my word for it (even though I've been here about four years and know what I'm talking about!). More information on the position, as well as how to apply, can be found on the OTC Jobs page.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Former OTC Bookstore Employee Has His Own "Duck Dynasty" Going On

OTC Bookstore has had a number of employees come and go over the years, each one with just as wide a variety of hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

Kory Cribb (or "Kowboy Kory" as we often called him) was one such employee, a good ol' downhome country boy with a dream of starting his own successful duck call business. Mind you, this was years before Duck Dynasty became a cultural phenomenon.


Fast forward several years, and Falling Feathers Game Calls has grown into a massive success. Check out this interview Kory had with OzarksFirst.com.

On behalf of the OTC Bookstore, we wish him continued success in his endeavors. Show Kory your support by liking Falling Feathers Game Calls on Facebook, or visit the official website here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Upcoming events




We’re revving into spring, and lots of events are happening at the OTC Bookstore over the next several weeks. Here’s the rundown:

SPRING CLOTHING SALE
We’ve given our store a new look, and we want to give you one, too! This week, our entire—yes, ENTIRE—clothing inventory is 40% off! Here's but a small sampling of our wares:




What, you want more? Okay, then.  How about a special rack of items priced at 60% off?


We also have a limited supply of $10 hoodies.

This is a great opportunity for you to come see our new floor layout and get great deals on OTC wear for the spring and summer. Please note that all sales are final, unless you need to exchange for a different size.

GRADUATION
Graduation is a little more than a month away, and caps and gowns are now available. Head to the register area of the bookstore to pick up yours. We have all sizes, so just let us know what you need.

Please note that we do not carry any regalia related to Phi Theta Kappa. You will need to contact the Phi Theta Kappa office to pick up those items.

CLOSED FOR INVENTORY
We’ll be closed from Wednesday, April 23rd to Wednesday, May 1st for inventory.

BUYBACK
As the end of the semester approaches, you’re likely tired of hauling around a backpack full of books you no longer need--or want. Our peak buyback season begins Monday, May 5th and lasts through Saturday, May 17th. We’ll have more concrete information in the coming weeks.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The New Look of the OTC Bookstore


Spring is a time of change, of new beginnings—and the OTC Bookstore has spring fever. In an effort to better serve students and faculty, as well as simplify your shopping process, we have made some significant changes to our store’s layout.


Our register and textbook areas, which were previously at opposite ends of the store, have now been merged into one. Not only do we have two more registers to further increase productivity and reduce wait time in line, each customer gets their own personal bookstore employee to gather their books for them when they come up to the register (if you’ve ever used our Textbook Reservation service, it’s the same basic process).  ONLY OTC BOOKSTORE EMPLOYEES ARE ALLOWED BEHIND THE REGISTER AREA.  If you need to register for your OTC SmartCard or sell back your textbooks, those areas have been relocated to the far right end of the register counter.
  
At the front of the store where the registers used to be, we have a check-in station that will act as the new home of booklists. If you need a list of materials for your classes, this is your stop. We also plan to eventually set up a register here where small, non-textbook purchases can be made.

As you can see, there are a lot of exciting changes taking place here at the OTC Bookstore, and we sincerely hope you continue to enjoy your shopping experiences with us.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Know Your Bookstore Employees- William





First of all, tell us a little about yourself.
I graduated from OTC in 2012 with an Associate of Arts degree in teaching. I’m currently a senior at MSU with a major in math education. I work in General Merchandise at the OTC Bookstore, with a focus on required supplies and office supplies.

While the General Merchandise employees at the OTC Bookstore share similar responsibilities, you have some unique responsibilities. Can you tell us about them? Specifically, my purpose is to help take the load off of our GM manager by doing a lot of background number-crunching to determine the appropriate stock levels for the required supplies. I get to research new and fun items and recommend them for the bookstore. I’m also heavily involved in making sure all students have graduation regalia, processing those orders, and putting plans together for our team store.

What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy mathematics and playing video games.

How long have you been working for the bookstore?
About 2 years.

…oh my gosh, has it been that long?

What other, non-OTC jobs have you had in addition to this one?
I worked at Wal-Mart for ten years in store planning, remodeling and setting up brand new stores all across the country. I’ve traveled everywhere from New York to Florida, Michigan to Texas.

What's your favorite aspect of working at the bookstore?
Being a student, I enjoy the flexible hours and being able to contribute to the success of the bookstore and students at OTC while still having time to do the things that I need to.

Any favorite bookstore-related memory you could share with us?
Last year’s Community Day; we made Sno Cones! I’m also a fan of the student picnics. Really, I enjoy participating in all the events OTC does…at least, when it’s not raining.

Working at the bookstore is cool and all, but what's your dream job?
Teaching mathematics at a small high school in a nice rural town somewhere in the great American South.

What’s your favorite item that the bookstore carries, and why?
I get excited about so many things…I haven’t been able to tell all the special stories behind all the items in my department. The Maped study set [only $6.99!] is definitely my favorite item we carry, though. It has a compass, protractor, and triangles, making it much higher-quality than what we previously carried. Students really wanted it, and I was able to resource the item from a different vendor and sell it cheaper to the students!

If you could have any super power in the world, what would it be?
To magically reach difficult students and teach them math.

I asked fellow “folically-gifted” employee Jeff, so it only seems right to ask you, as well: what shampoo do you use for your long luxurious locks?
Suave, though I have been known to use Mane and Tail [BLOGGER’S NOTE: We do not currently sell either item at the OTC Bookstore. Sorry].

Finally, what would you like to say to all the people reading this blog right now?

Do what you need to do to get your education. Without one, you’ll face significant [avoidable] challenges in life, and OTC is a great place to start.

Friday, October 18, 2013

We're Hiring! Spring 2013

It’s the holiday season, and you know what that means: businesses are hiring extra help for the holiday shopping season! The OTC Bookstore is no different. We need fine men and women to help us through the holiday rush as students prepare to purchase their textbooks and other essential items for the spring semester.

“Man, the bookstore is all the way in Springfield, though,” some of you may be lamenting. “It’s not practical for me to commute all that way to work…”

Don’t despair. We have some good news for you.

This holiday season is a little different for us. In previous semesters, we brought various employees from our main OTC location in Springfield to our facilities in Waynesville, Branson, and Lebanon. After OTC opened up a new, significantly larger Lebanon facility in 2011, we had additional space and resources to hire employees specifically for that location. Now with bigger OTC facilities in Waynesville and Table Rock, we can hire employees specifically for those locations, as well! If you live in or around the Waynesville or Hollister areas and you’re looking for work, we want to hear from you! Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to apply, whether you’re an OTC student or not. We have employees ranging from 18 to 60 years of age, students and non-students alike. The work itself is fun, fast, and for you students out there, flexible with your class schedule.

If you want to see for yourself why the bookstore is an enjoyable place to work, then what are you waiting for? Info on how to apply can be found on the OTC Jobs page.

Oh, and did I mention that sometimes the management brings in bagels? With cream cheese?

If that’s not incentive to apply for a job here, I don’t know what is.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer financial aid now available

My Payment Plan is available for use for the summer semester starting this week, and students have been coming into the OTC Bookstore in droves to purchase their textbooks and materials.

Seriously, I'm hiding in the school's computer lab to do this blog post during my lunch break. Cashiering tuckers a guy out!

This being the start of another semester, many of you students are just now beginning the college experience. Others of you may be looking for some reminders on the how the book buying process can be done in a quick and easy manner. Being the nice blogger I am, I have taken the liberty of searching out several older posts (but nonetheless very relevant!) that can help.

Getting/Reading A Booklist
Finding Your Books
Reading Shelf Tags
Checking Out
Financial Aid FAQ




Naturally, these posts can't cover every minute detail about the process. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any bookstore employee (we're the guys in bright blue shirts), or leave a comment on this post or our Facebook page.

Oh, one more friendly reminder: you have until Tuesday, June 11th to charge books to your MyPay account. Any returns must be made by Friday, June 7th. Happy buying!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

As One Semester Winds Down...

...another gets ready to begin. Finals week is getting ever-closer, and as we've been seeing the past week or so, more and more students are getting antsy to begin selling back their textbooks they no longer need and purchase their books for the summer semester (seriously, I'd say questions regarding buyback and purchasing summer books have made up a good 85% of the phone calls we've received this week).

Now, we can give you some dates. End-of-semester buyback for the main campus begins MONDAY, MAY 6TH and runs through SATURDAY, MAY 18TH. The following is a list of times and locations.

OTC BOOKSTORE (springfield) - MAY 6-18

Mon- Thurs 8a.m. – 6p.m.Friday 8a.m. – 5p.m.Saturday 9a.m – 2p.m.

JARED FAMILY ATRIUM - MAY 6-18

Mon- Thurs 9a.m. – 5p.m.Friday 9a.m. – 4p.m.Saturday CLOSED

STUDENT PLAZA EAST TENT - MAY 6-18

Mon- Thurs 9a.m. – 5p.m.Friday 9a.m. – 4p.m.Saturday CLOSED

RICHWOOD VALLEY CAMPUS, ATRIUM - MAY 13-16

Mon – Thurs 9a.m. – 5p.m.

LEBANON CENTER, ROOM 240, ST. LOUIS BUILDING - MAY 14-16

Tues – Thurs 9a.m. – 5p.m.

BRANSON CENTER, ATRIUM - MAY 14-16

Tues – Thurs 10 a.m. – 4p.m.

WAYNESVILLE CENTER, ROOM 110 - MAY 14-16

Tues – Thurs 10 a.m. – 4p.m.

The usual standards apply: based on inventory demands, students can get up to 50% of the new price. Books for which we have no adoption information will be bought back at national market price – generally between 10% and 30% of the new price – which is based on the popularity of the book, along with supply and demand. Old editions, loose-leaf and out of print books generally have little or no buyback value.

For those of you eager to begin charging books to your My Payment Plan account (AKA Financial Aid), you can do so starting MONDAY, MAY 20TH, and lasting through TUESDAY, JUNE 11TH. The last date to return books for summer semester for a full refund will be FRIDAY, JUNE 7TH. After that, it's the standard 3-day return policy.
Exciting times, boys and girls.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Know Your Bookstore Employees- McKenzie Morrow




First of all, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m tough, sassy, honest almost to a fault, hardworking, can be serious, but enjoy joking around. I like reading books a lot, which is why I wanted to work at a bookstore. I like learning about European history, particularly Eastern Europe, and I hope to travel all over Europe at some point in my life. Maybe eventually live there, too.

How long have you been working for the bookstore?
I started as a seasonal employee in July 2012, and then became a regular in January 2013.

What other, non-OTC jobs have you had in addition to this one?
I worked as a cashier/customer service representative at Bass Pro Shops, then at Mediacom Ice Park as a party hostess, cashier, and customer service rep. And as of last Thursday, I'm now an employee of Great Southern Bank.

What's your favorite aspect of working at the bookstore?
I enjoy working with textbooks and helping people find them. I also enjoy working with other employees; they’re easygoing, fun to hang out with, and take a lot of school-induced stress off of my life.

Working at the bookstore is cool and all, but what's your dream job?
A writer of science fiction/fantasy books, preferably with some historical aspects because that’s my major. But aside from being a writer, I’d like to do something in international politics, since my interests are in Europe and European culture.

What are your favorite hobbies?
My main hobbies are playing softball and reading. Like a nerd, I enjoy doing research on historical subjects. As for my more girly side, I like to go shopping for clothing and makeup. Friendly get-togethers are always fun, too!

What’s your favorite item that the bookstore carries, and why?
Food items, particularly the Planters Nut and Chocolate Trail Mix [Blogger’s note- only $3.99!]. I’m very hungry when I get to work [Blogger’s note- Of course, she eats it before clocking in for work].

If you could have any super power in the world, what would it be?
Controlling the weather. Tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms, lightning…those would be cool things to control. Oh, telekinesis would also be neat. And shapeshifting. Actually, it would be hard to choose just one super power, so maybe all? [Blogger’s note- No.]

Finally, what would you like to say to all the people reading this blog right now?
Don’t forget to bring your Smart Card whenever you come to buy your books!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Graduation Gear is Here!



Graduation is coming up in a little over a month, and as of today, all graduating students who have paid their graduation fee are able to pick up their regalia at the OTC Bookstore. Just drop by at your convenience, head to the customer service desk at the back of the store, and show us your Smart Card so that we can verify your eligibility for graduation. That’s it!

Your graduation package consists of a cap, custom gown, tassel, and a complimentary coffee mug. Certain students meeting special conditions will receive a golden honors cord if they have a GPA of 3.5 or above and/or veteran’s cord if they’ve served in the military. If you’re a member of Phi Theta Kappa, you can pick up any PTK regalia from the PTK office.

A few more friendly reminders: if you’re a female graduate planning on wearing high heels to graduation, you’ll want to take that into consideration when picking your gown length. Also, if you have yet to pay your graduation fee at the Cashier’s Office, you will not appear on our list as eligible to graduate, and will need to bring a receipt of payment to us from said office as proof.
The OTC Bookstore offers a variety of other graduation merchandise for purchase, including announcements, souvenir and keychain tassels, keepsake clocks, certificate  and graduation frames, cards, and even graduation Christmas ornaments. Be sure to take a look at our selection before you leave.

So, there you have it. Not too difficult, right? But getting your regalia is only part of the process. What about the actual graduation ceremony? That will be discussed in an upcoming blog entry.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Know Your Bookstore Employees: Matthew Reichert



First of all, tell us a little about yourself.
I am a sophomore at OTC with plans to transfer to Missouri State soon. I'm currently stuck in between majors, Music Education and…I don’t know the other one yet.

How long have you been working for the bookstore?
About 1 year and 2 months, off and on.

What other, non-OTC jobs have you had in addition to this one?
I’ve had a lot. Subway (the restaurant), various pools as a lifeguard/swimming lessons instructor, and a call center job at Brookstone, to name a few.

What's your favorite aspect of working at the bookstore?
I really like not having to sit down in a cubicle. I’m forced to remain active. I particularly enjoy visiting the other OTC campuses.

Working at the bookstore is cool and all, but what's your dream job?
To play in a really good orchestra, maybe perform music for a movie score.

Any kind of movie in particular?
Something like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. As a whole, I feel those kind of movies have way better scores.

What’s your favorite item that the bookstore carries, and why?
Good question. There are so many options! I most often buy candy (of which we have many varieties- Blogger), but I think that all of our flash drives (starting at $14.99) are pretty neat.

Any kind of flash drive in particular?
Darth Vader! ($24.99!)

What sort of hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?
I like to go to the gym, play piano, and listen to music.

If you could have any super power in the world, what would it be?
Invisibility. It’d be interesting to see how people act when no one is around them.

As a music major, what one song would you say perfectly encapsulates your bookstore experience thus far?
Space Jam! In Text Res we played that song over and over again.

Finally, what would you like to say to all the people reading this blog right now?
S’up, y'all? Go Eagles!

(I don't care what it's Rotten Tomatoes rating is; Space Jam was a great movie.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sourcing and Pricing Textbooks

Have you ever wondered how a university or college bookstore goes about sourcing and pricing textbooks?

You now have a chance to hear it, listen to this podcast and hear for yourself how the college industry as a whole sources and prices textbooks. There are many variables that contribute to individual stores operating slightly different, but as a rule and as a basic foundation all bookstore operates as stated on this podcast.

The OTC Bookstore operates very similar to this scenario. 

Campus Retailing Podcast: Episode #2 Sourcing and Pricing Textbooks

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring break!

What, it's spring break and you're spending your precious free time reading the bookstore's blog?

...good for you! Because we have information for you.

The vast majority of students may be out and about for spring break, but your loyal
friends at the OTC Bookstore are staying put to cover all of your assorted bookstore-related
needs. Our hours for this week are as follows:

Monday-Thursday 8AM-5PM
Friday: Closed


We know there are several of you out there who still have yet to purchase your textbooks
for your B-Block classes, and we highly recommend you use whatever newfound free time
you have this week to do so! If you're using MyPay MyWay, the last day to use financial
aid to charge your books is Friday, March 22nd (the end of next week). That's also the last day to return anything purchased for B-Block classes for a full refund. Any B-Block charges purchased after that date will fall to our standard 3-business-day return period.

That's all we have for now. Go back to soaking up the sun on the beach for a while. We'll be here when you get back.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Big Financial Aid FAQ

With financial aid refunds starting to come in, now is a good time for some friendly reminders on how financial aid works.

--

IS FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT THE SEMESTER?
No. Financial aid is only available for a limited time during each semester. The Cashier’s Office opens financial aid several weeks before the start of classes so that students may purchase their textbooks and other necessary items. After several weeks into the semester have passed and students have been given ample time to get what they need, the Cashier’s Office closes financial aid so that students may receive whatever leftover money they are owed.

WHY DID YOU ASK ME IF I WAS A B-BLOCK STUDENT WHEN I PURCHASED MY TEXTBOOKS?
B-block classes are shorter classes OTC offers that begin partway through the semester. Financial aid can be used after the regular cutoff date ONLY for students taking these B-block classes. We ask whether you are taking such a class so that we can verify that you are allowed to use financial aid to pay for your materials.

WHY CAN’T WE USE FINANCIAL AID YEAR-ROUND, ANYWAY?
As said, financial aid eventually needs to be closed so that the Cashier’s Office can deposit any refund money into a bank account of your choosing. Usually refunds are deposited into bank accounts around 2 or 3 weeks (?) after financial aid closes. And you’re always welcome to come back to the bookstore and use your refund money to purchase any other supplies you need. Just think of it as a brief “transition” period.

HOW DOES MY SMART CARD RELATE TO FINANCIAL AID?
Many students are under the misconception that everything they purchase in the bookstore is done so with their OTC Smart Card. During the busy season, we ask to see your Smart Card simply for identification purposes. We can access and utilize your financial aid by looking up your name in our database.

Once your financial aid has paid for all of your charges for the semester, you have two options for receiving your refund money. It can either be deposited into your own personal bank account, or a new bank account that you create through Higher One, the company that we partner with to create the Smart Cards. If you go the latter route, then, and ONLY THEN, can the Smart Card also act as a debit card. Use it as you would any other debit card, wherever you go, including the OTC Bookstore.

IF I HAVE MY FINANCIAL AID REFUND DEPOSITED INTO A HIGHER ONE BANK ACCOUNT, HOW CAN I WITHDRAW MONEY FROM IT?
OTC has two Higher One ATMs located around the campus, one in the OTC Bookstore, the other in front of the Cashier’s Office in Information Commons. Standard ATM rules apply. Please note that you can only withdraw $500 per day.

Please also note that when refunds start coming in, students will be scrambling like mad to get to the ATMs as soon as possible, so if you don’t want to wait in line or risk the ATMs running out of cash before you get there, withdraw early!
--

These are just the main questions we receive at the OTC Bookstore regarding financial aid, but there are many, many more. For a bevy of other financial aid-related info, check out OTC's Financial Aid page.