It’s that time of year again. Finals are just around the corner, books are about to be sold back for much needed cash, apartment leases are up, and furniture and other things desperately need to be sold.
With all of the end-of-the-semester stress, students must also worry about the upcoming summer sessions. What money they have made from selling things must go towards buying more books for summer classes. Thanks to fellow Bearkat Roger Fountain, at least buying new books is made easier and inexpensive.
Fountain came up with the idea of SHSU Discount Textbooks around the time Computer Services created Bulletin Board. He saw an opportunity for students to help each other out.
At this time, instead of waiting in long lines at bookstores for expensive textbooks, Fountain can take orders by e-mail. He sells new textbooks almost at cost.
He is able to sell books as well as T-shirts, hats, art supplies, class rings and other miscellanous items at low costs by eliminating the “middle man.”
“When I carry rings, T-shirts, hats, and art supplies, I’m using only local businesses to coordinate with and offer students low prices,” Fountain said.
Fountain said most bookstores have an 80 percent markup on books they sell. These stores must pay employees and many other things. Not only that, but they also need to turn out a profit to stay in business.
Fountain said he doesn’t have this high markup percentage because he is in business for himself. By getting books directly from the publishers, Fountain makes a few extra dollars and helps out students by offering much cheaper priced books. He doesn’t want to buy back books and sell used ones, only new.
He said the reason is because he doesn’t want to insult students by giving them only 10 percent of what they originally paid. Fountain would much rather students take advantage of Bulletin Board and help each other out. Students can sell a book for more than what the bookstores would give back and they can also buy them much cheaper.
Class rings will be sold through Val’s Jewelry located in Conroe. The standard gold graduation ring with the star in the center is $175 more through the bookstores than what Fountain and Val’s are selling it for. Women’s rings are also cheaper and are offered more styles and options. Hats and T-shirts will be $5-$8 less than bookstore prices, Fountain said.
With the promoting of a school sponsored Web site, helping out other students and also local businesses, you would think there would be more positive feedback. According to Fountain, that’s not the case.
“I’ve come across a lot of obstacles from the school and a local bookstore,” he said. “They don’t want me here.”
He said he has even been threatened with suspension because of the business he’s doing. Some professors Fountain has talked to are supportive of his venture. They understand a lot of students don’t buy books because they can’t afford them.
“Local bookstores don’t benefit anybody,” Fountain said. “They don’t even buy from local businesses.”
Fountain said buying from local businesses creates jobs for students and keeps the money in Huntsville.
Fountain expects to open a store about two blocks from campus in the fall. For more information contact Roger Fountain at http://firstname.lastname@example.org