You are here


Pre-Owned Textbooks Help Districts Save Money and Enhance Learning

Schools turn to Follet Educational Services to ensure that every student has a textbook

NEARLY EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT ACROSS the country faces budget constraints. Administrators are constantly searching for new ways to save money and make the best use of limited resources while enhancing student learning.

Ensuring that every student has a textbook is a frequent financial challenge. To help relieve budget pressures, many school districts rely on Follett Educational Services (FES) to help them save money and generate additional funds. The company sells high quality pre-owned textbooks to districts at considerable discounts, and offers a textbook buy back program to turn surplus or obsolete textbooks into cash or credit.

"It saves our district a
tremendous amount of
money. It's absolutely a

A good example is Wichita Public Schools 259 in Wichita, KS. Over the past two years, the district has saved more than $111,000 by purchasing pre-owned textbooks from FES, says Shirley Ford, supply manager at Wichita.

The pre-owned textbooks cost anywhere from 30-60% less than new textbooks, and FES’ quality is very good and always consistent, she says, adding that besides efficient customer service, FES has a bigger selection of pre-owned textbooks in stock than its competitors. “We typically get them within three days of our order.”

Buying their textbooks at discounted prices allows the district to offer key courses to more high school students. For example, several years ago, the district promoted high-level math courses.

“We were three or four years into our seven year adoption cycle of the current books when we suddenly had an increase in the number of students wanting to take the courses,” says Ford.

Due to FES’ favorable pricing, the district was able to supply every student with a textbook, saving the district a tremendous amount of money.

“It just makes common sense to buy pre-owned textbooks from FES,” says Ford. “It’s absolutely a no-brainer.”

Additionally, FES helps the district generate several thousands of dollars each year by purchasing obsolete textbooks the district no longer uses. That way, the district can maintain its seven-year adoption cycle for textbooks.

However, FES is more than just textbooks.

Several years ago, Joliet School District 86 in Joliet, IL, partnered with the “Joliet Herald News” to promote Joliet Reads, a communitywide reading program. Each month, one recommended paperback book for pre-school, middle school and high school students was featured in a newspaper ad. While the local library stocked these paperback books on its shelves, so did each of the schools.

Initially, the district purchased these books through an online bookstore. But problems quickly erupted. Shipping costs mounted. Worse yet, their credit was limited and they could only buy more books after their most recent order was paid.

So the district turned to FES. “We were getting a better price, better service and getting the paperback books on a timely basis,” says Joan Holm, manager of accounting at the K-8 school district.

But that’s what the district expected. FES has been supplying the district with preowned

textbooks and student workbooks for more than a decade. “The district has saved thousands of dollars each year,” says Holm. What’s more, FES also offers deferred billing options to help districts deal with cash flow issues as well as free shipping on paperback purchases, which she says isn’t the case with competing vendors, whose shipping charges sometimes run between 8-10% of the purchase price.

“We try to save money any way we can,” says Holm. “FES offers books for all subject areas. It really works out great.”

For more information please visit or call 1-800-621-4272.