The subject of this entry no longer exists in Davis or is a former version of something that came afterwards.All information here is for historical reference only.

(21 Lower Memorial Union)
(Contact Director)
( 530-754-6129)

The ASUCD Book Exchange is a resource to buy books cheaper than at a bookstore and to sell used textbooks for more than the buyback price at at a bookstore. The book exchange works on a simple principle: eliminate the middle man (the UC Davis Bookstore) and set up a direct buy/sell relationship between students. There are a number of websites which operate on the same principle. The Book Exchange used to be free, until ASUCD decided it was losing too much money and decided to charge sellers 5% if their book is sold. Previous book exchanges have been held in King Lounge on the 2nd floor of the Memorial Union, but it may vary in future quarters. The book exchange operates during the first 6 days of each quarter. In addition, sales tax is not charged.

At their website, you can search for textbooks being sold by other students, check to see if your books have been sold, or find the ISBN's of the books you will need for the quarter.

It was thought up in 1996 by the then reigning ASUCD President, Ashish Kurani.

The Unit was eliminated entirely in the 2011 ASUCD Budget.

How It Works

Here's a theoretical situation regarding how the Book Exchange works:

Joe buys a new book from the bookstore for $130. After the quarter is over, Joe could sell the book back to the bookstore and get $50. The bookstore would then turn around and sell the book to Yolanda for $90 plus tax for a total of $96.98.

However, Joe decides to fight the man and sell his book using the ASUCD book exchange. The book exchange tells Joe the used price ($90). Joe decides to set his price at $75.

When Yolanda goes to the book exchange to buy her books, she picks Joe's book and pays $75 for her book and saves $15 off the used price at the book store and doesn't even have to pay tax! Yolanda saves a total of $21.98. After the Book Exchange is over, Joe goes in and gets his $71.25, $21.25 more than he would have made had he sold it to the bookstore!

Hidden Costs

While they ostensibly run to cover their costs, they used $17,419 of the 2008-2009 ASUCD budget to subsidize their operations1. As a result, all students, regardless as to if they shop there, are paying for the books. Some advocate cutting the program as it does not match the stated goal, with Greg Webb commenting that "it's a subsidized market for sellers. That is not the purpose of the program!"


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2008-01-11 13:56:01   ok so heres the best strategy. You wont know if a book is being sold at the book exchange until a day or so after the first class. By then all the used copies at the bookstore may be out, so if the book exchange does not have the book, your kind of screwed. So the best strategy is to buy the book early at the bookstore and then return it if you find something cheper at the book exchange. The bookexchange has a list of the books that are available so you dont even have to wait in line to check. —MattHh

2008-09-29 10:28:18   It was really easy to sell books back you just need your student ID and they scan your books and you set your price and your set free with a receipt at the end to tell you all the info. they tell you about if the books aren't picked up, or where to pick up the check..etc. :] Hopefully my books will sell and the books being sold are really affordable! —MissAmyQ

2009-08-24 17:53:51   They take in fees yet managed to use $17,419 of the ASUCD budget last year. Either the program should be run more efficiently or the fee for finding a buyer could increase a slight bit so that they can break even and not spend students' money in order to provide cheaper textbooks. Click here for a shameless plug of my website.hankim

  • I think the folks in ASUCD are more interested in inflating their operating budget figure than an actual balanced budget. ASBX needs to be cut, it's a subsidized market for sellers. That is not the purpose of the program! - GregWebb
    • Along with a few other programs. —hankim

2010-11-04 14:15:02   Anyone here know how to get your books back after the last day of collection. They have a 30 day policy, but I have no idea how to get them back. —eedoan

  • On their website it says you can pick up your book at the 5A Lower Freeborn basement office. - SimonFung
  • Ah I tried, but they are never open and they don't answer my emails. -eedoan