Verba User Stories | The Wolf Shop at University of Nevada, Reno

Threading the Needle

The Wolf Shop at University of Nevada, Reno

Rental Revenue
Up 26%
School Type
Large Public

Aaron Ochoa, the textbook manager at The Nevada Wolf Shop, and a Verba client since 2011, is always on the forefront when it comes to trying out new tools as they’re released. This year, Ochoa was part of a savvy group of stores that took advantage of Verba’s Dynamic Rental Rebate program. He recognized amazing results this Fall Rush 2014:

  • Rental Units increased from 11,000 in Spring to 16,000 units rented this Fall
  • Sales dollars were up
  • The store’s win rate against the online marketplace increased from 75% last year to an 85% win rate this year

Aside from higher sales, Ochoa appreciates how Dynamic Rental strikes a balance between partnership loyalty and marketplace opportunities for his rental returns.

Verba’s Dynamic Rental helps stores gather multiple rebate bids from wholesalers to both broaden the scope of their rental offerings pre-rush, and maximize rebate offer value at the end of the term.

The Wolf Shop has long been a Nebraska system partner, so naturally Nebraska is the first place Ochoa shops his list for rebates. He then takes his list to other wholesale partners to see what they can do for him.

“I already work with a group of wholesalers,” explains Ochoa, “and I know there is a fairly large group out there that I am not yet working with that are looking for my business.”

“If I can increase my market share and increase my business relationships, then that is a win-win all the way around.”

After Ochoa receives rebates from as many as six different wholesalers, he loads the data into Verba’s Dynamic Rental to identify the top offers. Ochoa uses a special setting within Verba to ensure that any title Nebraska rents goes back to Nebraska; the rest are store-managed and shoppable.

“In the [back office] system, anything considered a Nebraska rental, can be seen by Nebraska,” explains Ochoa. “If I don’t send it back they charge me for it. Using Verba’s reports I can easily see if Nebraska is the highest bidder. If so, we keep it at Nebraska. If Nebraska doesn’t even offer a bid then we shop that list around.”

At the end of the term, Ochoa circulates his rental list to his wholesalers one last time. He also turns on the Verba Marketplace, which connects him to tens of thousands of online buyers. The Verba Marketplace not only gives him exposure to the highest wholesaler bids, but also affords him the opportunity to have his books sold to the highest bidder in the online marketplace. As returns come in, Verba’s Dynamic Rental goes into scanning mode.

Just scan an ISBN and Dynamic Rental tells you where the book is going. For Ochoa, that means sending every Nebraska book to his primary partner, and non-Nebraska books to other wholesale partners and online buyers.

“I have to remember these wholesalers do more for me than just sell my books. Nebraska runs my system, runs my P.O.S., my I.C.S., gives me support when I need it. Same thing with Follett and MBS.

“As long as I can continue to be as fair as I can without jeopardizing value to the store, then I win.“

“I had one wholesaler tell me ‘Give me your list. I will rebate every book you have, no matter what’,” reveals Ochoa. “For ease of use, that would be best, but I won’t do it because I have business relationships with all of the wholesalers, and I have partnerships that I’ve been in for years.”

For Ochoa, store success means both maximizing revenue and honoring partnership commitments. Dynamic Rental gives Ochoa the ability to thread the needle with precision, bringing in more dollars for his store while making sure his valued partners get the books that power their relationship.

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