Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Economics of Highlighting

The bookstore should implement leveled pricing. It would work like this:
You buy a book new for $100. When you sell it back, they look through it for highlighting/markings. If there are none, you get $50, and they sell it for $65. If there are, you can't sell the book back until you get your grades, and they pay you in accordance with your grade in the class. An A gets you $60, an A- gets you $55, and so on. The store then sells these books for prices commensurate with the grades their highlighting earned.

This system would serve several purposes. The bookstore could make more money on used books by targeting different parts of the market and further exploiting law students' insecurities. Students would have one more incentive to do well in class, and one more way of slipping their grades into casual conversation. ("I'll buy lunch today, I've got this $60 in my pocket from my Torts book.").

Most important, I wouldn't have bought my Crim book if I had known in advance that the last user had highlighted entirely the wrong things throughout the reading. Memo to previous owner: highlighting entire pages is a waste of time, ink, and my retinas. Also, you may have noticed that the headings in chapters were already in bold. You didn't need to highlight them to make them stand out. Finally, and if you take only one thing away from this message let it be this, stop writing things like "I♥EB" in the margins in pink highlighter.

1 comment:

Remus Thirty said...

I think value should also go up for drawings, captions, and picture edits that improve the entertainment value. I kinda wish I still had my 11th grade US History book just to see all the little tidbits I added.