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Dorks Textbooks fills Albany niche

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- Customers have received as much as $60 for a used textbook and as little as $1 for an out-of-date textbooks for trade-ins at Albany's new Dorks Textbooks, located just past the Kubota dealer off Gillionville Road in the strip mall on Mossydale Lane.

In business since June 30, Dorks Textbooks Store Manager Chris Matthews said Friday that the store mainly aims to serve Albany State University, Darton College and Albany Technical College students, but also will special order books. Matthews said the store is the only off-campus, buy-back bookstore in Albany, "period."

The Albany location is the fifth store in a Georgia chain that was started in 2006 by Brad Faulkner while he was a sophomore at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega.

"He wanted to save money and not buy from bookstores, and the business has just grown," said Matthews of the chain's locations, which also include Lawrenceville, Macon and Gainesville. "The whole company is strongly Christian, and we try to be more personable and there's more customer service involved. There's been after-work Bible studies that have gone on in stores. We feel Jesus Christ has really helped this business."

To illustrate their Christian foundation, Matthews said they frequently will give customers $1 for out-of-date textbooks that likely will be recycled, but the funds Dorks receives from the recycling will be donated to Uganda and Bolivia.

Customer Lisa Lanier enjoyed her experience at Dorks Textbooks Friday. She turned in 15 out-of-date textbooks and received $18 in return.

"It was a very nice experience, and (Matthews) was very helpful," said Lanier, who has six children, five of which are currently enrolled at Deerfield-Windsor School. "I like the fact that whatever they can't use, the money from recycling goes to humanitarian efforts. I'm glad to get rid of (the books), and maybe down the road I'll bring some more in."

Carla Hooks, who graduated this year from Albany State with a master's degree in public administration, also visited Dorks Textbooks late Friday afternoon.

"These books are very expensive at the college over there, so anytime you can buy a book at the fraction of the cost it's a good thing," she said.

Matthews said the most valuable books to trade in are those currently being used in college in fields such as science. He said one Albany customer had two books worth $60 apiece and ended up walking away with $235 for the five books he cashed in. However, Matthews was quick to note that such occurrences are rare and that most customers don't leave with that kind of windfall.

The quickness which a textbook goes out of date makes it difficult for customers to get much return on them. Matthews said Dorks tries to combat the skyrocketing price of textbooks by selling and buying older editions.

"You could spend $200 on a new book, $125 on a used and $30 on an old edition," said Matthews, who graduated July 31 from Valdosta State University with a business marketing degree. "We're trying to get a market presence now because the inventory is so costly, what we don't sell could shut us down. These books go out of date so fast because they change an edition every two years and might change a picture."

Matthews said representatives from ASU, Darton and Albany Tech have been helpful to Dorks Textbooks in providing the store information on what books will be needed for students.

"They definitely want to look out for the students as well, and if there's a bad wolf out there, it's probably the publishers," he said.

So far, the Albany Dorks Textbooks location has collected about 500 books with about 200 of those for sale. If customers aren't able to visit a Dorks locations, Matthews said people can go to the company's website at www.dorksbooks.com and type in the ISBN number on the back of the book to find out its value.

"If it's over $15, you print out the UPS shipping label, box it up and ship it free of charge (to us)," he said.

The hours for the Albany Dorks Textbooks are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays for now, but likely will expand once it builds up its inventory, Matthews said. The store also carries disc golf supplies, including Innova Brand discs in DX, Pro, Champion and Star materials.