UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into UBC bookstore renting options Chiu, Nathan; Goharian, Moein; Prince, Mitchell; Shah, Keval; Wen, Carlos


Currently, the UBC bookstore offers book rental services, which saves students up to 55 percent off the retail price for every book that is rented. It has proven to be successful and the bookstore is therefore looking for ways to expand this service. This report proposes a new product to be used in the rental services. Through surveys and investigations, our group has decided that a good product that can be successful in this renting service is compactfridges. This investigation conducts a TBL analysis and assesses the feasibility and sustainability of starting this new renting service. The social impact as well as the demand of this service has been evaluated through a survey conducted to UBC students that live oncampus as well as offcampus. A constraint of the survey was its small sample size, which produced some uncertainty on the results. However, the survey served to provide a rough view of the future social impacts and the market of this service. The economic assessment was evaluated with the help of equations that took into consideration many different factors. These factors are: the rental price, rental duration cost per unit, storing cost, and maintenance cost. There were also constraints such as demand uncertainty and market potential. Our investigation demonstrates that there is an existing demand for compact fridges rental and it also provides a solution for the problems of shared fridges between students. This proposed service will also generate the profit that the UBC bookstore has requested and is a better economic choice for students. For the environmental factor, the fridge that is proposed in this report also shows to be more environmentally friendly compared to the shared fridges as well as the fridges that students own. There are different factors that indicate that renting compact fridges will be less harmful for the environment. One factor is that the production of fridges will reduce since fridges are reused, which will reduce the amount of energy used for production. Students can also replace the shared fridges because they are almost never used. In this case they can disconnect their fridges and save energy. It is recommended that the UBC Bookstore use compact fridges for its rental service. The proposed fridge for the rental service is the Frigidaire 3.3 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator.The rental price recommended is 45% of the retail price and the rental period is an academic term (4 months) or any multiple of this. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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