Beat The Bookstore has been in Isla Vista for less than a month, but as students spend the first few weeks of the new quarter forking over small fortunes for their textbooks, the new bookstore is setting itself up as an alternative to the area’s 46-year-old independent bookstore.

Beat The Bookstore, which opened on March 13, works on a buy-back system that gives students store credit for their books instead of cash. Beat The Bookstore co-owner Matt Woodford said the new establishment, which is located above Silvergreens on Embarcadero del Mar, is currently trying to attract customers who previously frequented I. V. Bookstore.

Kevin Moraine, floor manager of I.V. Bookstore, said he does not think I.V. Bookstore has lost business to the new establishment so far, but the store’s owners plan to analyze its sales record before next year to determine whether the competition is hurting them.

Woodford said Beat The Bookstore is giving away free T-shirts to its customers and plans on sponsoring the Earth Day festival – happening this weekend – and the All-Sorority Volleyball Tournament. He said the store wants to get involved in student life and attract new customers, many of whom are used to visiting I.V. Bookstore. The competition between the two stores could actually help lower textbook prices for students, Woodford said.

“I.V. Bookstore is our biggest competition,” Woodford said. “If they want to get in a price battle it would be great … because it only benefits the students.”

Many students who visited Beat The Bookstore once have come back to buy their books for the new quarter, Woodford said. He said the credit system helps students get more value out of their used books.

“We’ve had a lot of people come in and compare prices and most of them come back because a $50 credit is better than $25 cash, and we will give you cash after 30 days,” Woodford said.

Woodford said Beat The Bookstore keeps old and new book editions in circulation, and will buy back old editions. He said the store donates any books that are not in demand to Books For Africa.

“We’re trying to be on the students’ side by cutting out the middleman, the wholesalers,” Woodford said.

Silvina Kim, a second-year psychology major, said she shopped at Beat The Bookstore this quarter because she wanted to see the new store in town. She said she was impressed by the credit system because it gave her a chance to put her old books to use for the new quarter.

“I like the credit system because you’re going to have to buy books anyways,” Kim said.

Moraine said he is not concerned that the new shop will hurt his business. He said he thinks I.V. Bookstore’s customers are loyal because the store has a good reputation and buys back books for cash.

“Over the past 40 years, other book stores have popped up, and we’re the only one able to survive,” Moraine said. “We pay cash and we stock a good supply of used books.”

Moraine said that I.V. Bookstore will analyze its expected sales for next year to determine if it needs to increase advertising or change its pricing to beat its new competition.

UCSB Bookstore Director Jeri Pollard said he is not worried about competition from either independent bookstore, and he does not plan to change any of the UCSB Bookstore’s pricing or policies to attract more customers.

“Business is as usual. … We continue to do what we do,” Pollard said.

Rory Hodgson, a junior Law & Society major, said he buys most of his books from I.V. Bookstore and he refuses to sell his books back to any bookstore in I.V. He said he is not interested in Beat The Bookstore’s offer of store credit for his old books.

“I don’t sell back to the bookstores because you can get more money selling the books on the Internet,” Hodgson said. “When I need money the most, both UCSB and I.V. undercut me, and I don’t want to try credit. They totally screw you.”