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Textbooks 101

Keeping Your Costs Down

Buy early (or buy late) to get USED books. Not all books on our shelf will be USED. Some people prefer to buy only NEW books. If you prefer to buy USED, shop early. If there are no USED in stock, consider waiting a few days after classes start and those who have dropped the class have returned their books. Our NEW/USED selection changes daily.

Save your receipts! You will need them to return or exchange a textbook.

Utilize Rental Options. You can save up to 65% on the cost of your textbooks by renting them at the Book Mark. Easy to utilize. One low price. No need to buy and re-sell.

Know the Textbook Return Policies. Textbooks are only returnable through the first three days of classes unless you have dropped the class. If you have dropped a class, bring your receipt, your new class schedule and your books to the Book Mark within the first 2 weeks of class (drop/add period) for a full refund. For J-Term, this drop/add period is the first 3 days of class. All return period dates are printed on the bottom of your receipt.

Make your books identifiable. In the unlikely event your books are stolen, we can help you recover them should they show up at Buy Back if you tell us something unique about them. Some identifying feature in the book: a date, symbol, name or code word written in a particular place.

Know you are going to stay in the class before you do any of the following to your books: remove shrink wrap, open/scratch off access code, write/highlight in, fold pages or handle excessively. Should you need to return a book (particularly one purchased NEW), any of these acts would render your book USED and would be refunded at the USED price minus any applicable re-packaging fees.

Talk to your professors. Get their assurance that they will be using all the books they have ordered for their class. Their orders are due MONTHS before class starts. They may have changed their mind and forgot to tell us! Find out the first week of class so you can return those books that will not be used (with professor approval sent to the Book Mark). In addition, pick up all the books you will need for class at the beginning of the term, to assure you get USED if wanted, as excess USED books are returned to their vendors at mid-term.

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Renting Textbooks

  • Titles available to rent will be identified on the website approximately 2 weeks before textbooks go on sale.
  • If you order online, simply make your choice from the drop-down options of NEW RENTAL-USED RENTAL.
  • In completing your purchase, you sign an agreement that states you will return the book by the last day of finals for that term, or incur a penalty charge plus the difference between the rental fee and the cost to replace the book.
  • You may return Rentals for a refund, IF you have dropped the class within the first 2 weeks and have a receipt.
  • There is no cash back on rental books during “Buy Back”. You simply return them to the Buy Back counter where they are checked in so no further charges are incurred.
  • Books must be returned in acceptable “used” condition to avoid replacement charges….minimal highlighting, no water damage, etc.

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Online Seller vs. Book Mark

Does the seller have the correct edition of the book you need? Some online sellers offer old editions, international editions, instructor copies, etc. Not only will they not be right for your class, they would not be bought back by our Used Book Wholesaler at the end of the term.

Will you get the book in time for class? Many sellers do not keep stock on hand. They have to order the book from a distributor first and it may be weeks before they can ship it to you.

What are the shipping charges? This varies a lot from seller to seller.

Is your purchase taxable? Depending on certain factors, you may have to pay sales tax.

Will you be able to return the book for a refund? Many online sellers do not give refunds or have very restrictive requirements. If you end up dropping the class or the professor changes their mind on using certain titles, you will end up owning unnecessary book(s).

Do you prefer to make ‘green’ choices? The environmental impact (from packaging, diesel, etc.) of thousands of individual book orders by mail each semester is astounding. Buying from your college bookstore is a very ‘green’ decision.

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Ordering Textbooks Online

Read First—Important Information to Know:
  • We only pull REQUIRED materials. Those that are ATTEND CLASS FIRST should not be purchased until after you have gone to class to find out how it will be used.
  • If we cannot honor your request for NEW or USED books, we will substitute with the other. If this is not okay with you, please indicate ‘New Only’ or ‘Used Only’ and which title(s) you are referring to in the COMMENTS section at checkout or do not order the book.
  • Professors may make changes to their requested course materials after the website has opened for students. We will make every effort to update those changes daily on the website. Should you purchase a book on our website that is no longer being used by the professor, a refund will be issued at the store.
  • There are textbooks that may be sold as 2 individual parts (typically USED) or as a NEW set. All three items will be listed on the website. If you order all 3, we will choose the less expensive option and cancel the other(s).
  • Because of all these factors, your final charges are based on what was actually pulled for your order. This will more than likely be different than the total calculated at the time of the order.
  • Web Order Pick-Up dates and on-campus location will be posted on our website and around campus.
  1. Click on Buy/Rent Textbooks
  2. Select the correct term (ex: Fall 2015)
  3. Select Department, Course and Section
  4. Scroll down to view complete listing of textbooks and supplies for the class
  5. Using drop down menu, choose one of the available options for each book Ex: NEW, USED, NEW RENTAL, USED RENTAL
  6. Continue this process for all scheduled classes
  7. Follow instructions to check out, setting up an account if necessary. Using the student’s name on the account facilitates the web order process.
  8. We are temporarily shipping textbook orders while in person classes are suspended. Please place your texbook order online and select your shipping method.

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Charging to Your Student Account

  • If you have a student ID #, you have an account at the Book Mark. There is no need to set one up.
  • Present your student ID at time of purchase (or enter student ID# for payment online).
  • Your purchase will be “charged” to your student account and the balance “held” at the Book Mark for the calendar month in which it was transacted.
  • At the end of the month, the balance due for your purchases at the Book Mark is transferred to Student Accounts in the Finance Office. The Finance Office will utilize any available funds in your student account (loans, financial aid, etc.) to pay your Book Mark bill. If there are insufficient funds to cover payment, the balance due will be sent to the person in charge of paying your tuition bill. Interest begins to accrue at that point and will be charged to your student account, should the bill not be paid by the due date.
  • A student may pay on their Book Mark charge in the store at any time during the month of the transactions. Payment can be made using cash, check, gift card, VISA, Mastercard or Discover.
  • The amount due for the current month is always listed at the bottom of your receipt. Remember, it is re-set to $0.00 at the beginning of each month.
  • Any month-end balances that are negative (or a credit) will be sent to Student Accounts as such and will be credited to that account, reducing the amount due for other charges.
  • Book Mark charges and Dining Service charges are separate accounts and are non-transferable.

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FAQ About Buy Back

When is Buy Back and how will I know about it?

Buy Back begins on Reading Day (the day after the last day of classes) and goes through the last day of Final Exams. All students will receive an email one week before Buy Back begins with the dates and times of Buy Back. There will also be signs around the campus center. If you are still unsure, stop in to the Book Mark and ask or ask an upperclassman or your CF. The current list of titles the store is buying back will be available on our website. This list changes daily as professors continue to submit text orders for the next semester. Check the Book Mark website daily for an up-to-date list of Buy Back titles.

If a particular title is not on the Buy Back List, it is recommended that the student ask their professor if they are using it next semester. The Book Mark is unable to place a title on the Buy Back List without an order in place from the professor. Students can increase their cash back for books by communicating with their professors before Buy Back begins.

Does it matter how I paid for my books?

It does not matter how you initially paid for your books, you will receive cash back at Buy Back. In addition, it does not matter if you initially bought a NEW or USED book, they are all bought back as USED.

Do I need my textbook receipts for Buy Back?

No, you do not need to bring any receipts to Buy Back.

How much will I get back for my books?

The value of a book at Buy Back is determined by the Used Book marketplace. Factors influencing this value are: age of the book, quantities available, whether a new edition is out or pending, the demand nationwide for the title and whether the title will be used on campus the following semester. The price paid for books could fall anywhere between $0 up to 38% of the new price, depending on all of these factors.

What if my class is only offered one semester a year?

The Book Mark buys books back from students to use the next semester. If we are not buying your book back (because it won’t be used next semester) but the wholesaler is, it may be a good idea to sell it to them. If the book has no value to the wholesaler and they aren’t buying it, it may be a good idea to bring it back to the next term’s buyback to see if it is being bought at that time. Generally, all J-Term books are bought back at “wholesale” prices unless you choose to wait until the end of the following fall semester to see if it will be used for that year’s J-Term.

Why won’t you buy my book back?

There are several reasons your book may not be purchased by the Book Mark* or its Wholesaler^ for re-sale:

  • There is no order for it for next semester*
  • The professor who used it has chosen to use a different book for class*
  • The course is not offered next semester*
  • The professor has requested “clean copies” only—no writing or highlighting (this is especially true with foreign language and music books)*
  • The professor is switching to an e-book*
  • The book is an International Edition*^
  • The book has gone into a New Edition*^
  • The book is Out of Print*^
  • There are parts missing, the book is damaged, or too worn to be re-sold*^
  • There is no demand, nationwide, for the book^

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