Textbook FAQs


Question: Do I need to buy ALL book titles listed for my courses?

Answer: Not necessarily. Check your online booklist and the tags on the textbook shelves to distinguish between titles that are required and those that are listed as optional.

Question: Can I have my textbooks billed to my student account?

Answer: Yes, Students have the ability to charge textbooks to their Student Account with the University. Click here for information.

Question: I am a KU alum and will be taking graduate courses in the near future. I know there is an alumni discount program in place, does that apply to textbooks?

Answer: No, unfortunately textbooks are not a discountable item. Your discount is applicable on Apparel and Gifts.

Question: Once I place an order online with the KU Bookstore, how soon will it be ready?

Answer: In order to allow for more complete orders we begin processing textbook orders 2 weeks prior to the first day of class of each semester. This is when our inventory has peaked and orders are most complete.

Question: After placing my online order with the KU Bookstore I received an order confirmation, does that mean my credit card has been charged?

Answer: No, the email is only confirmation that we received your order and your credit card will be authorized for the total charge. Once your order has been fulfilled you will receive a second email confirming your order has shipped or is ready for pick-up, your credit card is charged at that time.

Question: Can I order books in advance and pick them up the week of classes?

Answer: Yes, in fact is a preferred method for most students. Once enrolled, you can immediately place an order with the KU Bookstore. This order will essentially be on hold until 3 weeks before classes. Once processed, you will receive an email notifying you that your order is prepared. All students need is a photo id and they can pick up their books the first week of classes.

Question: I notice there is both a new and used price option both in store and on your website. Does that mean that everything is available in both?

Answer: There are price listings for both new and used course materials on nearly everything in our catalog, however not everything will be available in each desired condition. There are some titles that simply don’t have a used option because they are workbooks, considered custom, or contain a 1 semester unique access code. There are also some books that we may only have used because copies are so plentiful from our suppliers and through student buyback.

Question: Question: How are the prices of textbooks determined?

Answer: Publishers are responsible for most of the costs associated with textbooks. There is no such thing as a “list” price for textbooks. Publishers sell to campus stores at a wholesale price and a retail price is set that allows enough margin to cover our costs to ship and collate the books and help defray other store operation expenses.

Question: What is the KU Bookstore doing to address the issue of the high cost of textbooks?

Answer: The KU Bookstore is your non-profit campus store and our revenue stays right here on campus to support Student Success. We have listened to our customers and have been very aggressive in implementing several cost saving options. Our efforts include:

• Offering an online price comparison tool so students can compare textbook prices from The KU Bookstore and other online vendors.
• Offering tens of thousands of money-saving used books.
• Returning over $1 million in cash to students each year through Textbook Buyback.
• Helping faculty produce custom Course Packs that consolidate academic materials from multiple sources into one more cost-effective product.
• Offering titles available for rental.

Question: How does the Textbook Buyback program work?

Answer: We perform textbook buyback year round, although selling your books back at semester's end is always more beneficial. During the first few weeks of class, we do not buy books at the Kansas Union. We pay up to 50% of the new book price on titles adopted for the following semester, even if you purchased the book used or from another source. Buying textbooks back from students helps us to keep an abundant selection of used books in stock and allows us to return cash to students.

Question: Why is ordering my textbooks from other online retailers risky?

Answer: Shipment delays could cause you to fall behind as the semester begins; you may not receive the exact editions specified by your instructors; and potentially lower online prices are often negated by sales tax and shipping and handling charges. Making an exchange or return on an online purchase can also be a hassle.