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Textbook FAQ's

Can I have my textbooks billed to my student account?
Starting August 2016, students will have the ability to charge textbooks to their student account with the University of Kansas.
Once I place an order online with the KU Bookstore, how soon will it be ready?
In order to allow for more complete orders we generally begin processing textbook orders on average two weeks prior to the first day of classes. This is when our inventory has peaked and orders are most complete. Online orders will be ready for pick up on average 24-48 hours starting two weeks before the official first day of classes. Please wait to receive an email informing you that your order is “ready for pickup” before attempting to pick up.
Can I order books in advance and pick them up the week of classes?
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.
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?
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 one 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. For this reason, when ordering online from KU Bookstore we always recommend students to allow substitutions just in case their preferred condition is not an option.
What are The KU Bookstore's rental options?
In order to offer the widest possible selection of rental titles, we offer two ways to rent from us. Hundreds of titles are available to rent directly from the store. These can be rented using our self-service rental kiosks. Thousands of additional titles are available through our online affiliate partner. These will be shipped directly to your specified address. Both programs offer rental prices that are very competitive, however prices won't be identical. Both programs require a credit card as a form of payment.
Why would I want to rent a textbook?
Many students are only interested in using some textbooks for the duration of a class. Renting for a semester typically costs less than half of the new book price. Renting removes the risk of how much the book may be worth at the end of the semester and you can capture the savings up front instead of waiting for buyback at the end of the term. If you decide to keep the book, you can purchase it at any time during the rental period for the difference between the rental fee and the current selling price.
How does the Textbook Buyback program work?
We perform textbook buyback year round although selling your books back at semester's end is always more beneficial.  During the first week 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.
How does the in-store rental process work?
You can browse our shelves to see if any of your titles are available for rent from The KU Bookstore. Once finished shopping, you will be directed to our one of our rental kiosks to complete the checkout process. In-store, rentable copies will be clearly marked with a rental price on the shelf tag. If the title is not available to rent there will only be a used and new price on the shelf tag. Once your transaction is complete you will be given a receipt with terms and conditions as well as the rental return date. Please save your receipt as this will be needed if you want to return your book for a refund during the returns period and will facilitate the process of returning your rental at the end of the semester
Are the rental books new copies or used copies?
They may be either new or used. The rental price will fluctuate depending on the new or used status. It will cheaper to rent a used book versus a new book; however, both offer a considerable up front savings.
Can I get a refund on a rented book if I decide I don’t want it or if I drop the class?
Yes. Please review our Textbook and Rental Returns Policy. All returns must be in salable condition and be accompanied with the receipt. Refunds are also available for books rented through our partner site and are typically returnable for up to 14 days from the time your book was delivered.
Why isn’t the book for my class available for rent?
Unfortunately, not all textbooks qualify for our rental program. There are multiple factors that are considered from how current the text is to the size of the class and how consistently the course is offered. If your book is not available for rent in-store, you may be able to rent through our online partner.
When do I have to return my rental text to the KU Bookstore?
Rentals performed in store are due the last day of finals for any given semester. The online affiliate partner rental transactions vary depending on the rental period specified. For both rental options you will receive email reminders when your rental due date is approaching.
What if my book was lost, stolen, or damaged beyond normal wear?
There are several options. You can acquire another copy of the book and return it at the end of the rental period. You can come to the store and pay the difference between the rental and replacement costs and avoid the handling fee.
How are the prices of textbooks determined?
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.
What is the KU Bookstore doing to address the issue of the high cost of textbooks?

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.
  • Renting textbooks directly from our store and thousands more titles through our online partner.
  • 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.

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