Frequently Asked Questions

General Textbooks - Students

Who selects the textbooks and supplies?

Course instructors select all textbooks and supplies.

These materials are requested and then ordered by NC State Bookstores for the Wolfpack Outfitters and Pack Shop (Centennial) locations.

Each textbook is ordered to enhance and complement classroom instruction.

Why are textbooks so expensive?

Older textbooks were strictly "text" books.

Newer textbooks have more photos and graphics and may include teacher's aids, software, templates, and other multimedia additions. All of these enhancements increase the books' costs.

Some books have short sale lives. Publishers increase prices for these books to cover R&D costs used to update the material.

Rare or rarely-used materials, in addition to the sales life, have limited production. Costs tend not to decrease with descreases in sales.

I don't see my course/section listed on your website, what materials do I need?

If you don't see your course or section listed on our website it means that we haven't received any course material information from your instructor.

Check our website frequently - we update it daily as we get new orders.

You can also wait until the first day of class to get textbook information from your instructor.

Do you ship textbooks? Can I get my order expedited?

We're happy to ship your online textbook order.

When checking out select the option for ground shipping. The standard textbook shipping fee ($10.95) will be added to your purchase total.

  • Please note that we do not ship to P.O. Boxes or campus dormitories
  • Please call for international shipping rates, including Alaska and Hawaii
  • We can expedite shipping: please call (919)-515-2161 for more information.
  • The flat rate for shipping computers is $25.00

What are the different textbook statuses?

  • Required: The instructor indicated that the item is required for their course
  • Optional: The instructor indicated that the item might benefit students but is not required
  • Choice: The instructor indicates multiple formats of the same item, giving students purchase options

What are substitutions and how will they affect my order?

When you place an order, you ask for a Used or New copy.

If you select "Substitute OK" we'll make subsitutions if

  • You ask for Used and we only have New
  • You ask for New and we only have Used

If you select "Substitute NO" we won't make substitutions so

  • If you ask for Used and we only have New, we'll cancel that book
  • If you ask for New and we only have Used, we'll cancel that book

We'll fill your order with your requests and substitute if needed.

What is the refund policy for textbooks?

Textbook Buyback

Will you buy my book(s) back, and how much I will get?

If the instructor decides to use the book the following semester, we'll pay the most competitive price until we reach our limit.

Once we reach our limit or if the book isn't being used, we'll pay a national wholesale price based on edition and natiionwide popularity of the book.

Other factors that affect buyback values include:

  • book condition
  • edition
  • the presence of extras (CDs, inserts, etc.)

What's the best time to sell back my books?

The best time to sell back books is around finals.

The more requests from instructors we get before finals week, the better chance you have of getting the most money back.

Online Orders

Why should I order online?

Ordering online lets you

  • avoid long lines with one-stop pick-up
  • use financial aid to purchase books
  • have a better chance at getting used books, if you order early
  • choose books, eBooks or rentals
  • save time by letting us pull the books for you
  • use your parents' credit card

When I place an online order, when will I be charged?

We charge you after we've pulled the books you ordered.

During the fall semester this might be a few weeks after you place the order or within a day during rush.

You are not charged when you submit the order.
Sometimes we run out of new/used books and have to substitute, which could change how much you'll pay.

What does it mean when a book is on backorder?

Backorders happen when we don't have an item in the store to fill your order.

We don't charge you for backorders until the book arrives in the store.

You may see partial charges when we have some of your books but have to backorder others.

You'll receive a separate email when a backorder is ready for pick-up.

Why was my textbook cancelled from my order?

There are a few reasons that we might cancel a book.

  • Sometimes between the time you place the order and the time we process it, the instructor cancels an item from the required list of readings.
  • With the "Choice" option, both texts are selected and we'll decide which item to fill, then cancel the other. With "Choice" items, you'll only need one, not both.
  • If you selected "No Subsitutions" and we don't have the book condition (New or Used) requested, we'll cancel that item. To prevent substition cancellations, please choose "Subsitution OK", and we'll fill your oder with what we have on hand.

Why is the amount in my confirmation email different than what I was charged?

Your confirmation email shows the total for your order if it gets filled exactly as requested. It does not include applicable sales taxes.

If we can't fill your order as requested and need to make substitutions, the amount charged may differ from your estimated order total.

If we have to backorder anything in your order, you won't be charged for those items until they arrive in store. You may see multiple charges for one order if we have to fill it in stages as backorders arrive.

If you have questions about charges, please call the store at 919-515-2161.

Returns & Refunds

I need to send an item back to Wolfpack Outfitters for a refund. How do I do that?

We're happy to take returns via UPS or the mail. Please

  • Include the receipt or online order invoice in the box with the returned items
  • If you need to exchange an item please include a note with what you'd like to exchange, or include contact information

Please send all returns to

Wolfpack Outfitters
2610 Cates Ave
Raleigh, NC 27695

Textbook Requests - Faculty

How do I request textbooks for an upcoming semester?

Textbook requests can be submitted online.

You'll need to log in or create an account.

You can also email your requests to Isaac Pomper.

What are the deadlines to submit textbook requests?

  • Fall Semester: April 5th
  • Spring Semester: October 15th
  • Summer Sessions: March 15th

NC State Bookstores provides copies of all textbook requests to each off-campus bookstore after the requests are receievd.

Why do my textbook requests have to be submitted so far in advance of the upcoming semester?

We ask for textbook requests by the given dates for three reasons.

  1. The Bookstores staff verifies that all information on each request is correct. Any questions are discussed with the instructor or department liaison.
  2. The Bookstores attempts to locate as many used books as possible. Early requests give us a better chance at locating used copies from national used book wholesalers.
  3. Timely requests can increase the amount paid to students during the end-of-term buyback period. The buyback value is determined by future demand.

My class doesn't require a textbook. Why do I need to notify the Bookstores of this?

The recently revised Higher Education Opportunity Act has several provisions that affect college bookstore operations. One of the provisions states that bookstores must provide all textbook information on their website so that students will know the course requirements at the time they register for classes. In order to comply, the NC State Bookstores must gather all course materials information as soon as it is available from instructors.

Why do instructors have to create a user account to submit textbook requests?

The Umstead Act mandates that college stores in North Carolina only serve the university populations including students, faculty, and alumni. To comply, our store must recognize users by their nine-digit University ID number.

I can't meet the textbook adoption deadline. What should I do?

The Bookstores recognizes that not all requests can meet the adoption deadlines. New classes, sections, and instructor changes often come after the adoption deadlines. These requests should be made as soon as the information is available.

Textbook Costs

What can instructors do to help lower the cost of textbooks for their students?

An easy way to save students 25% on textbooks is to have plenty of used books available. Early textbook information allows the Bookstores to offer students more used books. Late requests limit our ability to offer used books.

If a texbook has been requested with a particular ISBN because it offers a "free" web access code or a "free" study aid, we may not be able to buy used copies from either the students or wholesalers.
If these optional materials aren't necessary for course success, please include that information when ordering the book.

Please keep in mind that the Bookstores only orders what you request.
We won't order a less expensive version of the book without instructor permission.

Package deals with "free" study guides often result in no used copies of the book available to be sold in the future; students often can't sell these packages back to us.

Items that require a single user license agreement are often designed to reduce the availability of used stock.
Read our helpful tips for placing your textbook adoption.

General Textbooks - Faculty

What is NC State's Policy on Copyright?

Why doesn't the Bookstores order 100% of my class enrollment?

The Bookstores bases order quantities on several factors.

  1. Students shop at a variety of bookstores in the area and online.
  2. Course history, past sales data, and current enrollment figures help the store ensure that sufficient copies are ordered.

The Bookstores strives to maintain stock of every text offered on campus. However, if we sell out, we'll special order a copy for any student who needs to purchase a book.

Why does the Bookstores return course materials to the publisher? When do publisher returns happen?

Most publishers and distributors require bookstores to pay for course materials within 30 days of receipt. The Bookstores remains self-sustaining by being fiscally responsible to the University.
Unsold materials must be paid for within the time frame allotted, unless they're returned to the respective publisher or distributor.

Publisher returns generally begin about one month after the start of classes.
We retain titles that have been requested for a future semester.

Where do store profits go?

NC State Bookstores is University-owned and totally self-supporting.
It receives no tax money or subsidies.
Profits are paid annually to the NC State Academic Scholarship Fund.

eBooks by RedShelf

How do I set up an account?

Step 1: On RedShelf.com click the "Sign In" Icon and select "Register" to create your account.

Step 2: Fill out the required fields including: First & Last Name, Email Address and Password.

Step 3: An email confirmation will be sent to the register email account, click the link to confirm registration. If an email does not appear within your inbox, check within your SPAM folder.

What type of device can I use to access my digital content?

The RedShelf cloud reader is accessible on any internet enabled device that supports browsers including: laptops/desktops, tablets & smartphones.

What are the browser requirements to access my digital content?

To access the cloud reader with RedShelf it is recommended to use a browser that can support HTML5-based content. The browser-based cloud technology performs best on the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Can I access my digital content when I don't have an internet connection?

Offline is available based on the content creator's restriction settings. A % of the content could be available in offline. Offline will work on any device including laptops, desktops and tablets. Click the settings icon to view the % of the content that will be viewable in offline mode. Select the specific section to access offline while WiFi isn't available. Offline requires an active internet connection to initiate the offline mode.

How do I access offline content?

Select the course material you would like to view in offline mode and open it within the cloud reader.

In the upper right corner of the cloud reader select the "settings" icon:

Select the "on" button and the available percent and page grab for offline will appear.

Use the scroll bar or enter the page range to select the pages for offline mode. After page range is selected click the "Go Offline" button. Once your back in a WiFi zone, click the settings icon and click the "off" button to resume in the standard mode.

Who do I contact if I'm having trouble viewing my digital content?

Please contact help@redshelf.com regarding any technical questions, concerns or issues. Be sure to provide the specific question, issue or concern so we can assist you in the quickest possible way.

Will there be supplementary materials included with my eBook?

RedShelf's eBook is an exact replica of the publisher's printed book. RedShelf provides additional content to the eBook on a per book basis, dependent upon what the publisher provides to RedShelf. RedShelf does not guarantee additional content for each title sold. If the product you need contains multiple components, you'll want to ensure that all of those components are available digitally through the eBook you intend to purchase. If there is ever a question regarding additional content for an eBook, call RedShelf at 312.878.8586 x109 for immediate assistance.

Can I log in on two devices at one time to access my digital content?

No, you can only view your content on one device at a time.

Can I print my digital content?

Printing options are available based on the content creator's restriction settings. If printing is permitted two options are available:

Option 1: % allowed — A print limit has been selected based on a percentage of the content's total pages. Once the limit is reached printing will no longer be available.

Option 2: Specific page # — The content creator may designate specific page numbers that could be printed. (ex: 5, 11, 20).

What tools and features are provided in the cloud reader?

Navigation Table of Contents: Click the icon and choose the section you wish to go to.

Enter Page Number: Jump directly to a page by entering the number within the box.

Page Arrows: Go to the previous page or next page by clicking the arrows.

Keyword Search: Enter a keyword to find a specific page, click the blue page number and the page will appear with the keyword highlighted in yellow.

Continuous Scroll: Click the settings icon to turn continuous scroll on to access all pages at one time.

Annotation Tools

Note & Bookmark Aggregator: Retrieve all notes and bookmarks.

Highlighting: Click and drag to highlight a page area of text or image. To delete, click directly on the highlighted area and select ok. To move the highlighted area to a different place within the page, simply click and drag to a new place.

Bookmark: Select the icon to bookmark an important page. The icon will change to white to signify the page has been marked.

Point Comment: Create an area on the page to drop the pointer marker. You can then make comments in the margin. To edit or delete the point comment, click the ‘edit' or ‘delete' button and select ok. To move the point comment to a different place within the page, simple click on the marker and drag to a new place.

Area Comment: Create an area box by clicking and dragging. You can then make comments in the margin. To edit or delete the point comment, click the ‘edit' or ‘delete' button and select ok. To move the point comment to a different place within the page, simple click on the marker and drag to a new place.

Enter Text: Click anywhere on the page to enter text, select the text size and select save. To edit or delete the text, click the text and enter new text and select save or click the ‘delete' button and select ok. To move the text to a different place within the page, simple click and drag to a new place.

Drawing: Click and drag to create a line on the page. To delete, click directly on the line and select ok. To move the line to a different place within the page, simply click and drag to a new place.

Textbook Rental

Can I use my financial aid or scholarship money to pay for rentals?

No, credit card is the only method of payment for rentals. (No Scholarship or Financial Aid money may be used for rentals)

Where do I have my books shipped?

Books are shipped to your home address or dorm (no PO Boxes). Please do not have your rental books shipped to the bookstore, as they will send them back and will delay you receiving your books.

Why did I recieve my order in multiple shipments?

We source your rental books from many different places so your books might arrive from multiple sources. This may cause you to receive multiple packages from different places, but they are all affiliated with us.

How do I get to your rental website?

Can I write or highlight in my rented books?

Yes! Minimal highlighting and writing is allowed. Excessive highlighting and/or writing may result in damage fees.

What are the standard rental time periods?

The actual length of your rental period will vary with the date of your rental, but the due date is fixed.
Regardless of when you rent your book(s), all books are due

  • Fall and Spring: the first Friday after the last day of final exams.
  • Summer I & II: the first Friday after the last day of Summer II final exams.
Check your receipt and Bookstores displays for the specific date each semester.

Can I cancel my order?

We make every effort to process and ship your order quickly. If you are not able to cancel your order online, log into your account and initiate a return. Generate and print a packing list and shipping label to return the order for a refund at no additional cost.

How can I return a rental for a refund?

Returns for a refund are accepted up to 21 days after shipment was received. Returned items must be in the condition as sold.

How do I contact Customer Service?

Customer service is available Monday - Friday 11am - 8pm EST.

Call toll-free at 877-642-9313 or email customer service.

How do I return my books at the end of my rental period?

To take advantage of free return shipping at the end of your rental:
  • Log into your account
  • Go to the Rental Returns page
  • Verify the shipping address
  • Select the book(s) you're returning
  • Print a pre-paid shipping label and packing list
  • Pack the item(s) securely and ship from any FedEx location or Ground Service drop-box
You can also return your rented book(s) at Wolfpack Outfitters, where we'll check them in and ship them back for you.

How much will it cost to ship my order?

  • Standard Shipping: Delivery within 3-7 business days after order processing
  • Free shipping for the entire order!
  • Expedited Shipping: Delivery within 2 business days after order processing (not available for PO Boxes)
    • First Book: $8 ($10 for shipping to Alaska and Hawaii)
    • Additional Books: $4 each
  • Express Shipping: Delivery within 1 business day after order processing (not available for PO Boxes)
    • First Book: $15 ($25 for shipping to Alaska and Hawaii)
    • Additional Books: $4 each

I'm worried I might forget my due date. Will I get a reminder?

Yes! You'll receive email reminders 7, 3 and 1 day before your rental due date. You'll also receive a reminder on the date your rental is due.

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