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Frequently Asked Questions

General Textbooks

Who selects the textbooks and supplies we use?

All textbooks and supplies are selected by the class instructor. These materials are requested and then ordered by NCSU Bookstores for both the main and Centennial campus locations. Each textbook is ordered to enhance and complement what the instructor presents in class.

Why are textbooks so expensive?

Older textbooks were strictly "text" books. Today, however, photos and graphics on clay-based paper, teacher's aids, software, templates, and other multi media add-ons have increased the classic textbook's price to the bookstore. Also, for example, a chemistry text has a sales life of less than two years for the publisher. In order to recoup the initial research and development costs, the production costs, royalties and a bit of profit to satisfy stockholders and to begin new projects, the publisher must charge increasingly higher prices to cover those costs. Many esoteric works, in addition to the sales life, have a limited production. Costs tend not to decrease with sales decreases.

What goes into the cost of a textbook?

Please see the National Association of College Stores website here for a PDF file of how each dollar from a new textbook sale is calculated.

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

If you do not see your course or section listed on our website it means that at this time we have not received any course material information from your professor. Continue to check our website as it updates daily as new orders are provided, or wait until the first day of class for your instructor to tell you what you need.

What are E-books?

E-books (short for electronic book) are the digital version of printed textbooks. Publishers have started producing e-books as a low cost alternative to purchasing physical textbooks. If you select this option for the course you will be given an access code which will give you access to the material on your personal computer or mobile device. Please see our list of e-book providers for more details by clicking here

How do I obtain my materials for a distance education course?

Distance Education books are available for purchase either in-store or online here. NCSU Bookstores no longer does DVD rental as all supplemental materials are now available directly through the DELTA website here.

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

We certainly can ship you books that you purchase through the bookstores website. When checking out select the option for ground shipping and it will be added to the total for the purchase of materials. We do expedite shipping, however you must call the store to facilitate this process at (919)-515-3820.

Pricing table for shipping:

Price Point Ground Rate 2nd Day Air Next Day Air
$0.10 - $25.00 $7.95 $14.95 $18.95
$25.01 - $50.00 $9.95 $15.95 $20.95
$50.01 - $75.00 $10.95 $17.95 $23.95
$75.01 - $100.00 $11.95 $18.95 $25.95
$100.01 - $150.00 $13.95 $20.95 $28.95
$150.01 - $200.00 $15.95 $22.95 $31.95
$200.01 - $250.00 $17.95 $24.95 $34.95
$250.01 and over $19.95 $30.95 $41.95

  • Please note that we do not ship to P.O. Boxes, or on campus dormitories
  • Please call for international shipping rates including Alaska and Hawaii
  • Computers are not included in these prices, please call (919)-515-3400 for rates
  • Textbook Buyback

    What determines if you are buying my book(s) back, and how much I will get for it?

    If the professor has decided to use the book the following semester, we will pay the most competitive price until we have reached our limit. Once we reach our limit or if the book is no longer being used, we will pay a national wholesale price based on edition, and popularity of the book nationwide.
    Other factors that are important to the value of selling textbooks:

  • Condition of the book
  • If it is a current edition that is still in use
  • If it is being used in the following semester(s)
  • If it is brought back with all components intact (CD's, inserts, etc..)

  • You can also check current buyback prices at our buyback lookup page.

    When is the best time to sell back my books?

    The best time to sell back your books is right around finals time. The more requests from professors we get before finals week, the better chances you have at getting the most money back.

    I bought books together in a package, can I still sell this back?

    If the professor has selected that same package again for use in the following semester(s), we will buy it back. Please check the list of current packages by clicking here, so that you remember to bring all the components with you for the maximum resale value.

    Online Orders

    What are the benefits of placing an online order?

    By placing an online order you:

  • Avoid long lines at rush with one stop shopping
  • The ability to use financial aid to purchase books
  • Better chance at getting used books by ordering early
  • Have the choice on which books and materials you want by picking and choosing books, e-books or rentals
  • Save time by letting us pull the books for you
  • Use your parents credit card
  • What is Get Booked Early?

    The Get Booked Early program is offered each Fall Semester. This program debuted in 1988 to help incoming freshmen avoid the long lines of "rush." The response of both parents and students was so enthusiastic that the program has been expanded to include all students at NC State University. Once a student has gone to New Student Orientation and registered for classes they can go on the website through the MyPack portal, and select view my books from under the class schedule setting and simply order the books they wish to purchase. Participating in the Get Booked Early program is not only smart, it's easy!

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

    You will be charged after we have pulled and verified that the books you ordered. During the fall semester this might be a few weeks after you have placed the order, or a matter of hours when we are in peak book buying season. You are not charged immediately after the order is submitted, as we sometimes run out of new/used books and have to substitute, which changes pricing information.

    What does it mean when a book is on backorder?

    A textbook that is on backorder means that we either have not received our shipment of the book in the store, or that we may have run out at that time. You will not be charged for the backorder until the book arrives in the store.

    Why was my textbook cancelled from my order?

    There are a few reasons that a book may have been marked as canceled on your order:

  • Sometimes between the time you place the order and the time we process them, the professor has decided to cancel an item from the required list of readings.
  • With the "Choice" option sometimes both texts are selected we will decide which of the items to provide and cancel the other off of your order, as you only need one.
  • If you selected "No Subsitutions" and we did not have the condition of the book requested we will cancel that item off of your order. To prevent this, please select "Subsitution OK", and we will provide you a copy of the book regardless of condition.

  • What are the different textbook statuses?

  • Required: The professor has indicated that this material is required for their course
  • Optional: The professor has indicated that this material might be beneficial to the student as an optional material
  • Choice: The professor has decided on multiple formats of the material, and gives the student the choice on which to purchase

  • When placing an online order what are the substitution options and how will the affect my order?

    The substition options are quite simple. If you select a used book, and select no substitions and we do not have a used book in stock, we will cancel that item from your order. The same can be said if you ask for a new book and we only have used. If you want the book no matter what we have in stock, then select "Substitute OK". We will fill your order according to your specifications, and substitute as necessary

    Why is the amount from my confirmation e-mail different from what I was charged?

    Your confirmation e-mail shows the total as the amount if everything on your order was fulfilled as requested, however sometimes that is not possible due to stock issues. If you selected a used copy and we did not have one, a new one was added in its place if you selected ok to substitute causing the prices to change. Also if a book was canceled or backordered you were not charged for those, and your amount would be less.

    Returns & Refunds

    What is the refund policy for textbooks?

    The refund policy states that you have 12 days from the first day of class in Fall or Spring Semesters, and 2 days from the start of either Summer Session to return your books for a full refund. Also course materials bought 14 days before final exams are non-returnable. If a book is purchased after the refund date has passed you have 5 days from date of purchase to return the book (excluding summer sessions).

    In order to receive a full refund or exchange you will need the following:

  • Your student ID
  • Your original register receipt (no copies will be accepted)
  • The materials must not be written in or marked in
  • If the book(s) came wrapped, they must have their wrapping still intact

  • Textbook returns are processed through the Buyback/Customer Service desk located in the Textbook department.

    I need to send an item back to the Bookstore for a refund. How do I go about that?

    We are happy to take your returns via UPS or the mail, but please do the following:

  • 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 would like to exchange, or leave a phone number for us to call
  • Please send all returns to:
    Textbook Returns
    2610 Stinson Dr.
    Raleigh, NC 27695

  • North Carolina Sales Tax Holiday

    When is the Sales Tax Holiday for 2011?

    The 2011 North Carolina Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 AM Friday August 5th and goes until 11:59 PM August 7th. Students can shop in-store or online to receive tax holiday savings. NC State Bookstores offers online computer and textbook ordering which will allow students to take full advantage of the tax free ordering while saving you a trip to the bookstore.

    What is eligible for sales tax savings?

    In a nutshell, here's what the law allows:

    Textbooks: All textbooks individually priced $300.00 or less (Electronic Books (E-Books) and Rental books are not eligible for tax free savings) (includes reference books and workbooks).
    Click here to order now.

    CPUs under $3,500 for each item. (All of our Apple, Dell and Lenovo laptops qualify).
    Click here to order now.

    Computer Peripherals: Monitors, keyboards, mice, speakers, warranty & other internal upgrades are eligible when purchased with a laptop or computer.

    Computer Supplies: Most computer supplies with an individual price of $250.00 or less. This includes, but is not limited to printers, printer supplies (paper & printer ink), CD/DVD storage media, flash drives, wireless adaptors, carrying cases, etc.

    Other items: School supplies, calculators, PDAs (including iPods), backpacks, apparel, and sports equipment also qualify. Some items are only available in-store. Certain price restrictions apply.

    Not all items will be eligible

    The State of North Carolina has specific exceptions regarding computer hardware, software and peripherals. NC State Bookstores will do its utmost to ensure customers receive the full Sales Tax Holiday benefit provided on all eligible items purchased, but cannot be held responsible for unforeseen changes to the legislation.

    The full guideline can be found at:  NC Sales Tax Holiday

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