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Textbook Frequently Asked Questions



  • How do I purchase my books online?
    Reserve and purchase your course materials conveniently online with the Illini Union Bookstore! We will box your books free of charge and have them waiting for you by the week before classes start. You can look up your books by searching by clicking on the term, department, course and section for each class. When you check out, the online system will step you through the ordering process. You will need to create an online profile. Provide your book preference (new/used/rental/E-text), payment information and select if you’d like to pick up your books free of charge at the Illini Union Bookstore or have them shipped to your house for an additional shipping cost.

  • When will my online order be shipped?
    Shipment of fulfilled orders for Fall 2019 is 8/5/19.
    • A valid credit card is required to finalize your order. Your credit card will not be charged until your order is fulfilled.
    • Shipping prices reflect regular UPS ground rates. Expedited shipping requests (Next Day, 2-day, International, etc.) will incur higher shipping rates. NOTE:  Expedited shipping requests are initiated at the time of order fulfillment, however, we do not ship on weekends & holidays.

  • When will my online order be ready?
    Online reservations are processed 1-2 weeks before the start of each term. This allows us time to ensure that most, if not all, of your course books are available. For Fall 2019 courses, fulfillment of online textbook orders will begin on 8/5/19. You will receive an email letting you know when your order is packed and ready to be picked up. To pick up your order, please bring your order # and a valid photo ID (i-Card, driver's license, or state ID).

  • What if my book is not on the shelf?
    Please ask at the Textbook Information counter on the lower level of the bookstore. If your book is sold out, you may place a special order with us, and we’ll order it for you. It’s always good to ask our friendly team members, as the book may be in a different location in the bookstore.

  • What is your returns policy?
    During the first ten days of a term (other than Summer), all books and course materials are fully returnable with your original receipt and in original condition. We cannot process a textbook return without the original credit card present.

  • It’s late in the term and my books aren’t on the shelf anymore. Are they gone?
    Not necessarily. We are probably processing the books for return to vendors, and they are likely still in the building, so please ask at the Textbook Information counter, and our friendly team members will be glad to retrieve it for you.

  • Will I get money back for all my books at buyback?
    The Illini Union Bookstore buys books at several times during the year, and the best prices are generally paid during finals week, when we are buying the most books back for use at the University. For those titles, you’ll get the most money back: up to 50% of the new price, even if you bought it used—and the more of these we can buy from students, the more used books we can offer to students next term. When a book is not being used next term, we can offer the wholesale price, which is its national wholesale value—usually a smaller percentage of what you paid. You can conveniently check buyback prices anytime at our website.

  • Do you offer alternatives to buying my text books and course materials?
    Yes, we offer online and in-store text book rentals.

    Many textbooks and course materials are available in different formats. We offer physical textbooks for sale, rental, and eBook digital texts. If there is more than one option available for a particular title, you will see those different options listed online. The intention is that you choose the one option that best fits your needs.

    Other possible course materials include online access codes, course packets (created by the professor and sold in the bookstore), electronic media (iClicker2) and various supplies.

  • How do I get my book list?
    You can get your book list conveniently online. Bring your book list into the Textbook Department with you when you come to the Illini Union Bookstore to purchase your course books so you know exactly which books you need. Use your book list as a reference when you come to the store to save time!

    You can look up your books by searching by title, entering your 5-digit course reference number (which can be found on your class schedule) or selecting your term/department/course from the drop-down lists provided.

  • What if I need to cancel or change my online order?
    If you need to cancel or change your online textbook order (add/drop classes or books, etc.), please contact our textbook department at iubtextbooks@illinois.edu or call us at 217.244.3730 with any questions.

  • When I am checking out online, the total is higher than what I had expected. Have I been overcharged?
    The cart total is calculated at the highest current price for titles. Used prices will be applied if selected and available when your order is filled. If you have any questions or concerns about this matter, please contact our textbook department at iubtextbooks@illinois.edu or call us at 217.244.3730 with any questions.

  • What does it mean when I select “used preferred” or “new preferred” for each title?
    If you select “used preferred,” we will provide a used copy whenever available, and only provide a new copy if we have no used copies. The reverse is true if you select “new preferred.” We do this so that we can fill your order completely—and you have the option of returning any books you don’t need or want within the first two weeks of the term.

  • Do you accept financial aid as payment?
    We cannot accept Financial Aid or bill your account for textbook/bookstore purchases. We accept all major credit cards, cash, or check.

Illini Union Bookstore
Textbooks Department
809 S. Wright Street, Champaign, IL 61820
(217) 244-3730
iubtextbooks@illinois.edu