Textbook and In Store FAQs

For our Digital Course Material FAQs click here.  


Do I have to be a current student at the University of Alberta in order to purchase from the University Bookstore website?
No, the University of Alberta Bookstore serves the public. You do not need a student ID in order to purchase online.

What is the difference between a required and optional textbook?
A required textbook is a book your professor has chosen which contains necessary readings and materials for successful completion of the course.
An optional book is supplemental material chosen to assist in your studies, however is not mandatory for the course. These can include study guides and partial solutions manuals

How do I find my required textbooks?
The easiest way is to go to https://bookstore.ualberta.ca/courselistbuilder.aspx and manually select your courses to pull up your personalized book list.

My book list does not show all of my classes. How do I purchase all the books I need?
Try searching the ISBN of your book in the top search bar.

I tried searching for my books using the search bar, but nothing comes up. Does this mean that textbook is not in stock?
For best results, please use the ISBN or SKU to search for items.

I was able to find my book using the search bar, but there's no way to add it to cart. Why can't I buy this book?
If you see the note "Textbooks can only be purchased by selecting courses. Please visit the Course List Builder to get started" in the place of the "Add to Cart" button, it means that textbook is not being used this term. Please contact us to check if we have copies in stock or to bring in copies of the textbook. 

I have a required textbook on my syllabus, but it's not on my book list and there are no search results for the ISBN. How do I buy the book?
If the item is not showing up for the course on the bookstore website, please contact us to look into this further. 

I have my items in the shopping cart but can't check out! Why won't the system let me order?
In order to proceed from the check-out page, please ensure you have done all of the following:

  1. Logged into or created a new account. Be mindful that your bookstore account is different from your CCID, so if you have never shopped with us before, welcome, and please create a new account.
  2. Enter a valid shipping and billing address.
    1. Type in both a first name and last name
    2. Our system does not allow PO Box numbers as the first address line. Please input a Canadian address for the first line and then add the PO number into the second address line.
  3. Select your shipping method and hit the "apply" button on the right hand side of the column.
    1. If you select "free in store pick up", you will need to input additional pick up details before proceeding to payment.
    2. "Campus mail" applies to any address served by SMS. If you are uncertain if SMS delivers to your address, please consult your department head or building supervisor.
    3. For international request be aware that the bookstore will need to secure shipping quotes before processing the order, and that wait times and pricing are extremely variable and entirely dependant on the couriers
  4. Select payment by credit card, debit card, or gift card.
    1. note: you will not be inputting card information on this page, but rather on the following secure checkout page
  5. Check off the box "I am over 13 years old" if it applies to you, or have a parent or legal guardian supervise the transaction if the statement does not apply

What types of payments can I use?
The bookstore's online system currently accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, VisaDebit, DebitMastercard, and bookstore gift cards. We currently are unable to accept pure debit cards.

Can I place an order online and pay for it in person?
No, the online system will not accept an order without card payment credentials.

I placed an order and received a confirmation email, so why hasn't my card been charged?
The card you have on file will not be charged until your order is processed. Your order is processed in the order we receive them. If the item you are purchasing is not in stock (ie. has not arrived to us yet), your order status will remain as "processing" until we get them.

My card was charged but I haven't received a status update, only the order confirmation. Can I pick up my items?
No, your items will not be ready, as your order has not been processed. In many cases the credit card statement will show a "holding charge" or "pending charge" from the university bookstore. This holding charge will appear after the order is placed but before the order is processed, and basically means the bookstore has access to that amount of credit, but hasn't used it yet. This type of system will be familiar to anyone who has ever pre-paid for gas at a self serve petrol station.

I placed an order but never got an order confirmation or a status update, but my card has been charged, and I have confirmed that it is a charge and not a holding charge. How did I pick up my items?
In a case where you've placed and order and been charged for it, but have not received any correspondence from the bookstore, it is likely you have entered your email address incorrectly. Please contact the bookstore information desk with your full name, a list of the items you purchased, and the amount charged. They will be able to provide you with the order number required to pick up your items.

Can I return a textbook?
North Campus students generally have until that term's add/drop deadline to return books in store bough condition with their original receipt, still wrapped where applicable. Please see our Return Policy page for specific dates, as well as the deadlines for student on other campuses (Faculty of Extension, Augustana Campus, etc)

I've lost my receipt. Can I still return my textbook?
If you have lost your receipt you will need to pay for a receipt reprint. Find the form on our Return Policy page. The fee is $10 and will take 3-4 days to process. Applying for a receipt reprint will NOT extend your refund deadline, so be sure to apply well in advance of the last day to return materials, and ensure they are all still in store bought condition.

I only have my order confirmation. Can I use that as a receipt?
No, the order confirmation does not provide us with the necessary information to process a refund. We require the shipment number and the ISBN of an item to be able to refund items.

Wait, isn't the order confirmation my receipt?
The order confirmation email is not a receipt. It is an acknowledgement that we have received your order, and will detail the items of that order. The items on the receipt are NOT guaranteed to be sold at the price listed on the order confirmation; all prices are subject to change.
The receipt may be called a packing slip or receipt, and should have been included with your items. Only items included in the "shipped" column will be applicable to that specific receipt shipment.
For digital resources, the receipt will be the status update email you received with your code. It will contain your order number, shipment number, redemption code, and ISBN.

I've written in/opened my textbook. Can I still return it?
Once you've marked a textbook or have broken the shrink wrap seal, the item will no longer be eligible for refund.

I'm a sponsor student. How do I purchase textbooks?
Sponsor student have to come in store to collect their materials, and then present their valid one card at the time of payment processing.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Alberta has put a digital checkout process in place for sponsor students.
Please email bookstore.sponsored.students@ualberta.ca for more information.

Can I place an order and pay for it over the telephone?
Sorry, at this time the bookstore is not processing telephone orders. If you are unable to order online, please to come into the store to purchase your items.

How do the BOGO (Buy One, Get One) sales work?
In all BOGO (Buy One, Get One) savings', the free item must be of equal or lesser value and within the same group of products.