For Students

Many students have the same questions.  We will help you all we can when you come into the store.  The questions we hear most often are listed below, and hopefully, an answer that gives you what you need to know.

How do I know what I need for my dorm room/do you carry everything I need?

Moving into the dorms is a big change.  We do carry some items that you may find useful.  We do not carry everything you will need as space does not allow. We do have an association with Bed Bath and Beyond to help you with your dorm needs.  Check out the information at www.bbby.com/stthomas.  Click on the School Info Sheet button to get general information on what you can and cannot bring.  More specific details will be available through St Thomas Residence Life. 

Do you have the list of books I need?

Sort of.  We don't have your specific list.  What we do have is the list of books requested for each class.  

Did you bring your schedule with you?  This will have all the information you need to be able to find your books. Another option is getting your list from the website as if you are placing an order, and come in with that.  If you still need help, you can ask an employee, and learn how the Campus Store organizes courses so that you can find what you need.

What do you mean, section number?

This a really important two digit/letter and two digit number that tells us exactly what books you will need for your class. 

Sometimes a department will choose to use the same text for all sections of a class.  Some examples of this are THEO 101, ACCT 210, MATH 113.  Your schedule will list THEO 101-14. Check on the shelves for a tag that says ALL in the section number.  These books are for your section as well as all other sections of this course.   

Other times, an instructor may be teaching more than one section of a class.  You want to look for a tag that lists your two-digit section number.  This happens often in English, Philosophy, Catholic Studies, and History.  Your section would be ENGL 121-23.  This instructor may be teaching two or more sections of the same class so you would need to look for your section in the run of section numbers.  You might find a tag saying ENGL 121  Sections:07.13.23.26.  The books on this tag are the books for your class as your section, 23, is one of the sections listed.  We do understand that this can be confusing at first.  We hope this helps to make sense in reading the tags.  You want to start at the beginning of the course number, as this tag will be placed numerically, and you will find it closer to the beginning.  We are happy to help you understand this when you come in.

I'm in the right area, I can't find my department/course/section.

The signs are an alphabetical guide as to what is in that section of books.  Some departments are small and fall in alphabetical order within the shelves.  Departments such as Arabic (ARAB), Chinese (CHIN), Film Studies(FILM), and Women's Studies(WMST) offer only one or two classes each semester, so their shelf space is small. Also, you may find that you have to go across the aisle, around the corner, or turn around to find the department continuation.  Another consideration is where your class meets.  If your class meets at the Minneapolis campus, your books will most likely be at that store.  If you are taking a class at another of the ACTC colleges, your books will be at that bookstore.  The one exception to this is GRSW, which will have all of its books at the St Paul St Thomas Campus Store.

I want to/have placed an order online. Now what happens?

This is the best way to get the course materials you need.  Simply click on the button for textbook ordering.  If your class meets in St Paul, choose St Paul, if your class meets in Minneapolis (most graduate programs), choose Minneapolis. 

Your next step is to enter your classes by choosing department, course number, and section.  Add the course, and once you have all your courses entered and added, click on GET COURSE MATERIALS.  This will bring up the listing of all course materials that have been requested by your instructor for us to order.  You can then choose new, used, or rental options for your order. 

At the shipping point, you will need to put in a shipping address.  In the next step, you may choose FedEx or Textbook Reservation (this is open for a limited time only).  It is a bit confusing, we understand.  Know that if you choose Reservation, we will hold your materials here for you. 

You may pay for your course materials by credit/debit card or UST Express.  If you choose UST Express, the funds MUST be available before we process your order. Go to get.cbord.com/stthomas to put funds on your Express account. 

We will start filling orders as soon as the bulk of our materials arrive and we have them on the shelves. This happens usually about three weeks before the semester starts. If too many of your requested materials have not yet arrived, we will hold your order until we can fill it as completely as possible. At some point we will have to finalize your order to have it shipped to you or set for reservation pickup.  Know that there may be materials you ordered that we did not have on hand at that time.  You have not been charged for them, and you can simply stop in and pick up those last few items.  Duplicated material is the most common missing item from an order.

If you choose PICK UP ORDER (reservation), know that there is a time frame in which these orders can be picked up.  Reservations can usually be picked up from the Thursday or Friday before classes begin through the second day of classes.  On the St Paul campus, our pickup area is in a room down the hall from the Campus Store.  Check for signs and hours.  Also, remember that if you place an order one night, you cannot pick it up the next morning.  You must give us at least 48 hours to fulfill your order.  The Minneapolis campus does not have a reservation option. 

Your FedEx order will be filled and shipped to you in the same timely manner in which we handle reservations.  Again, we try to fill orders as completely as possible before shipping.  FedEx will not ship to a UST dorm address.  Any orders with this as a shipping address will be changed to 2115 Summit Ave and your order will be available at Shipping and Receiving.

I want to place an order for my J-term and Spring books at the same time. Will I get them together?

No, you will not.  J-term books are usually set before we leave for the break over the holidays.  Spring semester books will not be arriving until sometime the second week of January.  If you place an order for both terms, we will fill your J-term order, and cancel any items for spring.  As you will be on campus for your J-term class, you are welcome to stop in to pick up your spring books as you find them available.  This does allow you to pick which book you want, and possibly get a used one if there are very few available.

What is DUP MAT and why is it so expensive/where is it?

DUP MAT is duplicated materials.  Your instructor has chosen to put together a packet of duplicated materials from other books.  This saves you from having to purchase each text included in the duplicated materials.  There could be information from eight to ten books in this packet.  The price is based on the cost of the permissions needed to duplicate and sell information from copyrighted books and materials. 

Many times, the requests for packets comes to us at a late date.  Therefore, the process is delayed and the packet is not available the first day of class. The instructors know this.  Check back on occasion.  There will be a space on the shelf for this packet, and when it arrives, you will find it there.

Don't you have this in used or hardbound/why are you out of this, I need it?

 

There are many reasons why we may not have exactly what you are looking for. If you ask if we have a text in a used copy, you will be informed that we have put all our used copies out on the shelf with only a few new ones for those people who want a new text.  For the most part, if you don't see it used, either we had none, or they have all sold out.  Your only option is new.

As for there being only new texts as the option, the reasons for this come from the department instructors. Many departments have chosen to use looseleaf books with the webassign.  These are initially less expensive than a hardbound text.  The issue is that we do not buy back many of the looseleaf texts because we cannot guarantee that all the pages are there, and to purchase a used looseleaf and a new webassign would be more costly than purchasing the package new.  This pricing is out of our control.  Another reason for only new availability is that the instructor(s) have chosen to use a new edition, and therefore, there will be no used. 

We supply what the instructors ask for.  We will provide hardbound if that meets their needs.  Many times they have chosen another option, and we must provide what they request.

As for why we may be out of a book, the reasons are: 

     The instructor placed/changed their order very late and we have not yet received what they requested. 

     The instructor chose a text that is hard to find, possibly out of print, and we are doing our best to locate copies for the students. 

     Some instructors have chosen to use a text being used by other sections of the same class, and did not inform us of this.  We are then out of stock faster, and have to get more ordered to cover that section, and the sections that did request the text.  We base our orders on the instructors who request the texts.  We do not order more than we need.

How do I "charge" my books to my student account for financial aid to pay?

You cannot actually"charge" anything to your student account as if it were a charge account.  You must have Express funds available, with the funding of your express account billed to your student account.  Go to get.cbord.com/stthomas to be billed for it (Bill Me option) along with tuition, room and board, and any other fees that may be charged to your student account.  We have tablets at the registers for you to set up the Bill Me option, you can add funds before coming to the store, or you can log in on your smart phone and be ready to enter the amount when you get to the register.  Funds can be added at any time.  A minimum of $50.00 and a maximum of $800.00 per day is set by the Card Office.  This will be billed for the amount through the Business Office, and the charge will come to your home like your tuition statement.  Please look through the FAQ's on the Card Office page at www.stthomas.edu/cardoffice.

You can put any even dollar amount on your account, and put more than your order total. This extra amount can be used however you choose. 

If you are using this payment method for text reservation or FedEx shipment, funds MUST be available at the time you place the order.  Orders with non-sufficient funds will be delayed until funds are available, and may not be filled complete or as requested.

I need a book ordered/to fill out a blue card because there are no more available, what do I do?

We are happy to order a book for you.  There are times that demand exceeds supply and we are unaware that more students are enrolled in a class than was originally requested.  We will get you a copy  of what you need as quickly as possible.  This can be as fast as two days, and as long as 10 depending on what is requested. 

You will need to fill out a blue card.  It really is blue.  Fill out ALL requested information legibly.  Many times people are in a hurry, and we cannot read what they are requesting, their name, phone number or email.  It makes it very difficult to get them what they need and then to attempt to contact them.    There is nothing extra on the card.  We need your name, phone number and email.  Fill out the department, course an section, for example,  Dept & Course#: ENGL 121  Section:  22. Fill out Author and Title.  You can take the card to the shelf to make sure you have the correct information. 

We will contact you when your request is filled.  Your item will be held at Customer Service.  Please stop back to ask for it and then you may pay for it at the register. 

We will hold your request for three business days.  At that time it will be released to fill the request of another student if needed, or put on the shelves, 

We fill requests in the order in which they are received, so when you turn yours in we date and time stamp them.  If you are thinking of having us order one and there is great demand, the longer you wait to request, the further down the line you will be. 

If you no longer need the item requested, please let us know so that we may release the hold on it. 

If you are coming in the day before you need a book and it is not on the shelf, sadly, you will not have it tomorrow.  Always plan ahead in case we are in our return process.  Especially just at and immediately after mid-semester, as that is when we are allowed by the publishers to return a portion of what we buy from them so that we are not stuck with unpurchased inventory.  This helps keep down the cost to you and us.

Can I put funds on my express with a credit card?

Yes you can!  This is a great way to get some extra funds for a small fee.  Go to get.cbord.com/stthomas and follow the instructions for adding funds.  Using a credit card will put an extra 5% on the account.  There is a flat fee of $1.50 for using the credit card option each time you add funds.  For more information on this, check out the Card Office site at www.stthomas.edu/cardoffice.  We require, for security reasons that you do this on your personal computer or phone, not on the tablets we have at our registers.

Where do I get a Responsecard/clicker/web assign/Aplia/Connect?

All of these items are available at the registers when you go to checkout.  Ask your cashier for what you need and they will get it for you.  If for some reason, we have run out of an item, they will have you fill out a blue card as a request form for the item.  You will be contacted when it arrives. 

You will need to know your course information for these things as they are different for each course. 

Responsecards (clickers) are considered textbooks and are under the same guidelines for returns as paper books.

Web Assigns, Aplia and Connect are to be registered to you, the student.  If you believe you are not going to use this once you purchase it, do not open the packet or scratch off to access the code.  Once you do this, it is not returnable.  These are also considered textbooks, and fall under the same guidelines for returns as paper books.

Why would I want to rent a book and how do I do it?

There are many reasons.  First, renting is less expensive.  There should be an asterisk after this as it is less expensive provided the book is returned as a rental return by the end of finals week.  At that point, a fee will be charged to your student account, and you will own the book. 

Along with it being less expensive, if it is a book you think you do not want to keep, and yes, some students do keep books, then at the end of the semester, you simply return it.  This is a good option, especially if the instructors have chosen to use a different book the next semester.  When that happens, we would be buying back the book for wholesale cost only, which is much lower than what we would offer if it was being used here. 

A rental is exactly that.  A rental. You have paid a lower fee to use it for the term.  You do not get any cash back for returning the book. Just like with a movie or an apartment, you have used it, you do not get funds back. 

If a rental book is brought to us in bad condition - dirty, wet, stained - there is a chance we will not accept it back.  There would then be a charge for the price difference on your student account for this book just as if you forgot to return it.

To rent a book, choose the one you want off the shelf, and take it to the register with your other items.  When your cashier scans the book, the option of rent or purchase will appear and you will be asked if you want to rent or purchase.  The decision must be made then.  Present your ID, and your cashier will run it through to show that you have chosen to rent that particular book.  This option, if available, will come up with every book you are getting.  You can decide book by book, or as some people choose, to rent all that are possible, or to purchase all, and not rent any.  This decision is up to you.

If I buy this, can I return it/I need to return these books, what do I do?

YOU NEED YOUR RECEIPT.  We cannot repeat this enough.  You need your receipt. 

At the beginning of the semester, we will have a register set up outside the bookstore.  This is where you will handle all of your returns for the semester that has just started.  This is NOT buyback from the previous terms. 

You have the first FOUR days of class to return a text.  This is listed on your receipt.  You will have paperwork to fill out, and if it was paid for with a credit card of some sort, a card must be presented for the funds to be returned.  It does not have to be the same card.  Basically, the refund will be given in the same way it was paid, be it credit card, express account or cash.  Checks may have a hold time and the funds will not be given in cash immediately.  If new, the text must be in new condition with no highlighting or writing.  Access codes must not be registered.  These things will alter the refund amount. Its a good idea to save the plastic wrapping if you think you may need to return the text. 

 After the first four days, you MUST be dropping the class and have finalized proof that you are no longer enrolled in the class. You can bring in your updated schedule, your finalized drop form, your phone showing your updated schedule.  We need proof.  Again, YOU NEED YOUR RECEIPT.  The policy remains the same for new texts and access codes as stated above.  Also, funds will be returned as stated above.  check the calendars as there are deadlines on these types of returns.  Best idea is to finalize the drop and return the books as soon as you have documentation.

After these dates have passed, we do not accept returns. 

Many times we will get calls asking when the funds will be available/back on on the credit/debit cards.  We process our transactions every day.  Your financial institution will have record of the return of funds, and it is a long time practice that funds are taken quickly, and returned slowly.  You will need to check with your financial institution on their policies.  UST Express funds are available immediately.

My professor told us we needed this book. Do you have it?

Maybe, maybe not.  It depends on a lot of things. 

First, was it requested by your instructor for us to have it? 

     No?  Well, then we will not have it unless it is being used by another class.  Then, the supply will run short for that class as we do not order more than we need. 

     Yes?  Then the chances are we have sold out, or as is possible if it is mid semester or later, we have shipped back any copies we had.  If there are any on the shelf at this time, they are possibly all new.  We can order a copy for you if we are out.  Know that you will not have it for two or more days, not including weekends. If you need it that soon, check the library.  Also know that you are not going to be the first one looking for that elusive library copy.

I need this for a test. Can I buy it today and return it tomorrow?

No.  At this point the time for returns has probably come and gone. 

No.  If you forgot or can't find yours, start looking harder.  You will own two if you can't find yours.

I need my lab manual and supplies. Where do you have them?

We do have the lab manuals, notebooks and supplies for some of the science courses.  The manuals we have are ones put together by the instructor and are specific to a class.  The lab notebook is one requested by the department, and we carry goggles if you need those.

Its eight weeks into the semester and I can't find my book on the shelf! What do I do?

We are happy to order a book for you.  There are times that demand exceeds supply and we are unaware that more students are enrolled in a class than was originally requested.  We will get you a copy of what you need as quickly as possible.  This can be as fast as two days, and as long as 10 depending on what is requested. 

If you are coming in the day before you need a book and it is not on the shelf, sadly, you will not have it tomorrow.  Always plan ahead in case we are in our return process.  Especially just at and immediately after mid-semester, as that is when we are allowed by the publishers to return a portion of what we buy from them so that we are not stuck with unpurchased inventory.  This helps keep down the cost to you and us. 

You will need to fill out a blue card.  It really is blue.  Fill out ALL requested information legibly.  Many times people are in a hurry, and we cannot read what they are requesting, their name, phone number or email.  It makes it very difficult to get them what they need and then to attempt to contact them.    There is nothing extra on the card.  We need your name, phone number and email.  Fill out the department, course an section, for example,  Dept & Course#: ENGL 121  Section:  22. Fill out Author and Title.  You can take the card to the shelf to make sure you have the correct information. 

We will contact you when your request is filled.  Your item will be held at Customer Service for three business days.  Please stop back to ask for it and then you may pay for it at the register. 

We fill requests in the order in which they are received, so when you turn yours in we date and time stamp them.  If you are thinking of having us order one and there is great demand, the longer you wait to request, the further down the line you will be. 

If you no longer need the item requested, please let us know so that we may release the hold on it.

We aren't/didn't use this book. Why did I have to buy it?

We cannot control what the instructors choose to do with the books they request.  If they do not use a book, we do not know this.  If they choose to eliminate the text from their coursework altogether, they need to contact us, and then we can take care of returning these books for you.  The important thing is to have them contact us and not just send you in telling us that they have opted out of using the book.  Once the instructor contacts us, you may return the book.  YOU MUST HAVE YOUR RECEIPT!  No exceptions.

I need to get an item for a project. I can't find it in your store. Any suggestions?

We do special orders all the time!  Just stop in at Customer Service and we will take your contact information as well as the item that you are looking for.  Our supply buyer will order your item if it is available and notify you when it comes in.

I plan on calling to find out if you have a book available. What do I need to tell you?

The fastest route to knowing if we have a book is to provide us with the department, course number, and section along with author and title. We will write this down when you call, so have patience.  And example would be, "I am wondering if you have received TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee for English 201, section 12."  We can then go to exactly where we need to check.  Asking for a book for English with Jones and the book is something about birds means we are going to have to have you give us more information. (Yes, we do get these kinds of calls).  Be patient while on hold as we may get stopped along the way.  We will be back to you as soon as possible.  If we are really busy, as in the first couple of weeks of the semester, we will have to get your information and call you back.  If you are asking anytime after mid-semester, the chances are, your book has been shipped back.  We can then order you a copy, you need to know all the information we ask for on the blue card.  See the question addressing blue card orders for further information.

How do I return a rental book?

This depends on a couple of things.  If you are dropping the class in the time frame allowed, bring your book in with proof of the drop, your receipt and a way to return your funds if your original payment was on a card.  You will receive a rental refund. 

If you have taken the full semester course, bring it to buyback with any books you want to sell for cash.  It will be processed as a returned rental book and you will receive a slip of paper listing the number of rentals you returned. SAVE THIS SLIP OF PAPER FOR AT LEAST FOUR MONTHS.  If there is a problem with the system, and you are charged for the non-return of a rental, this is your ticket to prove you did return books.  It does happen.  This piece of paper has made corrections quick and easy for us, the business office and you. 

If your rental is badly damaged in any way, it may not be accepted back.

How does buyback and rental return work?

Buyback through the Campus Stores happens at the end of fall and spring semesters only.  We do not buy books at all times of the year.  It starts in the week before finals and continues through end of day on the last day of finals.  Check the hours on the website for each stores hours as they vary on each campus.  STUDENT ID REQUIRED.

On the St Paul campus, buyback takes place at the Campus Store.  We open our doors to the back room and have staff ready to help you.  There are a few days during finals week that there is a buyback location in Anderson Student Center also. 

The Minneapolis Campus Store handles all transactions at the counter.  This includes purchases, buyback and rental returns.

Buyback also means RENTAL returns!  All of this is handled at the same time, at the same place.  Our systems will tell us if the book is a rental to be returned or a book to purchase if there is any value.  STUDENT ID REQUIRED.

The earlier you are able to return books the better, and the better price.  Check this site to enter the ISBN of the book and know if there is any value at that time.  http://tommiebooks.stthomas.edu/tommiebooks1/Buyback.aspx  Know that the price listed will change if you wait a day, or if by chance, quotas are met before  you get to the store to sell back the book.

Buyback is a supply and demand operation.  We buy books for ourselves as well as a wholesaler.  The wholesaler sets the price and the amount of the books that we purchase for them.  The books that we buy back for our store are determined by the orders that we have from instructors for the following semester.  If we have an order for 50 copiesof a book for a class, we will purchase what we need to fill our demand, at up to half the price of a new book.  After we have filled our quota, we will purchase for our wholesaler at the price they have set.  On occasion, we will fill the quota for our store and for the wholesaler.  We will no longer offer anything for these books.  That does not mean that they do not have value, it means we cannot offer anything for them.  Bottom line, the longer you wait, the less you will get.  Bring your books in as soon as you are finished with them, even if this means more than one trip. 

What happens if you, for some reason could not make it in to one of the Campus Stores buyback days?  You can sell your books online. Check out http://onlinebuyback.mbsbooks.com/index.php?jde=7633    This will give you prices year round.  This in an online site, and books are shipped to the distributor.  You can also check for the buybacks that happen at other times.  We will list this information on our events page.   This is an independent buyer who will be outside the store.

How can I find out how much you are paying for my books at buyback?

There are a few ways you can know what we are paying for books.

First step is to go to either St Paul or Minneapolis Textbooks. On the bottom of the page is a menu with buyback options. Click on Buyback $$$ info, enter the ISBN, and get the currently offered price. To go there directly, click here: http://tommiebooks.stthomas.edu/tommiebooks1/Buyback.aspx

Another option is to download the buyback app on your smartphone.  For Apple, go to the App store, look for "U of St Thomas" with Tommie Mascot.  For Android, go to Google Play Store, look for "University of St Thomas" with Tommie Mascot.  With this app, you scan the barcode and get current pricing.

Remember that either way, it is the price being offered at that time.  If you wait a few hours or a day, the price could, and probably will, change.  We pay highest for books we are buying for our own use.  The price drops if we are buying for a wholesaler. 

We may not buy back everything - only what has been requested by St Thomas instructors for the next semester, or if a title is requested by our wholesaler.

The sooner you sell back books the more you get.

Come early, sell often, walk away with cash!

I forgot to return my rental, and now there is a charge on my student account!

Rental books are just that, rented.  Just like with DVD's or any other item that is available for rent, if it is not returned in time, you will be charged a fee.  You now own this book and can no longer return it as a rental.  As the charges appear on your student account approximately four weeks after the end of the term, we have sent back our shipment of returned books.  We are under contract to send them back by a certain date, and can no longer accept books after our shipment leaves. 

If this book is being used in an upcoming term, we will buy it back at our next buyback.  We, the Campus Stores, have buyback at the end of fall and spring semester.  Other buybacks are handled by independent companies. 

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: YOU must return your own rental books.  You cannot return for someone else, or have them return for you.

The book can be sold online if you did not return it in time and want to sell it.  Check out this site for the wholesale price offered at the time of inquiry.  http://onlinebuyback.mbsbooks.com/index.php?jde=7633  

NOTE TO SENIORS:  You will not receive your diploma until these charges are paid.

I need to get my cap and gown for graduation, what do I do?

We hold a Grad Fest in April for graduating students in the undergrad program.  At that time, you can pick up your cap, gown and tassel, look at class rings, diploma frames, have a photo taken in a cap and gown, find out about the class gift, and other things.  To pick up your cap and gown, you must have fulfilled all the requirements for graduation.  A list of students who are eligible for graduation is provided to us by the Registrar's Office.  This list is updated regularly.  If you are not on the list, we have a sheet with information as a kind of checklist to go through to confirm you are able to walk at graduation.  You must wait for our information to be updated before you can get your cap and gown. Your student ID is required to pick up items.   

Grad fest is not the only time to pick up cap and gown.  You can do this through 4pm on the last day of finals, which is the day before graduation. 

Masters and PhD candidates can pick up their graduation garb starting approximately 2 weeks before graduation.  Please make sure you have turned in your information to your program coordinator so that we will have a packet ready for you.  Your garb will be available at the campus you specified.  You must be on the list provided to us to pick up your cap and gown.  If not, you will need to talk with your program coordinator.  ID is required to pick up garb.