Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions when it comes to textbooks.

 

  Deadline Questions   Textbook Cost Questions
Ordering Process Questions   Textbook Rental Questions
Textbook Buyback Questions   Textbook Requisition Questions
Miscellaneous Questions      

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Deadline Questions

We know it doesn't take months for textbooks to arrive from a publisher these days - why do we have to turn in our requisitions so early?

I was assigned a class at the last minute, and it's after the requisition deadline.  Does this mean you won't order my books?

I forgot to turn in my requisition before the deadline.  Does this mean you won't order my books? And if you do, will they arrive on time?

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Ordering Process Questions

How does the ordering process work?

What does the bookstore do with the requisitions once they are submitted?

I always request more than enough books for my classes but sometimes the bookstore runs out - how can this happen?

I've used the same text for the last three years.  Can't you assume I'm going to use it again?

I thought it didn't matter if books were over-ordered, because the bookstore can return all the extras - right?

We know it doesn't take months for textbooks to arrive from a publisher these days - why do we have to turn in our requisitions so early?

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Textbook Buyback Questions

How does the textbook buyback work?

Doesn't the bookstore buy back all titles used for the next semester?

Why do some students get more for a book than other students?

What if one of my students miss the textbook buyback?

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Textbook Cost Questions

Why do textbooks cost so much, anyway?

What else can I do as an instructor to keep textbook costs reasonable for my students?

What about custom books and packages, don't they save students more money than used books?

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Textbook Rental Questions

How does the rental program work?

How do students pay for their textbook rental?

How much money can renting textbooks save students?

Is renting textbooks a better deal than purchasing?

Why should students rent from the bookstore versus going online?

What if students do not return the book?

Where do students return the book at the end of the semester?

What if the students forget when the rental is due back?

Can students write in/highlight in their rented book?

What about CDs or other supplements that come with a book?

What if the student's rental book is lost / stolen / damaged?

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Textbook Requisition Questions

How do I use the Electronic Requisition Page?

How do I look up books I've used or books other instructors have used?

How do I make sure my requisitions was processed or see if it was sent back to my department?

How do I check my textbook information in regards to availability, pricing, rental, etc.?

I need to submit my textbook requisition but I don't know the ISBN # for my book - where can I find my past textbook requisition history?

Can't you just tell me what ISBN I used?  Why do I need to look it up?

I've used the same text for the last three years.  Can't you assume I'm going to use it again?

Once I start filling out the Electronic Textbook Requisition form, how long do I have to submit it?

If the book I used comes packaged with other books do I just put the ISBN # that is listed on one of the other components as what I want ordered?

What if I don't know the exact title of the book?

I don't require books for my classes-do I still need to turn in a form?

The bookstore only sells NEW copies of lab books, work books, study guides, etc. right?

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Miscellaneous Questions

How do I get a desk copy or instructor manual?

I don't require books for my classes-do I still need to turn in a form?

The bookstore only sells NEW copies of lab books, work books, study guides, etc. right?

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We know it doesn't take months for textbooks to arrive from a publisher these days - why do we have to turn in our book requisitions so early?
The answer is easy.  It takes time to process the large volume of textbook requisition forms we receive for all the courses that the college has to offer.  There are all kinds of variables that need to be pinned down in processing each requisition.  A few include:

  • Resolving problems with requests and communicating back to faculty.

  • Preparing lists for used book wholesalers.

  • Seeking out availability and best prices among multiple distributors.

  • Ascertaining when new editions will be available.

  • Reviewing enrollment figures and sales histories to help determine how many copies to buy.

There are many other smaller tasks as well to get all of the books in and ready in time for class.  We also need the requisition forms early in order to know which titles we can buy back from students during buyback.

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I was just assigned a class at the last minute, and it's after the requisition deadline already.  Does this mean you won't order my books?
Of course not!  What it does mean is that the chances of finding used books are greatly reduced, and the likelihood of stock problems, shipping errors, or other unforeseen problems delaying the arrival of your books is increased.  We understand that late added classes and sections are always inevitable and in return so are some late requisitions; but don't worry, we will do everything we can to deal with them swiftly.

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I forgot to turn in my requisition before the deadline.  Does this mean you won't order my books? And if you do. will they arrive on time?
We'll always process your requisition no matter how late you submit it, but understand that when you turn in a late requisition:

  • Book prices increase for the students

  • Shipping prices increase for the bookstore

  • Chances of finding used books are greatly reduced

  • The likelihood of stock problems, shipping errors, and other unforeseen problems delaying the arrival of your books is increased.

In regards to them arriving on time - well there's really no answer to that.  We do our best to get all late orders processed in a timely manner but after that it's out of our hands.  Some books can take up to 8 weeks to produce and ship from the publisher, others are sometimes on back order for 3+ months.

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How does the ordering process work?
Here's the textbook ordering cycle simplified:

  1. You select your course materials.

  2. You submit your textbook requisition to the bookstore

  3. The bookstore researches availability and vendors.

  4. The bookstore determine quantities and acquires inventory.

  5. Books arrive and the new term begins.

For more information on how when when you submit your requisition and how you submit your requisition can affect the ordering process, check out the What's Next For My Text page.

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What does the bookstore do with the requisitions once they are submitted?

  1. Research and Data Entry:  After receiving your electronic requisition, we verify the book information, check current inventory, and look up sales history for the book and enrollment for the class.  Once we've decided what quantities to provide and how many to buyback from the students, we enter the information into our store system.

  2. Search for Used Books:  As soon as requisitions are entered into the system we begin sending "want lists" to various used book companies.  The "want list" contains a list of the books and quantities we need.  The used book companies begin packaging and shipping books as they receive them from different buy backs all over the country.  The "want list" is updated and processed several times a day for the next month or two.

  3. Rental list:  After we input all the requisitions submitted on the due date, we run a list to determine which titles we can rent (this is usually done 3 months prior to the start of the semester and does take some time to go through).  Most titles that are rentable are titles that are not custom, titles not packaged with other components (such as an access card), titles that are current and not going to a new edition, and titles that are widely used.  Once the titles are determined, students can then view which of their books are available to rent and can rent them either in the store or online.

  4. Publisher orders:  If we aren't able to obtain enough used books to meet the quantity we would like to provide (not including the amount we predicted we'll get from buyback), we order new books from the publisher.

  5. Receiving:  Once the orders are placed and shipped from the used book companies and publishers, the bookstore starts getting everything ready.  We unpack boxes, sticker books, put anti-theft devices on books, shrink wrap some books, price books, shelve books, etc.  More often than not, there are shortages and damages that have to be resolved and then books are reshipped and processed again.

  6. Setting the Sales Floor and Shelf Tags:  At the same time that books are arriving we print shelf tags and place them on the sales floor where each book will go.  The information on the shelf tags comes directly from the requisitions you submit.

  7. Buyback:  We buy books back from students at the end of each semester, at the beginning of Spring and Summer semester, and about a month after the Spring and Fall semesters begin.  What students are offered for those books depends on whether you submitted your requisition by the deadline or not.  The best time for students to sell back their books, and to get the most money, is at the end of the semester.  Buyback depends on requisitions.  If we don't know for sure that we need a book for the next semester, then their book is bought back for the wholesale company at a much reduced price of what the bookstore would normally offer.

  8. Bookstore Follow-up Reports:  Throughout the requisition process we send reports to each academic departments administrative assistant listing what instructors submitted book requisitions and the book information.  We encourage all faculty to check these lists and make sure that what we entered from the requisition forms is what they intend to use.  A couple of weeks after the semester has started a list is sent to the VP of Academic Affairs and to the Deans of the academic departments listing which instructors submitted their textbook requisitions late.  Reports are also sent to faculty and departments regarding textbook sell-through.

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I always request more than enough books for my classes but sometimes the bookstore runs out - how can this happen?
We order book quantities based on the terms maximum enrollment and past history.  The goal for us is to have one single copy of each text left over so we know we didn't over order and that we didn't miss a student either.  Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way; we always have some titles that don't sell at all and some that sell out completely.  If we run out during the first two weeks of the semester and a student special orders a book, we will expedite the shipping to 2nd day air as long as the instructor turned in their book requisition on time.  If there is ever any kind of special circumstance that would contribute to the sales of your textbook, please note it in the book comment field of your requisition.

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I've used the same text for the last three years.  Can't you assume I'm going to use it again?
No.  when it comes to ordering textbooks we need written confirmation each semester of what you will be using.  Assuming can cost the bookstore thousands of dollars and unfortunately we don't have that kind of money to waste.

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I thought it didn't matter if books were over-ordered, because the bookstore can return all the extras - right?
Not necessarily.  We often can't return used books.  Even for new textbooks, most publishers penalize the bookstore for returns.  Many small publishers allow only very limited returns or no returns at all.  Plus, you have to remember that the bookstore is non-profit and self supporting.  We aren't able to spend money on books only to have them sit on the shelf and then spend more money to ship them back.

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We know it doesn't take months for textbooks to arrive from a publisher these days - why do we have to turn in our book requisitions so early?
The answer is easy.  It takes time to process the large volume of textbook requisition forms we receive for all the courses that the college has to offer.  There are all kinds of variables that need to be pinned down in processing each requisition.  A few include:

  • Resolving problems with requests and communicating back to faculty.

  • Preparing lists for used book wholesalers.

  • Seeking out availability and best prices among multiple distributors.

  • Ascertaining when new editions will be available.

  • Reviewing enrollment figures and sales histories to help determine how many copies to buy.

There are many other smaller tasks as well to get all of the books in and ready in time for class.  We also need the requisition forms early in order to know which titles we can buy back from students during buyback.

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How does the textbook buyback work?
Used Book companies (aka wholesale), such as Nebraska Book Company and MBS, schedule times to come into the bookstore to buy books back from the students for the bookstore and for their own company.  Students will receive 50% back of the price they paid if the book is being bought back for the bookstore.  If it's being bought back for the wholesale company the price will vary.

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Doesn't the bookstore buy back all titles used for the next semester?
No.  Several factors are considered when creating the store buy back list.  A few include:

  • How many sections will be using the book the following semester?

  • Is the book going to a new edition?

  • Does the course using the book have a history of being cancelled?

  • Does history show that students sell the book back?

  • Do we have enough remaining stock from the previous semester?

  • Does the book sell?

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Why do some students get more for a book than other students?
There are two scenarios that would result in one student getting more back for a book than another:

  1. The bookstore buys back only a certain number of books in which students receive 50% of what they paid back.  Once the bookstore reaches that amount the wholesale company may or may not buy back the book at a lesser amount.

  2. The instructor submitted their requisition after the due date, the requisition was processed during buyback, and the title was put on the bookstore's buyback list.  Students who sold their book back before the book was added to the list received a lesser amount from the wholesale company.

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What if one of my students miss the textbook buyback?
For the most part, buybacks are done at the end of each semester and during the beginning of Summer and Spring semesters.  We also have a buyback that runs about a month after the Spring and Fall semester start.  If students still aren't able to make it to a buyback they can also sell books back on our website year round.  Check out our Buyback page for a list of dates and times.

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Why do textbooks cost so much, anyway?
Several factors contribute to textbook costs:

  • Production and development costs, especially the costs associated with online content and technology, have risen dramatically

  • The growing used book market has meant a decreasing market share for publishers

  • Buyouts and mergers have decreased competition and increased costs

Our margins are well within industry norms, and we use the same formulas year after year.  Price increases come strictly from the publishers.  We recognize that textbooks are an increasing financial burden for students, so we try to reduce the overall cost to students by providing as many used books as possible as well as rentals.  Check out our Cutting Textbook Costs page on more ways to save students money

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What else can I do as an instructor to keep textbook costs reasonable for my students?

  • Communicate clearly with your publishers' reps!  Let reps know that student book price is a crucial adoption factor.  Push for less expensive alternatives like paperback or "essential" versions without as many fancy features.  Tell the reps if you think texts in your field don't need to be updated every two years.  Be specific about how these issues affect your adoption decision.

  • Stick with a textbook as long as possible.  This allows us to buy back books and order used copies from wholesales companies.  Now I know what your thinking, we've always pushed for new editions in the past, right?  Well times have changed and we will work with you to use an old edition as long as possible.  Check out our old edition/out of print textbook page.

  • Try using a trade book that covers your discipline rather than a dedicated "textbook."  Also check out paperback only vendors like Dover Thrift.

  • Order your books by the deadline every term.  This will help ensure more used copies for your students and keep shipping costs down.

  • Work with other instructors to use the same book for all sections in a course.  The more sections that use the same book the more used books we can buyback from students.  End result, more money in the students pocket and more used books on our shelves.

  • Create a course packet.  Sometimes course packets make the most sense.  Requiring students to purchase a book you're only using a portion of or even multiple books you only use portions of is unnecessary and puts a financial strain on students.  We can work with you in providing custom publishing services.  Check out our cutting textbook costs page.

  • MOST IMPORTANTLY:  Use the textbooks you ask students to buy!  Students are more likely to see the value in a text they use in class.

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What about custom books and packages, don't they save students more money than used books?
It depends!  For packages, is the supplement something students actually would use, if it were sold separately?  Is it likely to slow down production and shipping considerably (most custom packages from the publisher take 4-6 weeks so imagine if we were to run out during the first week of the semester)?  Will using this package decrease the amount students can get for their book at buyback?  There are many issues to consider in any package, and you should always let the bookstore know if you're thinking of adopting a package or custom book.

If you are going to use a custom course material or a package containing custom course materials, please remember to fill out a Custom Textbook Adoption Form or a Textbook Package Adoption Form.

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How does the rental program work?
It is easy.  Students can shop online at our website or come into the store and select their textbooks for the semester.  At the register the cashier will tell them which of their books are available for rent. and the rental cost.  They decide whether to purchase or rent the book.  At the end of the semester they must return the book to Marauder Bookstore during finals week.  For more information about textbook rentals check out our Rental page.

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How do students pay for their textbook rental?
The bookstore accepts:  Personal checks, cash, money orders, and credit cards (except AX) for textbook rentals.  We do require that a credit card be kept on file, even if they pay with a different method.  Why?  If the textbook rental is returned after the due date, or is damaged, we use the credit card on file to pay for a replacement book as described in the rental agreement.

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How much money can renting textbooks save?
It depends on the book.  Generally, renting textbooks can save students up to 50% compared to a new textbook.

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Is renting the textbook a better deal than purchasing it?
We offer students the option of purchasing the textbook new, used or renting it.  It is up to them to decide which option best meets their educational needs.

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Why should students rent from the bookstore versus going online?
Marauder Bookstore offers many advantages to students versus renting their textbook online including:

  • The Right Stuff:  They can be sure of getting the correct book based on the order received directly from you.

  • Instant Gratification:  They do not have to wait for the book to be shipped to them.

  • No Hidden Costs:  They do not have to pay shipping to receive or return the book if rented in the store.  There is a $10 shipping charge if ordered through our website.  Their rented book will be shipped to their home via UPS.

  • Competitive Pricing:  Other online websites are not necessarily a better price.  When comparing the rental price of our Spring 2011 rental titles to Chegg.com, 93% of those titles were cheaper to rent at the Marauder Boosktore.

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What if students do not return the book?
If the book is not returned by the due date, their credit card will be charged a non-return fee, equal to the replacement value for the book at full retail.  Late fees may also apply.

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Where do students return the book at the end of the semester?
They return their book to the Marauder Bookstore.

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What if the students forget when the rental is due?
As a courtesy, we will send a reminder notice to the email address the student provides during their rental checkout and on their rental agreement.  however, it is their responsibility to return the book by the due date even if they do not receive this email.

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Can students write in/highlight in their rented book?
Yes, but it needs to be kept to a minimum.  Remember, the rental program depends on being able to rent the same book multiple times so it needs to be useable to the next student.

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What about CDs or other supplements that come with a book?
If the students rental book came with a CD or any other components, they must bring those back with the rental book.  One time use access codes for homework and tutorial websites are NOT included with rental books and must be purchased separately if the class requires them to use such items.

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What if the student's rental book is lost / stolen / damaged?
When the students rent the book, they agree to return it in good condition at the end of the semester and they will be charged the non-return replacement fee if it isn't.  It is important for students to treat their rented book well.  marauder Bookstore reserves the right to refuse to accept a book back that is no longer in good condition.

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How do I use the Electronic Requisition Page?
An Electronic Requisition must be submitted for each course you are teaching (ex. one for ENGL 101, one for ENGL 102, etc.)  If you are teaching multiple section of a course please note that in the "Section(s)" field.

Do NOT submit more than one requisition per course.  Doing so causes problems with our Electronic Requisition system.

  1. Go to the Electronic Requisition Webpage (paper requisitions are no longer accepted).

  2. Fill in the "Instructor Information" fields.  If you get stuck, click on a "?".

  3. In the "Book Information" section, select the "Number of books submitting" (1-20).

  4. Fill in each field for all textbooks.

  5. Answer the Spam question and click Submit.  A confirmation of the order will be sent to the email address you provide.

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How to:
a) Look up past course history for any course and/or instructor.
b) Look up current or previously used books and related information.
c) Check to see if your requisition(s) has been processed.

  1. Go to the Textbook Requisition Webpage and click on the link "Find Your Textbook Requisition History and ISBN's" or "Check to see if my Requisition(s) been processed."  Either link will take you to the same place.

  2. Within either link choose the term you would like to view.

  3. Choose the Department, Course, and Section you would like to view.

  4. The information will then be displayed including:  Title, Author, Publisher, Binding, Copyright, ISBN (if applicable), book availability, rental availability, and pricing.  If you are checking to see if your requisition has been processed, it will either list your book information (which means it's been processed) or it will list "Requisition Returned to Instructor" which means more information is needed or information needs to be clarified.  Returned requisitions are place in the department mailbox so they can either contact you or place the requisition in your mailbox.

    or

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I need to submit my textbook requisition but I don't know the ISBN # for my book - where can I find my past textbook requisition history?
You can view your past history and any other instructors or courses past history via the "Find Your Textbook Requisition History and ISBN's" link of the Electronic Requisition Webpage.

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Can't you just tell me what ISBN I used?  Why do I need to look it up?
No, and because of one very important reason - if we give you the wrong ISBN number it can end up costing the bookstore and/or your department thousands of dollars.  But never fear, you can find your ISBNs in multiple places:  On the Marauder bookstore website, on the Electronic Requisition webpage, on the shelf tags in the Marauder Bookstore, thru contacting your sales representatives and/or publisher, by viewing your past electronic textbook requisition confirmations, by checking past reports delivered to academic departments, by viewing your course syllabus, on the back or inside cover of the student edition textbook, etc.

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I've use the same text for the last three years.  Can't you assume I'm going to use it again?
No.  When it comes to ordering textbooks we need written confirmation each semester of what you will be using.  Assuming can cost the bookstore thousands of dollars.

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Once I start filling out the Electronic Textbook Requisition form, how long do I have to submit it?
The form should be submitted within a couple of hours of being filled out.  If it is not, it may be reset and you will have to start over again.  Reason being, the AVC server is only so big and can only hold the information for so long.

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If the book I used comes package with other components do I just put the ISBN # that is listed on the book as what I want ordered?
Not necessarily.  Most package have different ISBN number than the ISBN number listed on the book.  If you're not sure you should check with your publisher or sales representative to be sure you are ordering the correct ISBN.

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What if I don't know the exact title of the book?
That's okay.  Although we do require you to put a title, the bookstore order per ISBN.  This is why it is so important to make sure the ISBN you request is correct.

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I don't require books for my class - do I still need to to turn in a form?
Nope, but if you'd like us to put up a shelf tag for your students letting them know that no books are required for the class, please send an email to awood@avc.edu.

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The Bookstore only sells NEW copies of lab books, workbooks, study guides, etc. right?
Not necessarily.  On the Electronic Requisition form there is a place that says "Used Books Okay."  If you mark "Yes" we try to order used books, if you mark "No" we will order only order new books.

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How do I get a desk copy or instructor manual?
Each academic department does it differently.  Some administrative assistants will order them for you and others will direct you to the publisher.  You can check out Faculty Center to locate your publisher contact information.

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I don't require books for my class - do I still need to turn in a form?
Nope, but if you'd like us to put up a shelf tag for your students letting them know that no books are required for the class, please send an email to awood@avc.edu.

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The Bookstore only sells NEW copies of lab books, workbooks, study guides, etc. right?
Not necessarily.  On the Electronic Requisition form there is a place that says "Used Books Okay."  If you mark "Yes" we try to order used books, if you mark "No" we will order only order new books.

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Have a question that's not listed?  Send it to awood@avc.edu

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