Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Student Charges
  2. Course Materials
  3. Textbooks
  4. Book Buy Back & Textbook Rentals
  5. In Store Pick Up
  6. Shipping & Returns
  7. Payment
  8. General Online Ordering

Student Charges

  1. How do student charges work?

    In order to student charge, you must be enrolled in classes for the quarter you are trying to purchase textbooks for. When student charging items at the cash register, you will need your student ID. You cannot student charge if you do not have your student ID. Any purchases made with student charges are applied directly toward your tuition and must be paid when tuition is due for that quarter.

  2. What is my limit for student charges?

    You are limited to $1200 a quarter. We may elect to raise your account limit for one computer purchase.

  3. When are student charges open?

    Student charges are open 4 weeks prior to the start of every quarter. During Fall, Winter, and Spring quarter, charges close 5 days after the first day of class. For purchases made through our online ordering department, student charges close at noon on the 5th day after the first day of class. During summer, student charges open 4 weeks prior to the start of the quarter and close the 2nd day after the first day of class.

  4. Can I charge any item in the store to my Student Account?

    Yes! Any item in the Wildcat Shop can be charged to your student account.

  5. Can I charge to my student account online?

    Yes, there are designated periods when student charging is available. During the checkout process, student charging will be open under the “Payment Method.” You will check out as you normally would but instead of entering a credit card you will be asked to enter your student ID number.

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Course Materials

  1. Where can I buy course materials?
  2. Students can purchase their textbooks directly from the Wildcat Shop on campus, which is located in the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) or by ordering online at Online ordering is also available 4 weeks prior to the beginning of classes. Orders are processed and held for students to pick-up during the first two weeks of classes.

  3. How much will my course materials cost per quarter?
  4. Course materials typically cost between $300 and $500 per quarter. Costs will vary according to how many classes are taken, whether or not a professor requires a book, and field of study. If you are looking for actual costs, our website lists all courses with course materials and pricing. This information is available 4 weeks prior to each quarter.


  5. What information is needed to purchase course materials?
  6. You will need a copy of a registration form that lists the courses and section numbers for which students are registered. The registration form information must match our in-store shelf-tag information or the class information embedded in in our online ordering portal.


  7. How long are course materials available each quarter?
  8. Course materials are available until our course materials sales floor begins to change for the next quarter, which is around 5 weeks into the quarter. This allows the bookstore to return unsold textbooks and prepare for the next quarter.

  9. What is IA?
  10. IA stands for inclusive access. This is a program our university is enrolled in to get the best prices on materials for students. IA materials are automatically charged to the student account. They can be accessed through the “My Textbooks” tab on Canvas once classes begin.

  11. What is OER?
  12. OER stands for Open Education Resource. This is a free material that your professor will provide to you. If you have questions about this item on your course list, please reach out to your professor.

  13. What does No Text Required mean?
  14. This means that your professor is not requiring a textbook for class. This item does not need to be purchased.

  15. What is POD?

    POD stands for Print on Demand. More and more publishers are switching to POD because it is more sustainable. POD books have to be charged out when we place the order for them with the publisher because they are non refundable. It can take up to 15 days for us to get them in. If you have any questions about POD books, please email us at [email protected].

  16. What are Nonbook items?

    Nonbook items are placeholders for required items that are not textbooks. If you see this item in your course list, please reach out to us at [email protected] with the course name, number and section so we can fix it.

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  1. When can I go online to purchase my textbooks?
  2. The Wildcat Shop will begin processing online orders approximately 4 weeks prior to the start of each quarter.

  3. What information do I need to purchase my textbooks?
  4. Please have a copy of your registration form that lists the course and section number for which you are registered. Your registration form information must match the course information listed on our website.

  5. If my course and section number is not listed on your website, what should I do?
  6. The best thing to do is attend class for more information. However, either your professor may not be using a textbook or your professor is using a textbook and they have failed to adopt that textbook with the Wildcat Shop. 


  7. What happens if some of my books are not available?
  8. If the Wildcat Shop is sold out of one or several of your books, you will be notified and asked to prepay for the book(s) if you are still interested in purchasing the book(s) online. If the Wildcat Shop does not receive a response from you, your book(s) will not be ordered.

  9. If I drop a class or discover I don’t need a textbook that I ordered online what should I do?
  10. Refunds will be offered through the 2nd Friday of each regular quarter. This means mailed returns must be postmarked by the 2nd Friday of each quarter. Summer quarter refunds will be limited to the 4th day after classes start. Again, this means that your return package must be postmarked by that day. The return of course materials used in short term classes, those which last only a few days, must be postmarked before class begins. Keep in mind that books purchased new must be absolutely free of blemishes, marks, etc. to qualify for a full refund.

  11. Why are textbooks so expensive?

    Unfortunately, textbook prices continue to rise each year. Surprisingly, high prices for textbooks do not mean high profits for bookstores. Publishers tend to take the biggest bite out of every textbook dollar of a term. Because of this, the Wildcat Shop does everything it can to keep prices low, offering eBook options for many titles and Inclusive Access where available.

  12. Who chooses the textbooks we sell?
  13. Your professors choose all required course books we sell. They know what titles best explain the important things you need to learn in their classes. Professors study their textbook options before choosing the one that best fits their needs.

  14. Where can I find a desk copy?
  15. You can find a desk copy from the publisher by visiting the following links (will open in new tab):


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Book Buy Back & Textbook Rentals

  1. What is Inclusive Access (IA)?
  2. Inclusive access is all digital course materials provided to the student via Canvas by the publisher. All your reading and homework and studying is done there. It assures that all students get their materials on day 1 and at the lowest possible price. It also allows for group discussion as well as interaction with the professor.


  3. If there is no shelf-tag or online order information for class, what should be done?
  4. The best thing to do is contact your instructor, review your class syllabus, and/or attend class for more information. Your professor may not be using a textbook or your professor is using a textbook but they have failed to notify the bookstore, or they may be providing free materials.


  5. What should be done if the bookstore is sold out of a textbook?
  6. We recommend placing an order online for sold out books. This way it’s prepaid and will be shipped or held for pick up as soon as it’s received. We have knowledgeable staff to answer any questions about this process.

  7. Do you sell electronic books (eBooks)?
  8. Yes! We offer eBooks on as many titles as possible. Once purchased, students can access eBooks from any computer or enabled mobile device. The majority of our eBooks are purchased for a rental period and are not downloadable. We expect to have new options soon!

  9. Can textbooks be rented from the Wildcat Shop?
  10. No. At this time, the Wildcat Shop does not have an active rental program.

  11. Are used textbooks available for sale?
  12. Every effort is made to provide used textbooks for as many classes as possible. It is recommended that students shop early to view the best selection of used textbooks on hand. Used textbooks are generally 25% less than new textbooks.

  13. When is textbook buyback?
  14. Fall, Winter, and Spring quarter buybacks begin on the Friday before finals week at noon until 5 p.m. We are closed over the weekend and buybacks end on the Friday of finals week. Buyback hours are typically 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday and 8:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday. In addition to end of quarter buybacks, there is a link on the Wildcat Shop website to sell books to one of our wholesale companies anytime.

  15. How much money will students get at buyback?
  16. Any textbook required for the next quarter (except those for which the bookstore’s current stock exceeds anticipated demand) will be bought back at up to 50% of the new book’s selling price until the bookstore meets its quota. After the bookstore meets its quota or if the textbook is not being used during the next quarter, students will receive money based on the national market value of their books. National market value is considerably less than 50% of the new book’s price. The Wildcat Shop cannot guarantee the buyback of any book at any time.

  17. What is the deadline for returning textbooks for a full refund?
  18. The second Friday of Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. During Summer quarter, full refunds are limited to the first four days of the class period.

    • Returns must be accompanied by a current quarter "Wildcat Shop" cash register receipt.
    • New books must be absolutely clean and free from markings.
    • Shrink-wrapped or packaged items must be returned unopened.
    • Do not write in books or open packaged bundles until you are sure you will keep them.

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In Store Pick Up

  1. Where do I go to pick up my order?
  2. Your order can be picked up at the Online Order counter toward the back of the Wildcat Shop store, located in the SURC.

  3. When will my order be ready?
  4. Orders usually take around 2-3 business days to process. You will be notified via separate emails, one when your order has begun processing and one when your order is ready for pick up. Please wait to pick up your order until you receive the email confirming that your order is ready for pick up at the store.

  5. What do I need to pick up my order?
  6. In order to pick up your order from the store you will need either your CWU ID or a government-issued ID.

  7. Can my friend/roommate/parent pick up the items I ordered for me?
  8. Yes. Please contact the Online Ordering department at (509) 963-1648 to inform a member of the department the name of the person who will be picking up your order. When speaking to a member of the Online Ordering team, please give your order number and student ID number so that they can confirm your order.

  9. How long will you hold my order for pickup?
  10. We will hold onto your order for about a month, if you won’t be able to pick up your order within that time frame please contact the Online Ordering department at (509) 963-1648 and we will extend the pick up deadline of your order.

  11. How do I cancel my order?
  12. To cancel your order, please email the Online Ordering department at [email protected] or call (509) 963-1648. Please provide the department with your order number you received when you placed the order.

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Shipping & Returns

  1. Where can I find information on your shipping order or return policy?
  2. For answers on Shipping & Returns, please visit our Shipping & Returns page. To follow your package, you can find a tracking number in your Order History page on your Wildcat Shop account that will link you directly to a tracking service.

  3. How long will it take for my order to ship?
  4. In-state orders usually take around 2-3 business days to process and 2-3 business days to ship. Out of state orders typically take around 5-10 business days to ship.

  5. How will I know when my order has shipped?
  6. You will be notified via email stating that your order has been shipped along with a tracking number.

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  1. How do I pay for my order?
  2. We accept several forms of payment:

    Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover)
    You can pay your online order with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover card. To pay with a credit or debit card, select "Credit Card" in the Payment Method drop menu during checkout. You will later be prompted for the billing information. Please note that when paying online with a credit/debit card, the Billing Address you enter must match the address the card issuer has on file. Failure to supply the correct billing address will cause the payment to decline and the order will be delayed or cancelled.

    Student Charges/Financial Aid
    If enrolled for the current quarter, you can pay for your online order with your student account by selecting the "Financial Aid" option in the payment drop down menu during checkout. You will later be prompted to enter your student ID number to complete the process. Please be sure to properly enter in your ID number! If you enter it in incorrectly, your order will be declined and you will not get your books on time.

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General Online Ordering

  1. I'm confused about the ordering process, can I call you to place an order?
  2. Sure! Please call (509) 963-1648 and we will be happy to assist you in placing an order. We cannot place orders over the phone, but we can absolutely help you with the online order process.

  3. I've placed an order, but it says online that the order is still pending. What's going on?
  4. There are several things that might be delaying your order.

    If you are ordering textbooks during Rush (the month prior to the start of a new quarter and the week following the start of the quarter), we could be waiting on books to arrive to complete your order. If this is the case, please be patient! If your order still hasn't been processed the week before the quarter starts, please contact us.

  5. I've already placed an order but I would like to add/delete something from my order. How can I do that?
  6. As long as the order has not been processed we can add or delete items as you see fit.

  7. How quickly are online orders processed?
  8. We are usually pretty quick at processing orders as long as it is not during Rush. Non - Rush orders are usually processed within 2-3 business days. During Rush (the month before a new quarter starts to about a week after the quarter has started), however, processing orders will slow to accommodate the number of orders we receive. Orders for pickup are processed, mostly, about one to two weeks before the quarter starts - this allows ample time for most textbooks to be on the shelf and available for order fulfillment. Orders to be shipped will be mailed as soon as the order has been completed.

  9. When I place an order online, when will I be charged?
  10. You will only be charged after we have completed your order. Before this point, you have not been charged for anything. Again, once the order has been fully processed, you will be charged.

  11. The amount that I was charged does not match the price I was quoted. Why?
  12. Some of the books you requested may not be available in the option (New or Used) that you originally selected. Because of this, the amount you were quoted for initially may either increase or decrease, depending on what type of book you are given.

  13. What do I do if my textbooks do not have a purchase option?
  14. If the title of the book begins with “IA,” “OER,” or “No Text Required” it will not need any action or purchase from you. If you have questions about this, please reach out to your professor, or to us by email at [email protected].

  15. What do I do when I experience technical issues on the website?
  16. Email us at [email protected]! Including a screenshot and copying the URL of the page where you experienced the error will greatly help identify and expedite resolution. Let us know the steps you took right up until the error and the time you experienced the error. Please also include your student ID and any other pertinent information that might help with resolution. The more information, the better!

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