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Frequently Asked Questions

When are textbooks available for each semester?

Most textbooks are available two weeks before classes start. We stock both new and used when available. Used books typically sell out first and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. We do not reserve books.

When will my financial aid be available for me to use?

Please check the website for dates. Please remember to bring your student ID card with you when you are ready to purchase items with your financial aid.

Why do I need to keep my receipts?

A current receipt is required for all returns and exchanges made during the refund period (this date is on your receipt). It’s a good idea to keep your receipts for income tax purposes or if another party is reimbursing you for your purchase.

Who selects the textbooks for the SFCC campus store?

Course materials are chosen by each instructor or department. Instructors choose texts that will best supplement, amplify, expand, and enrich the information presented in class.

Why should I purchase textbooks?

Textbooks and course materials inform and guide students toward classroom success. Textbooks are a 24-hour-a-day resource that gives students access to the knowledge, insights, and experience of subject matter experts. Textbooks are carefully developed to deliver information in an organized format that is readable and appealing.

Why do textbooks cost so much?

Many factors affect the price of a textbook, including author royalties, publisher costs, marketing, and free ancillaries for faculty, such as desk copies or other materials.

What if I can't find my textbooks listed for my course on your website?

If textbooks are not listed on our website for a course, then the professor has not requested any books to date or may not be requiring any mterials for the course.  Do not buy books required by a similar course since textbooks vary for each professor.  Check the website again closer to the start of classes to see if your course listing may have been updated, or wait until you speak with your professor.

Which are better: new or used textbooks?

This is a matter of preference. Most used textbooks are priced at approximately 75 percent of the new textbook price. These books are less expensive, but may contain writing, highlighting, or other marks. Many new textbooks come shrink-wrapped with other materials that can be helpful studying tools. When purchasing used books, these items are not always included. Some textbooks are only stocked new either because the book is a workbook or includes other materials that the teacher requires for the class.

Why are used copies listed on your website when they are not available in the store?

Our system lists used prices online regardless of availability due to daily inventory changes.  Used books are not guaranteed to be in stock. To increase your chances of getting used copies, place yur order as early as possible.  any factors affect the price of a textbook, including author royalties, publisher costs, marketing, and free ancillaries for faculty, such as desk copies or other materials.

What are Class Notes, Lab Manuals and Guidebooks? 

Class notes, lab manuals and guidebooks are materials printed in our copy center and bound specifically for SFCC.  A professor may opt for printouts if they require readings from several different textbooks or journals or have their own authored material.  In the event that these items are sold out, please contact the bookstore for reordering.  Photocopied packets are only available as "NEW".  All Copy Center material is purchased on a Non-Refundable basis.

Do I need an account to order books online?

Yes, you will need to create an online acccount for the bookstore website that will be used by the store for processing and shipping infomation.

How do I order my textbooks using the online store?

Click here for detailed instructions on how to use the online ordering website.

Can I have my textbooks shipped to me?

Yes, you can order your textbooks online and have them shipped to you. There will be a shipping charge. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.  Please visit the Textbook Lookup  link to order.

How long will it be before I get my order? 

Textbook orders are processed and shipped within 24-48 hours depending on when your order is placed and product availability.  Internet orders will not be processed on Saturdays, Sundays, or Holidays.  Transit time depends on shipping method selected.  Remember to add processing time plus transit time to arrive at an expected delivery date. Items are billed and shipped via UPS from the SFCC Bookstore.  Second-Day shipments will be shipped within 24-48 hours depending on when your order was placed and availability. We cannot ship to PO Boxes.  Shipping Methoods and prices are available at checkout.  

When Will I be charged for my order?

Your credit card will have funds "put on hold" or put in a "pending" status for the amount of your order as soon as you place your order.  Your credit card will actually be charged the day the order is processed.  The dollar amount may vary from the pending (put on hold) amount to the actual charge depending on if the books you ordered are in stock at the time of  processing and if subtitutions was selected at checkout.

What is Textbook "Pickup at Store" Option?

When you place your order, you can choose to have your order shipped to you or to be picked up in store.  Orders are available for pick up at the bookstore counter during normal business hours.  Web orders are pulled and processed Monday through Friday at 8:00am.  You will receive an email notifying you that your order has been processed and is ready for pick up in the store.  You are required to have a picture ID to pick up your order.  Online orders that have not been picked up by the end of week 6 of the current term will be considered bookstore property.

Why is my total different from what my confirmation email stated? 

Your total charge can differ from your confirmation email because of price fluctuations in the textbook.  It can also differ if you have selected "Used Preferred" as opposed to "Used Only" and we do not have a used copy of the textbook you need.  We will substitute a new copy to complete your order and vice versa.  This will cause price chages and will be reflected on your invoice upon fulfillment  of your order.

Why was a textbook cancelled from my order? 

Textbooks could be cancelled for payment rejection or if you have selected no substitutions for an item and we didn't have the appropriate stock to fulfill the order.  If you have slected "No Substitutions" for your order and we do not have the item requested available, then that item will be cancelled from your order.  To prevent cancellations, select "Ok to Subsitute". By doing this you are agreeing to purchase a new book if a used book is not available.  Please see the comment field on your order for information about your cancellation.

How do I see what textbooks were used for past semesters?

Click here to view previous semester booklists.

Frequently Asked Buyback Questions

What is the difference between a “buyback” and a “return”

A "buyback" is done at certain times of the year—usually finals week at the end of a semester (excluding summer). During buyback, you can sell your unwanted textbooks in exchange for cash, and you do not need your receipt. If there is a need for your unwanted textbook, you will be offered an amount; however, we reserve the right to refuse any textbook that does not meet our criteria. The campus store pays up to 50 percent of the new or used purchase price. If we do not need the book, a wholesale company might offer one-third of the new purchase price. In some instances, the textbook may have no value. 

A "return" is available for a limited time–usually the first few days of each semester. To return a book, you must have your receipt of purchase. You may receive a full refund or exchange your item (other restrictions apply; please see refund policy.

What is textbook buyback?

SFCC Bookstore buys back textbooks at the end of the fall and spring semesters.  Textbooks that are going to be reused on our campus next semester, and are in good condition will be bought back at up to 50% of the new or used book price (some exceptions apply). Current edition textbooks that have not been reordered or are overstocked for our campus for next semester will usually have a buyback value to Used Book Wholesale companies.  Those prices vary anywhere from 10-40% of the original retail price and are based on a nationwide demand for the book.  Old editions, books in poor condition and books with limited materials are not bought back.  This could include a study guide, a workbook, books that were packaged together or books with access codes or cd's.  Most of these items can be repackaged and resold as used sets.   It's a good rule of thumb to save everyhing in the package in clean condition if you want to increase your chances of selling them back at the end of a semester to either the bookstore or Wholesaler.

All pieces must be in sale-able condition for us to buy them back.  There are a few items that cannot be resold as used.  These are called consumbable pieces (meaning that their usefulness has been consumbed by the original owner) and include access codes to websites and softwares as well as workbooks or study guides with written in pages or missing pages.  If consumable pieces are required for the class, we may be unable to buyback and resell used sets for our campus.  However, individual pieces may have a wholesale value.

Four tips for selling your used books:

  • Take good care of your books.  Damage, heavy wear and tear, or excessive marking can make our books non-saleable.
  • Don't discard any usable CDs or or other materials that came with the book.
  • Don't wait too long to sell.  The end of finals week may be too late - purchase quotas may have been reached by then.
  • Newer editions are more in demand.  Older editions already have a lot of used copies in circulation.  Also, editions two or three years old may be on the verge of being replaced by new editions. 


You can help us achieve this goal by encouraging your professors to turn in their textbook orders to the bookstore before buyback begins.

Do I really save by participating in buyback?

By purchasing used books and participating in buyback yu can save up to 75% of the new book price. For example if you bought a used copy of a $100 book for $75 and then sold it back at the 50% price of $50, you would pay only $25 for the use of the books whcih is 25% of the new book price.

What do I need to bring with me to sell my books? 

Bring your books and your SFCC Student ID card to participate in buyback.

Do you have any questions we haven't answered? 

Please feel free to email us, or call  (505) 428-1218.