Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay for an online order with my debit card?

No, a credit card or UBC Bookstore Gift Card is required to place an online order. We currently accept Visa and Mastercard online.


What if I bought the textbooks somewhere else or I don’t have my receipt?

No problem. You do not need a sales receipt to sell your textbooks back to us

Why aren’t my textbooks here by the first day of class?

irstly, we commend you on your organizational skills! There are many reasons why your textbook is not available on your first day: the publisher may be out of stock, or may have no Canadian rights, your department or professor may have submitted a late request for your book, enrolment may have increased or classes added. These are just some of the most common reasons. When there is a delay, we make every effort to get the books to the store as quickly as possible.
If you are currently outside of Canada and are planning on being on Campus for your first day of class, we strongly advise that you select the option to pick up your books in-store, rather than having them shipped to you abroad.

Why is the cost so high ...aren’t they just like other books?

Textbooks are different from general books because of the information they contain and the limited market they serve. Publishers set a price and the bookstore tries to keep our retail as close to that price as possible. We try to offer as many economical options as we can; including, new, used, rentals and ebooks.

Are all office supplies orders going to be via the catalogue system in Workday?

All office supplies that were ordered from Staples in the past will be available through the Workday catalogue.

Are the products you buy from sustainable sources?

We offer a number of products throughout the store made from recycled or eco-friendly resources. We actively seek out and purchase locally-made or Canadian-made products to reduce our carbon footprint.  In the Corner Store, we have sourced sandwiches and salads from small, local businesses.  


But why so much? They’re just like other books.

Very good question! Textbooks are different from general books because of the information they contain and the limited market they serve. Students tell us that if they buy textbooks that are well used in the classroom, they feel it’s worth the money. However, if the professor never refers to it, tests from it or assigns homework from it, they feel the book was a waste of money. We agree. Like all other campuses, we have a large team at UBC which helps to build the lists, liaising with all faculty and publishers throughout the year. Our competitors, like Amazon and Chapters Indigo, do not have large teams to build their lists so their costs may seem to be cheaper. We want to help you with costs, so we offer you used and digital as well as the opportunity to sell your textbooks back to us or to your fellow students via Students Classified.To learn more about our Buyback program, check out the Buyback section in this FAQ.

Can a friend purchase Canvas Course Materials on my behalf?

You MUST have your own receipt with your own receipt codes in order to access the materials. In order to avoid encountering issues accessing your course materials, please do not purchase with your friends on the same receipt.