Wildcat Shop Guide

Welcome Students & Parents to Central Washington University's Bookstore - the Wildcat Shop! We hope to make your transition into full-fledge college student (goodbye, high school!) as painless and seamless as possible - so be sure to check out the information below!

Owned and operated by Central Washington University, the Wildcat Shop is located at the heart of campus - the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) building, right off of University Way. In an effort to provide and further student achievement and learning, all Wildcat Shop proceeds goes towards student programs and operations.

The Wildcat Shop not only offers a complete line of textbooks for all your classes, but also Wildcat clothing, electronic gadgets and gizmos, gifts (for your parents, of course!), art and general supplies, and a publishing and printing center to help you in your college career. Open during the summer, Monday - Friday, 8am to 5pm, and during the school quarter Monday-Sunday (times vary); we are always here to help!

Quick Links
In-Store Purchasing | Ordering Online | Financial Aid |

You have two options when it comes to your textbooks: Purchasing in-store or Ordering them online. However, you need to have your information about which classes you are taking before you can get your textbooks. If you are unsure on how to get your class schedule and textbook information or just need a refresher course, check out this tutorial.

Quick Links
Important Dates | Important Phone Numbers | Tutorials | Textbook FAQ |

Purchasing your textbooks in-store is a pretty simple process. First, you need to get yourself to the Wildcat Shop (no brainer) which is located in the SURC building, right across from the REC center. The Textbooks Department is located near the back of the store - close to the Custom Publishing and the General Merchandise Departments. On your way down to Textbooks, you might want to grab a basket - trust me, lugging textbooks around in your arms and trying to figure out your class schedule never, ever ends well. Which reminds me, be sure to have printed out your class schedule or have it saved on your smart-device for easy referencing! Two computers will be available near the Textbooks Department if you forget to print out your schedule, but lines to use them can be somewhat daunting - best to grab your schedule beforehand. (Use this tutorial if you are unsure how to get your schedule.)


Once in the Textbooks Department, use your class schedule to match each class course (example: HISTORY 144.001) to a shelf tag (HIST 144 SECT 001). Once you have found your class, be sure to find the correct section number! In some cases - such as lower division English, History, and Psychology classes - there is quite a few sections for the same course, but each requires different textbooks.

Be aware that for some classes you may be required to purchase more than 1 book or a custom coursepack.

Most textbooks are available in three different options: New, Used, or Rent.

And don't worry! If you are having difficulty finding your textbooks, just look for the Wildcat Staff members that are floating around - they can help you find your books!


Shelf Tag & Course Pack Tag:

For more about the different shelf tags and the information listed on them, visit this tutorial.

After you have hunted and gathered your textbooks, you can make your way up to Customer Service/Cashiers to check out! During checkout, we accept all forms of payment - cash, credit cards, debit cards, student charges/Connection Cards, checks, traveler checks, and gift cards! Be sure to keep your receipt! If you need to make a return or exchange, or plan on selling back your textbook during Buyback, you will need your receipt!

Important Dates
  • Financial Aid Accounts Open August 28th
  • Fall Textbook Ordering/Pickup Option Opens on August 28th.
  • Textbook Pickup On Campus September 22nd - October 4 in SURC 137 (Conference Room located next to US Bank).
  • Financial Aid Accounts Close October 1st.
  • On Campus Refunds accepted until October 4th
  • Off Campus Refunds accepted until October 11th.
  • Book Buyback is December 4 - 13th

Important Phone Numbers

    Textbooks Department

    For questions about availability, information on textbooks, or textbook questions, call 509-963-1354 or 509-963-1279.

    Online Department

    For purchasing textbooks over the phone or online ordering questions, call 509-963-1512 or 509-963-1648.

    Customer Service

    For general information about store operations, times, or questions, call 509-963-1393 or 509-963-1621.

Getting Your Class Schedule
Shelf Tags

In Store FAQ
How much will my textbooks cost per quarter?
Textbooks, depending on the classes you are taking, will vary in price. For a rough estimate, be prepared to pay between $300 to $500 per quarter.

Can textbooks be rented?
Yes - the Wildcat Shop provides rental options on select books. Rental prices vary, but are always lower than new or used book prices. Books that are rented must be returned at the end of the rental contract period - between 90 and 125 days, depending on what you signed up for. These books cannot be sold back for cash, but have to be returned at the end of your contract period.

What/When is textbook buyback?
Textbook buyback is when the Wildcat Shop buys back textbooks that are required for the next quarter. Not all textbooks are optioned for buyback - textbooks that are not required for the next quarter or where the current stock exceeds anticipated demand will not be bought back. For those textbooks that are optioned for buyback, you can expect up to a 50% return of the new book's selling price until the bookstore meets its quota. After the bookstore meets it 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. The Wildcat Shop cannot guarantee the buyback of any book at any time.

Fall, Winter, and Spring buybacks begin on the Wednesday before finals week and end on the Friday of finals week. Buyback hours are typically 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday.

Quick Links
Ordering Your Textbooks:
Shoppin' The Wildcat Shop | Pickup & Delivery | Finalizing Your Order | Changes, Declines, Refunds, Returns | Picking Up Your Order |

TLDR; Important Stuff | Important Dates | Important Phone Numbers | Online FAQ |

Ordering your textbooks online is as quick as a few clicks. By ordering your textbooks online, you have the option to either have your textbooks shipped to your home (UPS) or to pick them up in the SURC a few days before classes begin. This option also allows for multiple forms of payment - either through financial aid, your credit card, or your parents' credit card. Textbook orders for Fall Quarter will begin/open on August 28th.

Online Ordering

Before you embark on purchasing your textbooks, you will need to know the classes you are taking as well as additional information found on your class schedule. If you do not have your schedule or are unsure on how to find your class schedule, please visit this page.

Got your schedule? Excellent! You can now start to purchase your textbooks through the Wildcat Shop! All textbooks that are required for your classes can be located on this website under the "Academics" > "Textbooks" tab. Once there, you have two different options: "Shop with NEW comparison site" and "Shop Wildcat Shop". If you would like to compare Wildcat Shop textbook prices with other websites such as Amazon, Half Price Books, AbeBooks, and textbook rental companies, select the "Comparison" link. Please note that if you order from other retailers, our return policies do not apply and the textbooks do not come from our store. If you would like to purchase or rent textbooks directly through us, select "Shop Wildcat Shop".

Shoppin' the Wildcat Shop

When you select "Shop Wildcat Shop," you will be brought to a page like this:

For students that are attending classes on the Ellensburg Campus, you will find your classes and textbooks under the "Fall On Campus" tab. For all other students that are attending satellite campuses (Des Moines, Kent, Wenatchee, Yakima, Lynnwood, Everett, Moses Lake, & Pierce County), you are considered "Fall Off Campus" students. Regardless of whether you are on campus or off, the process of ordering your textbooks is the same.

First, select which term you are - for this walkthrough, I am going to be an On Campus student using the class schedule pictured previously on this page. Once I have selected the term, a drop down menu of all the classes offered on campus will appear. Since the first class on my schedule is English 101, I am going to select the option for English or "ENG - ENGLISH":

After clicking on English, the drop down menu will change to all the English class numbers that are offered for Fall quarter. Seeing that I am taking 101, I'll click on 101 to change the menu to the various sections offered under the ENG101 category and find my section number (011):

Click on your section number to have it added to your "Your Schedule" box. If you have made an error in the class that you selected, you can easily remove it by clicking the minus sign in the left hand corner of the class box. Repeat the previous steps until all your classes have been added to the "Your Schedule" box and select "Find Books".

A shopping cart list of all the textbooks that your professors have requested for your classes will be pulled up. These textbooks have not been added to your shopping cart at this point - you will need to go through and make your selections for the books you want to purchase and the type you want (Used, New, or Rent).

If you want the textbook added to your cart, make sure the "Add" box is checked (red outline in the above picture).

You will then need to select whether you prefer the textbook in New or Used (the blue outlined box). Please take note that textbooks are offered in both New and Used; however, we cannot always guarantee that the textbook you select will be available in the condition you would like.

If you are okay with receiving a book substitution (purple box) when the desired condition is not in stock, please select the Ok to Substitute option upon checkout. If you would like to have the condition you originally selected only, please select No Substitution . If your option is not available and you have selected No Substitutions, your book will be cancelled.

With some textbooks, you will get the option to rent your textbook instead of purchasing (pink box). Rental textbooks can be rented for varying time periods (30, 45, 60, 90, or 125 days) and will be mailed to you; these textbooks also come from a third-party - Rafter - and not directly from the Wildcat Shop.

After you have finished making your selections, select "Add to Cart". Please review the following page and make sure everything is correct. If it is, select "Checkout".

Pickup & Delivery

At this point, you will need to select a delivery option. If you are attending the Ellensburg Campus and would like to pickup your textbooks a few days before classes start, select "Textbook Pickup: Wildcat Shop". If you are an off-campus student and cannot make it to Ellensburg to pickup your textbooks, select UPS Ground/No PO Box".

Several important points to remember about Pickup and UPS options!
  • Textbook pickup is only available four weeks prior (August 28th!) to classes starting and will be taken off the website several days before pickup takes place (September 19th!). If you miss the cut off for textbook pickup, your books will be mailed to the shipping address you provide.

  • If you have selected the pickup option for your textbooks and receive a confirmation that your order has been processed, this does not mean that your textbooks are available for pickup. Due to the sheer number of textbook orders we receive and process during this time frame, finding your pickup order is pretty close to impossible (in most instances, your order has already been sent to our warehouse to await the scheduled pickup times). Please wait until the scheduled pickup days (September 19th-October 4th!) to come and collect your textbooks.

  • During the month before a new quarter starts, textbook processing and shipping will slow to accommodate the large amount of orders we receive. Orders may be delayed due to textbook availability; however, we try to have all orders delivered before classes begin.

Finalizing Your Order

The Wildcat Shop accepts 2 kinds of payment: Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, or Discover) & Financial Aid/Student Charges (only between August 28th-October 1st). To use your Financial Aid account, use your Student ID number (8 Digit Number)- it can be found on your Connection Card or Welcome to CWU Email/Letter. Double check this number to make sure it is correct - an incorrect ID number could result in your order being declined and cancelled.

For a complete explanation on Financial Aid, check out our Financial Aid section.

After your order has been submitted, it may take up to 2 to 4 weeks for your order to be processed. During this wait period, you have not been charged for your textbooks - you will only be charged after your order has been processed. Also, depending on the substitute options you have selected for your textbooks, your final charge may differ (higher or lower) than what you were originally quoted.

Changes, Declines, Refunds & Returns

Changing your Order - Once an order has been submitted, making alterations to your order (adding or removing textbooks, changing delivery addresses or options, cancelling an order)- from your end - cannot be done. If you find yourself needing to make a change to your open order, please contact the Online Department by calling either 509-963-1512 (Brian) or 509-963-1648 (Kelsee).

Declined Orders - Your order may be declined if you mistyped your Student ID Number (for Financial Aid charges), a maxed credit card or Student Account, a mistyped credit card number, etc. If this is the case, you will receive an email alerting you to the problem. Please contact the Online Department ASAP to avoid your order being cancelled.

On Campus Refunds/Returns - On Campus returns will be accepted up until October 4th as long as you have a receipt, new books are clean and free of markings, and shrink-wrap/packaged items are unopened. Coursepacks are non-returnable, non-refundable, so be sure that you really want to take the class before you purchase them!

Off Campus Refunds/Returns - Off Campus returns will be accepted as long as the post-mark date is on or before October 11th, new books are clean and free of markings, and shrink-wrap/packaged items are unopened.. Coursepacks are non-returnable, non-refundable. Please include a copy of your receipt.

Picking Up Your Order

Now that you've gotten your order placed, you are set. Sit back and relax - we here in the Online Department have got you covered! Picking up your textbooks is relatively quick: During our pickup period - September 19th-October 4th come to SURC 137 (it the conference room right beside US Bank and directly across from the food court) between 8am-5pm to grab your books.

Be sure that you have some form of picture ID (Connection Card, Driver's License, Costco Card, you get the idea) AND a copy of your receipt OR your order number!

If you have your parents ordering your textbooks for you, be sure to have them enter your name in the "Who's Picking Up these Textbook?" field; if you are ordering your textbooks, be sure to spell your name correctly/as it is on your picture ID - if you don't, it kinda makes finding your textbook order hard and we will tease you for the next four years of your college career.

In some instances, we will allow you to pickup your textbooks for a friend or roommate. HOWEVER, your compadre needs to either contact us before you come to pickup their textbooks or in the "Comments" section when they order their textbooks. No permission, no pickup.

Textbooks that you requested to rent will not be included in your pickup box. These will be mailed to you via a company called Rafter.

Returns and Exchanges cannot be done at the pickup room. You will need to visit Customer Service in the Wildcat Shop.

TLDR; Important Stuff
  • The Pickup Option is for Ellensburg Campus only.

  • You cannot pick up your textbooks before the scheduled pick up time. It makes the Online Department cry if you try. Please don't make the Online Department cry.

  • The Pickup Option will close a few days prior to the scheduled pickup time (September 19th). If you want to pickup your textbooks, please have your order in before it closes.

  • Processing/Shipping time will slow during the month before classes start. Don't panic! You'll get your textbooks in time for class.

  • You will not be charged for your textbooks until your order is processed.

  • Textbook Pickup is in SURC 137 (right next to US Bank) and will go down between September 19th-October 4th, 8am-5pm. Bring a form of picture ID (Student ID, Driver's License, Costco Card) and a copy of your receipt or order number.

  • If you have an issue with your order, need something changed, cancelled, added, or have questions, don't hesitate to give us a call! We can be reached at either 509-963-1512 or 509-963-1648.

Important Dates
  • Financial Aid Accounts Open August 28th
  • Fall Textbook Ordering/Pickup Option Opens on August 28th.
  • Textbook Pickup On Campus September 22nd - October 4 in SURC 137 (Conference Room located next to US Bank).
  • Financial Aid Accounts Close October 1st.
  • On Campus Refunds accepted until October 4th
  • Off Campus Refunds accepted until October 11th.

Important Phone Numbers

    Textbooks Department

    For questions about availability, information on textbooks, or textbook questions, call 509-963-1354 or 509-963-1279.

    Online Department

    For purchasing textbooks over the phone or online ordering questions, call 509-963-1512 or 509-963-1648.

    Customer Service

    For general information about store operations, times, or questions, call 509-963-1393 or 509-963-1621.


    For questions about rental policies, returns, etc. Contact Rafter at 877-642-9313 or visit their support page

Online Ordering FAQ
I'm confused about the ordering process, can I call and order my textbooks over the phone?
Yep! You can reach either Brian at 509-963-1512 or Kelsee at 509-963-1648. We'll be happy to either walk you through the ordering process or do a phone order for you.

My order was declined for some reason, help?
Orders can be declined for numerous reasons - expired credit card, maxed card, mistyped Student ID number, etc. If your order is declined, contact the Online Department at 509-963-1648 or 509-963-1512.

I really want to pickup my textbooks before the scheduled pickup dates, can I?
No. Because of the large volume of orders, finding your order will be next to impossible. Most if not all of Pickup Textbook orders are boxed and stored at our warehouse until the scheduled pickup date.

The amount that I was charged is higher/lower than what I originally was quoted. Why?
When you initially place an order, you are giving a quote on how much your textbooks should cost if everything is available in what you have selected. Depending on the availability of textbooks during the picking of your order, books may be substituted for a New or Used copy, altering the final price. If you requested No Substitutes and we do not have the textbook in what you requested, that textbook will be cancelled, changing the final total of your order.

Financial Aid - or referenced sometimes on the Wildcat Shop as "Student Charges/Account" - is the ability to use your Student ID number to purchase textbooks and additional items (in store and online) on credit. For a full break down on what Financial Aid is, how to get it, how to use it, or related questions, we recommend visiting CWU's Financial Aid section.

Financial Aid FAQ
What can I charge on my student account/financial aid?
Anything the Wildcat Shop carries - textbooks, clothing, gifts, etc.

I don't have financial aid, can I still charge my books?
Yes, all students have a charge account that can be used to purchase books both in store and online. If you do not have financial aid, you will have a bill for all charges that will be due before you can register for classes the following quarter.

Does financial aid cover more than just textbooks?
Yes, but you will need to complete form at the Financial Aid office (Barge Hall 115) before it can be used to cover non-textbook related purchases.

Can I chargeto my financial aid/student account online?
Yes, when student accounts open on August 28th, under the "Payment" method of the online ordering process, using your student account/financial aid will be an option. Instead of entering a credit card number, you will use your Student ID number. Please make sure you enter this number in correctly - an incorrect number will result in your order being declined.

As a parent, can I control or see what my student has charged on their student account?
No. There is a form that can be filled out at the Financial Aid office (Barge Hall 115) that will grant you access to see what has been charged on their account, but unless that form has been submitted, the Wildcat Shop cannot legally tell you what they have charged.

Important Financial Aid Information

Financial Aid Office Location: Barge Hall 115.
Office Times: Monday - Friday, 8am-5pm
Phone Number: (509) 963-1611
Email: finaid@cwu.edu
Website: www.cwu.edu/financial-aid

Student Accounts Open: August 28th
Student Accounts Close: October 1st

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Wildcat Shop
400 East University Way
Ellensburg, WA
Phone: 509-963-1311
Fax: 509-963-1355
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