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How to Place a Textbook Order

Order Textbooks and Course Materials online at

Even if you will be on campus, you must still pre-order your textbook and course materials online.  The store will be open, but the textbook department will be closed to students. On your order, indicate “pick-up” to pick it up in the Store and avoid shipping charges. Textbook Pick-Up Dates and Times will be announced.

If you are remote, order your course materials online for immediate shipment.  Shipping can be charged to your TAP fund.

Order as early as possible, in order to receive your books by the first day of class. If you are unsure about some classes, we recommend placing a book order for the classes for which you are certain, and placing an additional order later if necessary.  You may place multiple orders for textbooks, and you can charge the shipping cost to your TAP fund each time.

Before You Order: Formats, Book Notes, Course Notes

When you place your order, you will need to choose your preferred format for each textbook. Your cost will vary according to the format chosen. If we do not have stock of your preferred format, we will automatically substitute with the stock we have available.

  • Print: New or Used
  • Rental: New or Used. Note: not all books are available to rent.
  • Digital: Materials are available as eBooks and as Access Codes. Some formats expire on a specific date, while others are a lifetime purchase – see the specific title listing. Digital materials have a special returns policy, see Returns section below.
  • Book Notes indicate additional information about a title or item. A Book Note may indicate that title is available digitally for no charge through Swarthmore College Libraries’ Tripod system; contact [email protected] with any questions about library materials.
  • Course Notes are specific to the course and provide additional information from the faculty member. The course note may show substitutes that are acceptable for that particular course. For example, if a digital tablet is required, the course note may show other tablets with particular attributes that are acceptable for that particular course.

Before You Order: Optional Custom List of Course Materials

If you prefer, you can create a custom list of course materials for your registered courses, rather than entering each course separately while ordering.

To create a custom list:

  1. Go to
  2. At the top of the page, select Course Materials, then Course Materials List.
  3. Log in with your Swarthmore College Login. (Note: Duo Authentication will be required.)
  4. The Store website’s "Select Term and Departments" page will open.
  5. Click the first button entitled Search Course Materials for your enrolled classes via My Swarthmore.
  6. You will be linked to the mySwarthmore "[Specific semester] Courses for [student]" page.
  7. Click the blue button Click here to view course materials.
  8. The Campus Store page "Course Materials" comes up ready for comparison and textbook selection.
  9. From here, you can print the book list for reference or place your online order.

How to place an Online Course Materials Order

To have your order charged to your TAP fund, pay special attention to the parts that are in bold.

  1. Log in with your Swarthmore College Log-In, which requires Duo Authentication.
  2. When asked for your account number, use your student ID number.
  3. Enter each of your registered courses and select from the offered titles.
  4. For each title, select the format (new, used, rental, or digital), then add the item to your cart.
  5. Once you have added all the items you wish to purchase, click Continue Checkout.
  6. A list of everything in your cart will appear. Make sure the quantities and titles are correct.
  7. Click Continue Checkout.
  8. Two pop-up messages about textbooks preferences and substitutions will appear.
  9. The first pop-up message will ask how to handle changes to your order -- select your preference. Select Continue.
  10. The second pop up message will ask your preferred condition of the book -- select your preference.
  11. You will be directed back to your shopping cart.
  12. Select Payment Options.
  13. A checkout screen will appear for you to select Pickup Order or Ship Order. Students living on campus should select ‘Pickup Order.’
  14. If having your order shipped, edit shipping address if needed. Select Fed-Ex shipping. If Fed-Ex doesn't ship to your location, the Store will substitute a different carrier.
  15. Select Continue.
  16. A Payment Information screen will appear. Important: If you want your order charged to your TAP Fund, from the drop-down menu you must select ‘TAP Funds’ as your primary form of payment. Video - How to apply TAP funds as your payment.
  17. You will also be required to submit a credit card, which will be used if you have exceeded your TAP balance.
  18. Click Submit Payment.

You will receive an email acknowledgement that your order has been successfully submitted to the Store. You will receive an email confirmation when the order is shipped or is ready to be picked up in the Store. Please allow 24 to 48 hours for processing. If picking up in the Store, wait for the second email, entitled Order Confirmation.  Before coming to the Store check posted hours for Textbook Pick-Up. Please have your 4-digit order number ready when picking up in the store, and on all correspondence.

Downloading eBooks and Access Codes

  • Before You Download: Digital books, including eBooks and access codes, can not be returned for credit once they have been downloaded. In addition, digital books may only be returned for credit within 14 days of purchase or by the Store’s returns deadline, whichever is first.
  • Downloading an eBook: You can access your eBook immediately after you receive your Order Confirmation by logging into your bookstore account. On the ‘Welcome’ page, select Activate and Access eBooks. An image of your eBook will be on your bookshelf. Hover over the eBook cover image and follow the prompts to begin downloading.
  • Downloading a Bundled Access Code: Some print books are bundled with an access code for digital material, and the two are sold together for a single price.  That sealed access code will be shipped with the print book and can be downloaded when you receive the shipment. 
  • Downloading a Stand-alone Access Code:  If you purchase a stand-alone access code, the Store will email you the unique code and instructions for accessing it.

Payment Issues

Student does Not Know TAP Balance: TAP funds consist of $700 Campus & Community Store credit per academic year for fully enrolled students. After each textbook order is completed, the student’s TAP balance is printed on the register receipt or packing list. That is the best way to keep track of your TAP expenses and balance.

Unfortunately students can not check their TAP balance online. Email [email protected] with your student ID number and request your TAP balance, or ask at the front counter.

Note that Credit Card is required for every online order, regardless of TAP balance: Even if TAP is chosen as the primary form of payment, the website requires that the student enter a credit card as a secondary form of payment, in case the order exceeds the student’s available TAP balance.

Completed Order charged to Credit Card instead of TAP: If your order was charged to your credit card, you did not choose TAP Funds as your primary form of payment. Unfortunately, by law we are not allowed to change the tender on an order. So that we can refund the credit card order, you will need to place a replacement order correctly charged to TAP, as follows: Place the same order again, but this time remember the following important steps to charge it to your TAP Fund.

  1. When you log in, use your Swarthmore log-in with Duo Authentication.
  2. When asked for your account number, enter your Swarthmore ID number.
  3. On the payment screen, there is a drop-down menu for the primary form of payment. Choose TAP from the drop-down menu as your primary form of payment. Otherwise, payment type will default to your credit card.
  4. In the Order Notes for your replacement order, type “This is a replacement order to charge TAP. Please cancel my earlier order # (your original 4-digit order number).” When the Store receives the replacement order, we will cancel the original order and refund it to your credit card.

If there is a problem with your order payment other than the one above, email [email protected] with your question and your 4-digit order number.

Ordered Item was Backordered or Not Eligible for TAP

  • Item Backordered: The student will be notified if a specific title is on backorder. Most backordered titles arrive in the Store within a week. The student may cancel the backorder by emailing [email protected] with the 4-digit order code and the exact title to be cancelled. Note that once the backordered title is packed or shipped, the student will receive an order confirmation, and the backorder can no longer be cancelled.
  • Non-eligible Title Ordered with TAP Funds: TAP can only be used to pay for ‘required’ textbooks. If a ‘recommended’ or ‘optional’ textbook was included on an order charged to TAP, the non-required textbook will be cancelled from the order and the student will be notified. Student should then place a separate order for the non-required title, choosing a form of payment other than TAP.

Returning Course Materials for a Refund

  • Returns for Refund: With a receipt, course materials can be returned for credit to the original form of tender.
  • Printed course materials may be returned for credit to the original form of tender through the Store’s posted Returns Deadline.
  • Digital materials can not be returned once they are downloaded.  Non-downloaded digital materials must be returned within 14 days of purchase or by the Store’s Returns Deadline, whichever is first.

Students on campus may return their books to the Store in person. Remote students, please note that the cost of shipping a book return back to the Store is not covered by TAP funds.

Returning Rented Books

The deadline for rental returns is usually on the last day of final exams. The deadline is shown on the student’s rental book receipt and return agreement. If a student doesn’t return a rented book by the deadline, the student will only be charged the purchase price minus the rental price already paid, with no late fees or penalties. That amount can be charged to the student’s TAP funds. The student then owns the book.

If You Have Questions About Your Order

Please email the Store at [email protected] or call the Store at 610-328-7756, with your 4-digit order number.
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