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With the concern of rising costs of textbooks, the Babka Bookstore would like to answer frequently asked questions by students.

There are several factors involved in building a buy back book list, which determines if a student is able to sell their book and what the buy back value is for that particular book. Some of the affecting factors are:

  • Whether or not the textbook and that edition has been selected by the professor to be used for the next term.
  • If the edition of the textbook is current and not in the process of being replaced by a new edition by the publisher.
  • The nationwide supply and demand for that particular text.
  • The projected needs for the text have been fulfilled by both the bookstore and the used textbook company.


The percentage that student receive for their books are determined if the used book company conducting the buy back for the bookstore is buying the book for the bookstore or for the company they represent. Students receive about 50% of the new book price if the book will be used for the next term, which could be a higher percentage if the book was purchased used. If the store does not need the text for the upcoming term, the used book company can offer up to 40% of the list price of the book.

Editions that have been replaced by a newer edition are considered to have no buy back value. Occasionally, older editions or newly replaced editions still have buy back value depending on the textbook selection of faculty on campus. However, a newer edition textbook is frequently selected by faculty to provide current and applicable educational materials to fulfill the needs of both inside and outside of the classroom.

Publishers are essential in providing educational materials to meet the classroom needs of faculty in order for students to receive a quality education. Used textbooks would not even exist if it was not for publishers. Unfortunately, the availability of used textbooks has decreased over the past several years due to publishers developing custom prints, textbook bundles and frequent replacement of editions.

The main buy backs are always held during finals week. The bookstore has a projected number of texts to purchase for each class and usually fulfills that number by the end of finals week.

  • Try to sell your books at the beginning of the buy back when there is a greater chance that the book will be purchased for the bookstore and not be shipped off campus. You will have a great chance of getting a higher percentage for the text.
  • When purchasing textbooks from alternate sources, be sure not to purchase international or instructor copies, which cannot be bought back.
  • If your textbook has a CD enclosed, make sure the CD is with the book at the time you visit the buy back.
  • Verify that you will not be using your book in the future for another course before selling a book back.
  • Student manuals and workbooks can only be bought back if the book is not written in.
  • You DO NOT need a receipt when you bring your books to buy back. You are selling your textbook for a percentage of the retail price and not returning them to the bookstore. Textbook returns require a receipt and must be returned within the posted last day to return date.
  • Before purchasing a book from another source, verify that the text is going to be used in the future. The edition could be changing or the text could be replaced by another text.
  • DO NOT SELL BACK RENTAL BOOKS. Verify that any book that you sell back IS NOT a rental textbook. This could be costly if you sell back a textbook you rented from the Babka Bookstore or another source.


Textbooks can only be returned if:

  1. Your class has been cancelled, or you drop a class from your schedule (we must be able to verify with Registrar’s Office).
  2. At the time of your textbook return, you must provide a signed drop/add slip from the Registrar’s Office or a copy of your new schedule without that course on it.
  3. A cash register receipt is needed to process a refund. No exceptions will be made without a receipt. Your refund will returned with the same form of payment you purchased the books.
  4. You can return textbooks, if the class is dropped, until the last day classes can be added or dropped. Dates vary, contact the Registrar for specific dates.
  5. Books must be in absolutely new condition, free from all markings. Used books can be returned in the condition in which they were purchased. Wrapped/shrink wrapped items must be returned unopened. New books with unsealed software or supplements are not returnable.
  6. The bookstore reserves the right to determine whether returned books are in new or used condition.
  7. For all rented textbooks, please refer to the contract that was given at the time of purchase.
  8. If you are in the LIFE PROGRAM we will take returns with the original receipt up to the day after the first class.


Textbook rentals are the property of the University of Dubuque Babka Bookstore. It is the renter's responsibility to return the textbook rental(s) in acceptable condition by 4:30 PM on Thursday, December 16th for the fall semester.

Rentals not returned to the Babka Bookstore by 4:30 PM on/by Thursday, December 16th, 2021 will be considered lost and you will be responsible for the replacement cost for all books not returned.

Rental textbooks may be returned for a full refund with the receipt if you drop the class (you only have one week from the start of class) or if the class is cancelled. You must provide a signed add/drop slip or a copy of your new schedule from the Registrar's office, along with your rental receipt or a copy of your new schedule.

For LIFE students, please refer to the paperwork you received when you rented your book(s). Your student account will be charged the "new" book price, plus a $5.00 late fee will be added for each unreturned rental.

Please feel free to contact us at the bookstore if you have questions or require additional information. Babka Bookstore.- 563-589-3195 for textbooks and 563-589-3131 for merchandise

Amy Gile
Textbook Manager


University of Dubuque Babka Bookstore

2000 University Ave
Dubuque, IA 52001
Phone: 563-589-3131 for merchandise                                                 563-589-3195 for textbooks

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