Campus Bookstore closed for in-person shopping this fall

$25 shipping for online orders, weekend curb-side pick-up available

The Bookstore is trying to balance the needs of students studying in Kingston and in other cities. 
Journal File Photo

This year, some students are turning away from the Campus Bookstore to find their textbooks.

“Based on what the University put out and the fact that the University’s basically remote learning […] 95 per cent of the students don’t actually live in Kingston, they come to Kingston. So we were trying to deal with all students,” Cindy Healy, Campus Bookstore manager, told The Journal

The bookstore is shipping online orders through FedEx, which costs $25 for shipping addresses within Ontario. Shipping to residence buildings costs $5 because the bookstore can consolidate the orders. 

At the end of the bookstore’s online check-out process, students may see the option to schedule a curb-side pick-up time to collect their books from Clark Hall. When the time slots fill up, this option disappears. 

This week, students can pick up their books on Saturday or Sunday. According to Healey, the bookstore is adding additional pick-up days as they finish sending out shipping orders.

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“We can only do so many, because we are still picking up orders and trying to get them out to the rest of the students who are not in Kingston,” Healy said. “We’re trying to deal with everybody all at once and we’re a small group of staff here.”

During the summer, shipping from the bookstore was free through a special arrangement implemented when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, as shipping usually costs the FedEx flat rate.

“We thought because there were students who were basically here and then they got sent home, we thought for the summer course only, we would just try and accommodate the students that had already signed up,” Healy said.  

“We just said okay, for the short term, we’re going to try and help you out.”

Aryanna Rastan, ArtSci ’21, told The Journal she bought one of her textbooks on Amazon and got the rest second-hand from other students. 

She bought two books from the bookstore in the summer with free shipping. In the fall, she said, shipping and fees brought her $84 textbook to a total of $130.

“I just couldn’t really get myself to pay that much money. I thought it was kind of ridiculous. So I actually just ended up dropping the course,” Rastan said. 

She also said she wasn’t given the option of choosing curb-side pick-up, which she would’ve liked.

“You could definitely make a system that works for people to be socially distancing and picking up their books for curb-side pick-up so you don’t have to pay for a shipping fee,” she said.

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Lucas Borchenko, ArtSci ’21, told The Journal he bought the one textbook he needed online from the bookstore and paid for shipping. 

“I kind of understand a high delivery fee, but I’m in Kingston,” Borchenko said“I think it should be lower, or there should be regional-based pricing.” 

Borchenko said he was “really surprised” when he wasn’t given the option to pick up his books from the store.

“I also see no reason why we don’t have some sort of pick-up system in place,” he said. “It seems like every other university in the province has some sort of pick-up system and we don’t.”

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