Policies & Procedures

We try to keep your shopping with us simple, but there are some policies which you should know about that will help you understand our business a little better.


WHO WE ARE?

The VSU Bookstore, the V Store, the Kings Bay Bookstore and the VSU Tech Shop are independently owned and operated by the University through the Division of Auxiliary Services. Auxiliary units include Dining Services, Health Services, Housing and Residence Life (financial areas); Parking and Transportation, Vending, Telecommunications, and 1 Card Services. Every unit is required to be self-sufficient and receives NO funding from the institution. The University Stores pay all of their operating expenses, including but not limited to, salaries and benefits and purchases for resale (inventory). The University Stores are entirely self-operating.

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WHAT WE DO?

The VSU Bookstore supports the academic mission of the institution by providing the textbooks, course materials and supplies for all of the courses taught by the school. In addition we provide a wide selection of merchandise for the shopping convenience of the faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the school. This includes school and technology supplies; university clothing and emblematic products; greeting cards and gifts, and other items.

The V Store provides convenient products at reasonable prices for faculty, staff, and students of the school. This includes drinks and snack items.

The VSU Tech Shop provides products and services related to computer and electronic needs.

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WHERE ARE WE LOCATED?

The Bookstore, V Store and Tech Shop are located in the Student Union Building at the intersection of Baytree Road and North Oak Street. The mailing address for all three locations is Student Union Building, 1500 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA 31698.

The V Store is located on the first floor of the Student Union Building near the Theater. The Bookstore is located on the first and second floor of the Student Union. The Tech Shop is located in The Bookstore on the first floor level.

The Kings Bay Bookstore is located on the Kings Bay Naval Base. Visit the Kings Bay Campus website for additional information.

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OPERATING HOURS:

The normal operating hours for the Bookstore are 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Friday and 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm on Saturday. We have extended hours during the first full week of a new semester and during special campus events. Please check with our store for these special hours.

The normal operating hours for the V Store are 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Monday - Friday, 1:00 pm - 5:00 p.m. Saturday, and 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.

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FORMS OF PAYMENT:

We accept cash, checks, credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, and Discover), and the VSU 1 Card Flex Account. Payments by check require a current picture identification card, but we only accept checks for the amount of the sale. However, we do not accept counter checks or two-party checks. The University treats check-writing as a privilege and will revoke this privilege from anyone who abuses the privilege.

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REFUNDS:

We happily process requests for refunds on purchases if they are returned to us within the refund period and if the original sales receipt is provided to us. Refunds are given in the same method of payment as indicated on the original receipt; however, in cases of payment by check, a cash refund will be given. Refunds to a FLEX account require a valid Valdosta State University ID. Textbooks must be returned within the refund period noted on the original receipt. For Fall and Spring semesters, textbooks must be returned within 1 week from the 1st day of class regardless of when they were purchased. General merchandise may be returned within two weeks from the date of the purchase. Exceptions will be made only in special circumstances. There are no returns on computer hardware or software that have the wrapping removed and/or seal broken. If you purchase hardware or software that is defective, you should contact the manufacturer directly.

The textbook return policy for Summer Terms differs from other terms, because VSU has four separate summer terms. Textbooks must be returned within 5 days from the 1st day of class for the term in which the book was purchased.

  • Must present a sales receipt for any refund or exchange. No exception.
  • Book must be returned in same condition as purchased.
  • Proper student identification is required.

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PRICING POLICIES:

The faculty of VSU makes all of the textbook selections for courses taught at the school. The Bookstore acts as a conduit between the faculty and the publisher in providing the course-related products. The school does not have a formal textbook adoption policy which requires faculty to use a text for a specific period of time, but lower level courses tend to use a textbook for at least two academic years (unless a new edition is released during the period).

Determining how many books to provide for a course is not an exact science. In spite of a sophisticated pre-registration system at VSU we still don't have precise information about how many students will actually enroll in a course. Faculty members tend to estimate their course enrollments by the maximum number of seats in the assigned classroom. The bookstore maintains records of actual enrollment for each section of course offerings as well as records of sales to actual enrollment. The textbook department manager walks a fine line between ordering the exact number of books to cover estimated enrollment and ordering the quantity we expect to sell based on historical sales data.

Out of stock situations will occur in the bookstore. They occur for a variety of reasons, including: bookstore reduced the number of books provided for estimated enrollment but the course was over-enrolled; no textbook adoption information was ever provided to the bookstore in the first place; assigned faculty for a course changes and chooses to change textbooks. When we go "out of stock" on textbooks, we will re-order books for students on a special order basis.

We price our merchandise for resale in such a manner as to pay all of our operating expenses and keep the price of the merchandise as low as possible for our customers. This can be a real challenge! Frankly, we cannot always be competitive with the major discount chains on clothing and school supplies, because they have huge buying power.

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NEW TEXTBOOKS:

We price new textbooks to achieve at least a 28% gross margin on each sale (margin is the difference between what we paid for the book and our retail selling price). Many people confuse the process of "mark-up" from the objective of "margin". If our cost on a textbook is $64.08, we divide this cost by .72 (the difference between 100% and our target margin of 28%) to get $89.00 as the retail price. $24.92 is the gross margin dollars that represent a 28% margin between cost and retail and a 39% mark-up from cost. On those books where we receive a discount higher than 28%, we retail them at the suggested retail price from the publisher (frequently seen in pre-priced mass market paperback books).

It is from gross margin dollars that the bookstore pays all of the operating expenses of the store, including inventory, salaries, benefit packages for employees, freight, and all other operating costs. The VSU Bookstore receives no operating funds or subsidies from the State of Georgia or the university. The approximate retail price of the new book is printed on the shelf tag for reference purposes only. The current price of the book will scan accurately at the register.

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USED TEXTBOOKS:

We price used books at 75% of the new book price. For example: that new textbook described above which sells for $89.00 we would sell used for $66.75. This is the same pricing procedure used by almost every college bookstore throughout the country. The approximate retail price of the used book is printed on the shelf tag, for reference purposes only. The current price of the book will scan accurately at the register.

When we are able to buy used books back from our students (during the final examination period) we will pay up to 50% of the current new book price (even if the customer has purchased a used book). To use the same example above: we would pay $44.50 for that $89.00 new text or $44.50 for that $66.75 used version.

Sometimes we don't buy back a book because the publisher has released a new edition of the book, and the faculty will change to that new edition to gain more up to date information. Obviously, the bookstore doesn't want to sell something that is different from the title/edition requested by the faculty. Also, the wholesale book company doesn't want the book because they won't have anyone to sell it to either.

Sometimes we will buy back an old edition book or one which is slated to go into a new edition, but we will pay a reduced price for it (less than 50%). We want to offer the customer something for the book, but we don't want to expose ourselves to much risk on any unsold copies, because we can't get rid of them.

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IMPRINTED CLOTHING:

We generally price to achieve a 50% gross margin on clothing, but this is not always the case. If the price of a garment at 50% seems like it is excessive, we will price at a lower level. Our average gross margin for clothing tends to be about 44%. Again: if a tee shirt costs us $5.00, we would generally retail it for $9.95.

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SCHOOL SUPPLIES:

The average gross margin on school supplies is 40%. For example, a pen that costs us .25 cents we would sell for .39 cents.

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GIFTS:

In general, we price to achieve a 50% gross margin on cards and gifts. This margin enables us to take mark-downs on merchandise that does not have a healthy sales record.

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COMPUTER HARDWARE & SOFTWARE:

Our margins on technology products varies according to the manufacturer. Software is generally priced to achieve a 15% gross margin. For example, Microsoft's Office 2003 Student/Teachers cost us $124.67 but we were required to sell it at the educational retail price of $144.95. Some of the national discount stores have sold it for less than the price we had to pay for it, not allowing us to be competitive on this package. However, we normally sell most software at significantly lower prices (up to 75% less sometimes) than most traditional retail outlets due to academic pricing. Because our margins are low in technology products, we rarely discount these items unless they are discontinued merchandise.

We can only sell academically priced software to students, staff, and faculty. You must have a valid ID from an institution of higher education in order to buy this particular software or hardware. No ID - no sale.

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