Alpha Textbooks

Home » AlphaAnswers

Category Archives: AlphaAnswers


When is the best time to come in to buy or pickup my books?

We recommend buying books using our online store as soon as possible in the summer months. This way, if you select to purchase previously loved books, we will prepare cleaned and reconditioned copies for your order, if we have those used books in stock. The sooner you come in, the more likely we will have your book as a reconditioned copy.

If you select “pick up” in store, it will take only a few days, and we will call you as soon as your order is ready. When you pick up your books, you will have the opportunity to examine your order before taking it home. We guarantee that all our reconditioned books are in tip-top condition.

The best time of the day to pick up your books is 10:30 a.m., as the afternoons tend to bustle with activity, with lots of parents and students coming through our doors.

These recommendations also apply to customers who want to come in and buy their books in person.

We’ve been buying back tons of books – our shelves are stocked and reconditioned books are ready to fly out the door.

We provide textbooks to our customers on a first come first serve basis.


Mon-Wed: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

And in August we will be open on Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


When will Alpha Textbooks have my school book list? When can I order my textbooks?

4June14-BoyStudyingAround this time of year we get lots of calls from our customers asking about school and course booklists.

Many people want to order next year’s books right away, while school is still on their mind, so they can get first dibs at previously loved books, which saves money.

Some students want to get started on their studies as early as possible, so they like to have the books over the summer.

While sometimes we can get booklists from schools as early as June, generally speaking, many lists aren’t finalized or sent to us until early to mid-July.


The Process

  1. Toward the end of the school year, schools finalize what courses they are running, who is teaching them and what books they are using.
  2. We let the schools know if any of the books used over the previous years have any new editions.
  3. We send the schools our order forms with information. When the schools finalize the list, they send it back to us.
  4. We confirm with the schools that all the books they want are still readily available.
  5. At this point, we have to fill our website and databases with the information. This takes only a few days, after we receive the confirmed books for the upcoming school year.
  6. When you see the current year and the upcoming school year beside your school name, the books are ready for ordering!


So when will my booklist be available?June2014-EagerBeaverCanadaEdited

If the list isn’t already available online, check your school website. We assure you that we do everything in our power to get the lists up as quickly as possible, so keep checking back. As soon as it is made available to us, we will put it up.

And don’t forget to sell back your used books early!

If you have not sold back your used textbooks at your assigned book sale, bring the books with you if you pick-up the order in person. If we are still taking back those textbooks, the credit you receive could take the punch out of your new order’s cost.

Thanks and have a great summer!

What is an ISBN?


ISBNs on the back of textbooks from some of our suppliers, Addison-Wesley, McGraw-Hill, Nelson, and Sadlier.

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. An ISBN is a special code on a book, which indicates a book’s identity in an international registry. Today, an ISBN almost always corresponds to the number on a book’s barcode, but sometimes the number is unique (if, for example, the seller has changed the barcode for its own use). So, when looking for a book by code, you should always search using the ISBN.

The ISBN can be found at the back of the book above the bar code or on the copyright page, which is behind the title page. ISBNs come in 10 or 13 characters.

Matching an ISBN is especially helpful when distinguishing between books that might have a similar name, when making sure you have the right edition, or when sorting through books with the same authors and similar subjects. Most importantly, an ISBN is registered internationally, so that means you can use it to find a book anywhere!

Can I use a different textbook edition?

Depending on the course, different editions can mean important changes that might affect your learning experience.

Sometimes different editions have minor changes and page number differences. At other times, new editions can have entire sections or chapters included or removed. These sections might have important information that is relevant to your course work and the quality of your learning.

When new editions are released, the old editions go out of print, so we can’t replace our inventory with that edition. This means teachers can’t ensure consistency in teaching materials if we distribute old book editions.

StoreshelvesFor this reason, many schools have adopted policies that students must use the most current edition as instructed by their classroom teacher. So, it’s Alpha Textbooks’ job to make sure that we give you the most current edition in use.
If you have a copy of a textbook at home, but aren’t sure that it is the current edition in use by your school, give us a call at (416) 461-3542, or check out the Alpha Textbooks website



When is the best time to order a used book?

Toby the Wonderdog is waiting for your used books! #dogwithasweater

Toby the Wonderdog is waiting for your used books! #dogwithasweater

Lots of people call the store asking when it’s the best time to order used books. While you always have the option of selecting used books as part of your order, we distribute the books on a first come first serve basis.

By July, we’ve had time to complete all our buybacks from schools and families, and we’ve made sure that the books are in good condition for you to use for the new school year.

So, if you have your course list, we recommend placing your order in July.

Then, we recommend you have a great summer!

How much do I get for my textbooks when you buy it back?


If the book is still in circulation, we’re happy to give you up to 50 per cent back of the used book price, even after you’ve spent the year using it.

We want to make sure that you get fair value for your book. So the amount you can get back always depends on the quality, condition and edition, as well as the quantity we have in stock. So sell early!

You can sell your books all year round.

Check out our post How do I sell you my books? for more information on buy backs.

We refund on VISA, MasterCard or debit. Sorry, no cash on buybacks.


How do I sell you my books? – FAQ

It’s true. We buy back your books! At a fair price too. We buy new or used textbooks, teacher’s resources, unused workbooks, novels and reference books. We accept elementary, middle and high school books as well as some university and college level books.


Toby the Wonderdog is ready to buyback your books! Justa #dogwithasweater

The best way to get all the answers you need about your specific books is to come into the store and bring the books with you. That way we can assess the books’ condition right on the spot.

If you think the book is a bit older, and you’re not sure we will take it back, you can email us a list of your books (include ISBN’s, titles and authors). You can also call us at (416) 461-3542 or 1-877-63-ALPHA (1-877-632-5742).

We like to make it easy for you, so we hold regular buyback sessions at various schools, during semester changes and course completions. Send us an email and find out when we’re coming to your school!

We refund on VISA, MasterCard or debit. Sorry, no cash on buybacks. For more information and book condition standards or other buyback info, check out the buyback policy on our website.

See you soon!


Welcome to Our New Blog

Welcome to the new Alpha Textbooks Inc. blog. Here you’ll find company news, events, fun facts, and lots of #AlphaAnswers. We’re just getting this show on the road, so check back soon for fun and helpful info. Thanks! — Justa #dogwithasweater

Toby the Wonderdog gazes into the future. The possibilities are infinite. “Explore. Empower. Achieve.” #dogwithasweater