Ordering FAQ

Thank you for your support! We have received a tremendous show of support from our community, which has led to a bit of a backup in order processing. As well, many publishers and postal carriers are facing their own internal delays. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work safely to serve you efficiently. 


We’ve compiled a few frequently asked questions about ordering online below. If your question is still not answered by these responses, please write to info@semcoop.com or call us at 773-752-4381 and we will reply to your inquiry within one to two business days.


Thank you again for everything you are doing on behalf of the Seminary Co-op community. It means so much to us.


With gratitude,

The Seminary Co-op and 57th Street Books



How do I order books from you?

The easiest way to order books from us is right here on the website. Search by ISBN (without any hyphens!), author, or title to find just what you're looking for. Or you can browse through our holiday guides, Front Table booklets, 2020 Notables, newsletter archives (kids and adults), and featured new releases to stumble upon new reads. 


If you are having trouble navigating our website, do send us an email or leave a voicemail (773-752-4381), and we will get back to you in one to two business days.


How do I apply my store credit to my order?

When placing your order, please note in the comments field that you are a member and that you'd like to use the store credit associated with your account. Though the credit won't be reflected in the upfront check-out price or the initial pre-authorization on your credit card, we will be sure to manually deduct it from the total before your card is ultimately charged.


When will my order arrive? Will my coursebooks arrive before my assignment is due? 

We are currently (and joyfully) working through a long line of orders and are processing them as quickly as possible. USPS, FedEx, and UPS are also facing their own internal delays. At the moment, we are unable to give precise estimates on fulfillment times, though we will let you know as soon as your order ships from our stores or is available for curbside pickup. If you haven't heard from us yet, we are still processing your order and won't yet be able to provide much more information. All coursebook orders are processed within 24 to 48 hours of receipt. If you need your books by a certain date, we suggest you select UPS Ground, local delivery (if available in your zip code), or curbside pickup to decrease the chances of delay.

My tracking number just says, "Shipping label created, USPS awaiting item,” and it’s been stuck there for several days. Has it shipped? 

We've noticed that USPS is not often scanning their tracking labels. That means that tracking numbers often link to a message saying, "Shipping label created, USPS awaiting item." Unfortunately, this bit of the process is totally out of our hands. We can assure you that shipments leave the store within 24 hours of label creation and that the package is on its way to you. Postal carriers are also experiencing delayed shipping times, meaning that arrival dates may be later than you are used to. 

My tracking number indicates that the package has been in the same postal facility for many days. Is it lost? 

USPS, FedEx, UPS, and the publishers themselves are all experiencing their own delays and service interruptions, working hard to meet increased shipping demand while also adhering to strict distancing and health measures. This has led to much slower delivery than we are all used to. Unfortunately, we simply don't have any further information about a possible arrival time. As an intended recipient, you can certainly fill out a missing mail form here, asking the postal service to open up an investigation.   

I only received part of my order. When will the rest arrive?

For items shipping via a standard shipping method, we will wait until we are able to fulfill the entire order, then we will ship the whole order to you at once. We will send you tracking information when the order leaves the stores. We will be sure to let you know about any availability issues or updates should they arise, but, as always, do feel free to let us know if you have any further questions. If a given book on the order is delayed for a significant amount of time, we may decide to ship your order in two or more installments. For orders being fulfilled through curbside pickup or our local delivery service, we are shipping out books as they are available. That means that your shipment may be split between two or more packages, though your shipping charge will not increase. We assure you that the rest of your order will be on its way as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

If I select expedited shipping, does that guarantee that my order will arrive by a specific date?

Mail carriers across the board are experiencing their own internal delays as they work to keep staff and customers safe. Combining that with the supply chain disruptions from the publisher on down, we cannot guarantee arrival of a shipment by a certain date.


Are you shipping internationally? 

Yes, we are. Please be advised that international orders are taking longer to ship than you may be used to.

Are you doing curbside pickup or local delivery? 

Yes, we are doing both! You can find further information about curbside here and about delivery here. Curbside pickup is available on all orders, and delivery is available to addresses with zip codes 60615, 60637, 60616, 60653, and 60649.

Can I order a particular book? 

Purchasing via semcoop.com is the primary way we are processing orders at the moment. If you are having trouble locating a certain title, try searching by the 13-digit ISBN, without any hyphens.    

Can I use my University of Chicago research account? 

Yes, you can use your University of Chicago research account. Please select the payment option “UChicago Research Account or Gift Card.” In the comment field of the order, specify that you are using your U of C research account.

What is your return policy? 

Items are returnable for 30 days from purchase date. Items must be returned in the same condition as when they were bought. Refunds will be issued via the original payment method used. Thank you for your support of these not-for-profit bookstores.