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Amazon Adds Textbook Rental Program

Rentals could save students big money.

College textbooks are expensive. Parents know it. Students know it, and so does Amazon.

To help students cut cost—and to enter a new market—the retailer is now offering students the option of renting their textbooks from, instead of buying them with its new Textbook Rental program. The program, which debuted on Monday, could save students up to 70 percent on textbooks, Amazon reports. The move puts Amazon in the company of Barnes & Noble, BookRenter and some university campuses that also offer this service.

All rented textbooks are Fulfilled by Amazon, and orders of more than $25 are eligible for free Super Saver Shipping, Amazon adds.

“With Textbook Rental, Amazon gives students yet another great option for saving money—it’s now easier than ever for students to get the books they need, in the format they want, at affordable prices,” says Ripley MacDonald, director of Textbooks at

Rental periods last 30 days. At the end of those 30 days, students return the books with a prepaid printable shipping label. However, students can lengthen their rental period for 15 days or another semester for an added fee, Amazon reports.

Renters should keep in mind that they are only renting the books, though.

“As a courtesy to future customers, we ask that you limit your writing and highlighting to a minimal amount,” Amazon states in its FAQs about the program. “If we determine that the book is no longer in acceptable rental condition, when you return it, including because of excessive writing or highlighting, you will be charged the full purchase price, less any rental fees and extension fees you have already paid, and we will ship the book back to you.”

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Good thing Amazon started their rental program already. It’s long overdue. Good job Amazon! Jules M. of

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