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Many students are only interested in using certain textbooks for the duration of a class. Renting for a semester typically costs less than half of the new book price. Renting removes the risk of how much the book may be worth at the end of the semester and you can capture the savings up front instead of waiting for buyback at the end of the term. If you decide to keep the book, you can purchase it at any time during the rental period for the difference between the new rental fee and the current new selling price or the used rental fee and the current used selling price, based on whether the book was rented in new or used condition at the time of transaction.

Renting provides a lower up-front cost. In some cases, it can be less expensive to buy a used text (when available) and sell it at buyback. There is always the chance that the text won't be bought back if a newer edition is published or if the professor switches to a different book. Buying a new book and selling it back at buyback will generally be more expensive than renting.

View the Textbook Rental Terms & Conditions


Textbook Rentals FAQ

How to Rent

How does the in-store rental process work?

Use our online textbook price comparison tool or check our shelves to see if any of your titles are available for rent. Textbooks available for rent have two different prices: new rental price and used rental price. Select the textbook you would like to rent and bring it (and any other items you wish to purchase) to one of the cash registers. Your student ID, a credit card and form of payment will be required to complete the rental. At checkout, if a book you brought to the counter is available to rent the cashier will ask you if you would like to rent or purchase the book. You may pay using any of our accepted forms of payment. Completing the transaction indicates your acceptance of the rental terms. Save your receipt. It will be needed if you want to return your book for a refund during the returns period.

What are The University Store's rental options?

Hundreds of titles are available to rent directly from the store. Those can be rented online or from our shelves and you can use any of our accepted forms of payment.

Why isn't the book for my class available for rent?

Unfortunately, not all textbooks qualify for our rental program. There are multiple factors that are considered, from how current the text is to the size of the class, and how consistently the course is offered. This semester, hundreds of titles are available to rent directly from us.

I saw that a used text rental was an option for my class but the University Store didn't have a used rental copy when I got there.

Rental stock is limited to our on hand quantities of a book. As used copies and used rental copies of books sell out, students will have the option of purchasing new copies or new rental copies of the book. Students who shop early will be the most likely to acquire rental copies in the condition they desire.

I need the textbook for a continuation class. Can I rent it for multiple semesters?

If you are taking a continuation course, purchasing a new or used book is usually the best option. Although you are free to rent (and return) a textbook multiple times, the cost of renting a book for two semesters is generally higher than a used book and only slightly less or the same as a new one.

Are the rental books used copies or new copies?

If a book is available for rent, a student can decide to purchase a new rental or used rental based upon availability. There are different costs associated with rentals based on condition.


Refunds & Returns

Can I get a refund on a rented book?

Yes. Refunds for textbooks rented in-store or online from the University Store will be treated in the same manner as refunds for purchased textbooks. Our standard course materials return policy will apply. All returns must be in salable condition, in the condition purchased, and be accompanied with the receipt.

When do I have to return my rental text to The University Store?

Before the close of business on the last day of scheduled final exams each semester. We will send email notices reminding you of the return deadline, but the responsibility to return is yours.

What if I forget to return the book at the end of the semester?

If you rented a new copy, a replacement fee of 75% of the new retail price will be charged to your credit card. If you rented a used copy, a replacement fee of 60% of the new retail price of the book will be charged to your credit card.

Can I turn in my rental book when I return for the following semester?

No. You have 5 days after the return date to return your book. A late fee of $10 per book will be charged. We may be able to purchase your copy at the current buyback price.

Can someone else return my books for me?

It is recommended that you return your own books.


Other

Can I use a highlighter in my rental text?

Books must be returned in salable condition as determined by store staff. Minimal highlighting and marking is allowed. Books with damage to the spine, torn covers, missing pages, or any water damage will not be accepted.

What if my book was lost, stolen, or damaged beyond normal wear?

There are several options. You can acquire another copy of the book and return it at the end of the rental period. You can come to the store and pay the difference between the rental and replacement costs. You can do nothing and allow your credit card to be charged.

  • 4000 Fifth Avenue
  • Pittsburgh, PA 15213
  • 412-648-1455
  • theuniversitystore@pitt.edu

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