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How to Rent Textbooks, Books, and More


Please Note: we recently changed some of our rental policies. Please contact us if you have questions about books rented prior to December 21, 2016.

Renting books from our marketplace is easy

Worry-Free Guarantee for rentals  

NOTE: Read the Purchase Satisfaction Guarantee and Returns Policy if you're inquiring about purchased items instead of rentals.

Rentals are guaranteed in these ways, so you can rent from Alibris and rest assured:

  • You may return your rented book for a refund within 21 days of its rental date.
  • All books are quality US Editions, and guaranteed against excessive damage and missing pages.

Return a rental within 21 days for a refund:

  • Access Your Account, and print your return-address label. Cut at the dotted line, insert the top half inside the front cover of the book, and affix the address label to your own box with your book securely packaged inside. Ship back to our warehouse via the carrier of your choice using a trackable shipping method.
  • Refunds are for the amount of the rental only. Unfortunately, we can't refund shipping charges unless we made an error with your rental.

Please allow up to two weeks for a refund to appear on your credit card. Learn more about rental returns in our rental terms and conditions.

Returning rented books 

If you want to return a rented book within 21 days of its rental date, see our Worry-Free Guarantee.

When it's time to return your rented book at the end of your rental period, please do the following:

  1. Access Your Account, print your FREE return-shipping label, and affix it to your own box.
  2. Package your books well enough to prevent shipping damage.
  3. Drop it off at the nearest Fedex Office or Drop Box.

IMPORTANT STUFF: Read the following to ensure that your return is processed correctly:

  • REQUIRED return-shipping labels: Use one package and shipping label to return all books that were rented together. Information on the shipping label helps us identify the items as yours. If you don't use our shipping label and we can't match the items you return to your account, you may be charged the full replacement price for that book.
  • Early rental returns: If you want to return a rented book within 21 days of its rental date, please read our Worry-Free Guarantee.

Your rental period  

The rental period begins on the date your rental order is placed. Since the last thing you want to worry about is returning your book during finals, you have a 20 day grace period at the end of the rental period to get the book back on time.

IMPORTANT STUFF: If your book is not received by the end of the grace period, you will be charged for the purchase of the book and it will be yours to keep. The amount charged is our "replacement price", which is the full price of the book at the time you rented it, minus the amount you paid for the rental (plus applicable taxes). To learn the price of your book, go to Your Account, select the book, and then click the "Details about this item" link.

TIP FOR YOU: To prevent late returns, be sure to mark the due date on your calendar and watch for the e-mails we'll send you about your approaching deadlines.

Learn more in our rental terms and conditions.

Receiving rented books 

The books you rent will be shipped from our warehouse within two business days of your order date, usually sooner. Once your rented book ships, we'll e-mail you its tracking number; this information will also be available in Your Account.

TIP FOR YOU: If your rental appears to be delayed in transit, please contact its shipping carrier first, since they'll know best about its whereabouts. We do our best to accurately estimate delivery dates, but the actual date is out of our control. (Of course, if your book fails to arrive, please contact customer service.)

Separate cart for rentals 

If you add both a purchase item and a rental item to your cart, you'll see them categorized accordingly. We separate rental items and purchase items in the cart because it's necessary for rental items to be ordered separately, which is why you'll also see a separate "Rental Checkout" button.

Loss or damage of rentals 

While you are renting a book, you are responsible for protecting it from loss or damage. Normal wear and tear is OK. Here's the difference:

  • Normal rental wear and tear is, well, normal. A small amount of highlighting and margin notes within reason are acceptable. After all, your rented book is there to help you with your studies. But please be respectful of others who may use the book after you.
  • Damage to a rental includes anything that would prevent another customer from being able to fully use and enjoy the rental—like torn, stained, or missing pages.

IMPORTANT STUFF: If your rented book is lost, stolen, or damaged, you'll be charged the full replacement price of the book. To learn the replacement price of your book, go to Your Account, select the book, and click the "Details about this item" link.

TIP FOR YOU: If your rented book is lost, stolen, or damaged, you may acquire an identical book and send it back as your rental return as it will serve as a replacement. That way, you can avoid being charged as noted in the preceding paragraph.

PayPal unavailable for rentals 

We do not currently accept PayPal for rental orders. Sorry about that.

Keeping a rented book 

If you decide to keep your rented book, please contact us at [email protected]. You'll be charged the price of the book at the time it was rented, less the amount you paid for the rental; it will be as if you bought the book instead of renting it.

Supplemental materials, access codes, DVDs 

Since rented books are used by multiple students, we can't guarantee that supplemental materials (such as CD-ROMs or workbooks) will be included with each rental. Before you order, check with your instructor to learn whether or not the supplements are necessary. Many times they are not. Alternatively, you may purchase supplemental materials through other means, including your college bookstore.

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More questions? Go back to the main Help & Customer Service page or send e-mail to customer service.