Book Rental

Spring 2020 Return Info

Please note: Spring 2020 rental books can be returned by mail. Visit Barnes and Noble Charlotte for more information.

The Bookstore’s textbook rental program saves students over one million dollars yearly.

  • The rental period is for the duration of the semester. 
  • Students may highlight or mark the rented books just as they would if they purchased a book with plans to sell it back.
  • Students may pay the rental fees by cash, check, credit, debit, 49er Account, or Barnes & Noble gift cards. For security purposes, a valid credit card must also be provided regardless of the rental payment method.
  • Students may convert rentals to a purchase, but only during the first two weeks of class. A limited-time option to buy out rentals for a special price will be offered at the end of the semester.
  • An email to remind students to return their books will be sent near the end of the semester. Books not returned (or returned in unusable condition) will be subject to replacement and processing fees.

Not all texts qualify for rental. Not included are older editions, texts packaged with software or other items and loose-leaf or perforated page books.


Buying Vs. Renting

Book rental pro

Put simply, the biggest “pro” is price upfront. Barnes & Noble at UNC Charlotte’s new rental program offers texts at 45 percent of the price of a new book. For a $100 book, that would be $45 Saving $55 is a good deal. 

Book rental con

Consider the likelihood that at the end of the semester you will return your rented books by the date you specified in your rental agreement. Are you one of those people who tend to rack up overdue fines on library books? Don’t get videos back to the Redbox on time? Then maybe renting isn’t your best choice. When a rented book is not returned within the required time frame, you’ll be charged the full price of the book, plus a penalty fee (standard practice in any book rental program). You’ll lose what you’ve saved and that $100 book could end up costing you about $125. Ouch.

Book purchase pros

If that $100 textbook is bought used, it will cost $75; a 25 percent savings. If that book is adopted for use for the next semester, you can sell it back at the end of the semester and likely get 50 percent back what you paid. In the above example (which is common) you would have used the text for a semester at a net cost of $37.50. That’s less than renting. Barnes & Noble at UNC Charlotte makes cashing in books easier with remote buy-back stations all around campus during the end-of-semester buy-back period. Right here – cash for books, done. Should you accidentally ruin your textbook no worries; it’s yours. Should you decide to keep it and not sell it back, that’s your prerogative.

Book purchase con

If the professor doesn’t adopt the book for use the next semester, then the book may not be worth much and buy-back will yield less.

Other considerations

Publishers determine book prices and how often new editions are released. Not every book is suitable for rental. For example, books packaged with software or access codes, or those containing loose or perforated pages, are not eligible for the program.

Barnes & Noble Vs. Other Rental Companies

What edition?

With online rental programs, securing the right edition is your responsibility, not the textbook rental supplier. Will you receive the right edition? You can be assured that textbooks on the campus bookstore’s rental roster are exactly what your instructor specified.

The return process

Toward the end of the semester, Barnes & Noble Charlotte will send you a courtesy email, reminding you of the return deadline. When you’re finished with exams, just drop your rented books off at the bookstore in the Student Union or return by mail. 

No other store supports UNC Charlotte more!

Patronizing the campus bookstore helps support other students and fund events and activities you enjoy. In fact, proceeds from the Bookstore:

  • Fund scholarships;
  • provide on-campus employment to 100+ students each year;
  • help build and maintain new facilities such as Popp Martin Student Union and football stadium;
  • and support programs such as SOAR, Homecoming, Athletics and more.

Sure, it’s possible to save two or three percent if renting books from an online company, but what do they do for your school?