Used Textbooks

The University of Virginia Bookstore is dedicated to providing as many used books each semester as possible. We encourage faculty to submit their textbook orders early to maximize the number of books we can purchase from students during buyback. Early orders also allow us to secure larger number of used books from used book wholesalers. The typical used book is 25% off the new retail price. If a faculty member chooses to use an old edition, we can sometimes purchase these at a savings which we pass onto the students. Books that require one-time use components, such as online access codes, will be less expensive used to accommodate the price of a new online component.

Q: Why aren't all books available used?

A: If it's a new edition there are no used books available. Also, obscure or specialized titles have little national demand and few used book wholesalers will stock them.

Q: My book is in a set with an online component but you don't offer it used? Why not?

A: Either the set is a new edition, or the online component was so expensive separately that we could not purchase the used book cheap enough to keep the combined price below the new set price.

Q: Can I return a used book if I drop the class?

A: Yes, you can return used books in adherence to our textbook return policy.

Q: On the shelf there are hardback and paperback used copies of the same book. Is the hardback more expensive?

A: No, once the book is available in paperback, all used hardback copies are the same price as used paperback copies.

Q: Aside from their condition, are used books identical to the new books ordered for my classes?

A: Yes, the edition of the book is the same and the pagination is consistent with that of new books.

Q: Can I highlight in my book and still sell it back?

A: Yes, although on occasion the value at buyback of some books may be affected by their condition.

Rental Textbooks

Titles can be rented online or in store and the student can use the book for the semester. Writing and highlighting are allowed and students must return the book, with all supplemental components (i.e. CDs) by the specified rental return date. If not, their Student Charge Account will be billed a Rental Replacement Fee (new retail minus rental price). Students will be sent two reminder emails to return their rental books and, if billed, one email to let them know they have been charged the Rental Replacement Fee. See the UVA Bookstore Rental Policy. All rentals must be returned to the main University of Virginia Bookstore.

Q: Should I rent or buy?

A: Renting a book is cheaper initially and you always have the option of purchasing the book outright before the semester is over. Simply pay the difference between the retail and the rental price. Purchasing a book is more expensive initially but you can always sell your book at our buyback. We offer up to 50% of the new retail price for books we know will be used again. All other books are purchased by a wholesaler and may be worth much less. Typically, renting is the least expensive option.

Q: Why aren't all titles available to rent?

A: Unfortunately, not all titles are available to rent. We are typically unable to rent books that have been bundled with or include access codes. Custom books are non-rentable since they are tailored to a specific semester's course. Other books maybe going into new editions, are being used by visiting professors, or are unlikely to ever be used again.

Q: Why do you rent new of some books, used of some and both new and used of others?

A: We try to rent as many titles as possible. Sometimes the price or availability of a title in a certain condition will preclude it from being available as a rental. We look at the used and the new version of textbooks on a separate basis when considering rentals in order to give students the maximum number of rental possibilities.

Q: Do I need a credit card to rent a book?

A: No, but you do need a valid UVA ID. The initial rental price can be paid by any method. We will charge your Student Charge account should you not return the rental book.
Please note that online rentals may only be purchased using Student Charge and Cavalier Advantage.

Q: Can I write and highlight in my rental book?

A: Yes, but excessive amounts could be grounds for refusal of a rental return.

Q: Can I decide to buy the book once I've rented it?

A: Yes. If you want to keep the book, you simply pay the difference between the retail price and the rental price.

Q: What if my rental book is lost or stolen?

A: You will be responsible for paying for the text. The amount would be the difference between the new retail price and the rental price.

Q: I rented a used book. Why do I have to pay the difference from the new retail price?

A: This is the replacement cost of the book. We have to replace that book that was not returned and we cannot guarantee that used copies will be available.

Q: I sold my rental back at buyback. What do I do?

A: See if you can get the book back from where you sold it. Otherwise, you will be responsible for paying for the text. The amount would be the difference between the new retail price and the rental price.

Q: I didn't return my rental and was charged the Rental Replacement Fee. What do I do now?

A: The book belongs to you. You can keep it or bring it to the University of Virginia Bookstore to see if it can be sold back.

Q: Can my roommate/friend return my rental for me?

A: Yes, if you trust them to do so. The University of Virginia Bookstore is not responsible if rentals are not returned on time. If the book is not returned, you will be responsible for paying for the text.

Q: I left for home and forgot to return my rental. Can I do it when I get back to Grounds?

A: No, you are responsible for returning the rental by the specified date.


As another option for students, the University of Virginia Bookstore offers textbooks in digital format. Not all titles are available as an ebook. Under the course listing, you can choose an ebook instead of a physical textbook.

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