Amazon Rentals is just one of many little-known services that the retail and technology giant has introduced over the years to its customers. It is not widely promoted because of its relatively limited inventory, but you can find some great rental deals on band and orchestra musical instruments, as well as a pretty big collection of textbooks for college students.

How Do I Use Amazon Rentals?

First, head over to the Amazon Rentals main page here. You can browse through their collection of rentable items to see what you like. Next, pick the term of the rental from the options provided, and checkout like you normally would. That’s it!

The difference between a purchase and a rental is that all rentals must be returned within the timeframe stipulated for each item. Instrument rentals, for example, are typically returnable in one month, three months or six months depending on your initial rental period.

You can also choose to extend your rental for an additional period, for which you will be charged separately.

Are Shipping and Returns Free for Amazon Rentals?

Yes, shipping is free for Amazon Rentals items on orders over $35 and free two-day shipping may be available to Prime members. Amazon Rentals return shipping is free if the package is post-marked on or before the stipulated return date.

Can I Purchase my Rentals Items Later?

Yes, Amazon allows you to purchase anything that you have rented, or purchase it outright instead of renting. If you have rented a saxophone, for example, and then want to buy it, what you’ve already paid in rentals will be deducted from the purchase amount.

Essentially, a college student can eventually own the items they rent from Amazon Rentals. One way to think of it is like a sort of flexible payment option for students who can’t afford expensive musical instruments or important course-prescribed text books upfront.

Are There New Items on Amazon Rentals?

Some new books and instruments may be available for rental, and for pre-used items Amazon guarantees a full pre-inspection with an assurance that the item “will always be professionally inspected and prepared by a qualified vendor. This means your rental item will always be in working condition with no structural imperfections that could impact the functionality.”

Other Benefits of Amazon Rentals

  • Amazon Rental Returns initial return period: 30 days for books, 7 days for instruments

  • Full refund if returned within the initial return period

  • Extension allowed on all products; extension period varies

  • Reminders for returns via email

  • Rentals are covered for normal wear and tear

  • Rental instruments typically come with basic accessories

Is this the Same as the Amazon Trade-in Program?

No, the Amazon Trade-in Program involves receiving gift cards in exchange for used items that are pre-quoted by Amazon. You receive a quote on an item you own, and if you accept you ship it in or drop it off at an Amazon location and receive a Gift Card for the quoted amount in your Amazon account. Not all items are eligible for trading in. Please check the website for eligibility.