Students who rent textbooks through Amazon.com’s Warehouse Deals, Inc. may be unknowingly agreeing to an unusual condition: They are not permitted to cross state borders with their books, as Inside Higher Ed reports
According to the Textbook Rental Terms and Conditions page on Amazon.com, when renting through Warehouse Deals, which is an Amazon subsidiary, “You may not move the textbook out of the state to which it was originally shipped. If you wish to move the textbook out of that state, you must first purchase the textbook.”
If Amazon does determine that a renter has moved his or her book to a different state “at any time during the rental period,” the company at its “sole discretion” can charge the consumer the buyout price of the textbook.
Some experts believe the policy is another reflection of the extreme lengths to which the company continues to go in order to avoid collecting state sales taxes. But could Amazon’s use restriction and other complicated rental conditions cause problems for students or lead potential textbook renters to take their business elsewhere?
It seems like a policy that would be nearly impossible to enforce. But Richard Hershman, vice president of government relations at the National Association of College Stores, points out that if a student has textbooks sent to her home state and ships them back from a different state where she attends college, Amazon could easily note the new shipping location. Continue reading “Amazon versus borders”