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Old 09-23-2008, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
269 posts, read 1,243,437 times
Reputation: 158

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In the 101 course I teach (Solar System astronomy), the publishers are producing new editions about every 18 months. At the 101 level, there is absolutely no justification for that. It is purely to suppress the "competition" from the used-book market.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:53 PM
 
Location: ATL suburb
1,364 posts, read 4,145,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabm67 View Post
In the 101 course I teach (Solar System astronomy), the publishers are producing new editions about every 18 months. At the 101 level, there is absolutely no justification for that. It is purely to suppress the "competition" from the used-book market.
And the only things they may change are additions of new research, removal of outdated information, or blatant errors. Yes, for most intro classes, it's ridiculous.
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:59 AM
 
3,853 posts, read 12,863,253 times
Reputation: 2529
The only realistic solution to this is for the teachers to simply keep the same book for a long period of time. Instead of using the brand new edition, use the older editions and keep using that edition for at least a couple years. A lot of these older editions are in the range of 10 or LESS (plus S/H). Just imagine instead of having to constantly buy 100+ books you would only have to pay 15$ max for each book. Talk about making college a lot more affordable!

One of my books as an example

7th edition (latest) 2008: 137 used on amazon.com
6th edition 2005: 15$ used on amazon.com

and we wonder why the attrition rate is in excess of 20%+ for college students. The colleges nickel and dime you every chance they get!
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Earth
539 posts, read 2,102,136 times
Reputation: 285
I've had several teachers use these custom books. I was told that it is the teacher who has chosen to use a custom book not administration. It is often condensed to what the teacher will teach. This semester I had to purchase a custom book that came with a lab cd which the instructor isn't even using. What a waste! I've also had the instructors tell me themselves that the book has been changed each year and the changes were indeed minimal. It is always best to check with your instructor before purchasing any books. They may not always be needed, you mind find that you can use last years edition or even the year before and you can often use the full edition instead of the custom edition.
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:13 AM
 
11,151 posts, read 15,829,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
Thirdly, you can always just sell the text book to a student at your college. Trust me, students are willing to shell out $60, $70, even $100 if your price is cheaper then the book stores price for the same book used. Another thing to keep in mind is that with most text books (actually practically all of them, but there are those few exceptions) there really is no difference between consecutive editions (i.e., between the 8th and 9th edition or the 3rd and 4th edition et. al.) so you could probably still get a decent price if a new edition is going to be used for next semester.
The schools I attended all had student-organized "book exchanges," where students could sell books directly to other students, at whatever price was agreeable to both. If your school doesn't have such a program, you should organize one yourself. As KLuv says, instead of that $25 that the bookstore will give you (), you can set a sale price somewhere between that lowball figure and what you actually paid -- and both you and the buyer profit.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:07 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,329 times
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Default beating the textbook scam...

I think that buying and selling your textbooks online is the best way to go. Amazon is probably one of the best places. Another sweet site is at [url]www.textbookoo.com[/url]. It allows you to buy and sell textbooks with students on your campus, so that you don't have to pay shipping costs, and it also connects you to Amazon just in case none of the students at your school have that particular books for sale. It's also free and I think it was even created by a couple of students.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
8,998 posts, read 14,782,217 times
Reputation: 3550
Quote:
Originally Posted by jabm67 View Post
In the 101 course I teach (Solar System astronomy), the publishers are producing new editions about every 18 months. At the 101 level, there is absolutely no justification for that. It is purely to suppress the "competition" from the used-book market.

Wouldn't you as an instructor be able to inform your students that the old edition works just fine?
For my Philosophy class, many of my classmates went out and shelled out $100 for a brand new Philosophy book (which I bet hardly any of them studied considering some of the grades we had in that class....) while I found an older edition for less than 6 dollars including shipping and handling. I came out the class with an A and was one of the professor's favorite students.
The professor told us on the first day that any edition would do.
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
271 posts, read 1,072,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RebeccaLeigh View Post
A few tricks for college textbooks.

1. If it is the teachers book ask if they can get a deal, most decent teachers will get you a deal or even give you the book for free. I've had this happen a couple of times.

2. Odds are your school library will have the book on reserve, meaning that you can take the book and make copies as you need them, this nice because you almost never need every chapter.

3. Check with the teacher, I would say 70-80% of the time you can use the previous edition, which tends to be 1/2 the price or less.

4.Find a friend who used the book, especially if it is a book with a cd and workbook, a lot of students will sell their books to another student first to avoid having to mail it.
Just thought that I would add, ask the teacher if you even need the book for the class, I have had it happen 3 times so far, and this is only my second semester where the teacher says that you do not need the book. It was awesome. This semester I only spent 70 on a single book, and I am going to return it, my friend has it from last semester. I just need a math book now, and I found a great place to rent them is chegg.com
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Ohio
1,140 posts, read 2,202,439 times
Reputation: 398
Quote:
Originally Posted by killer2021 View Post
If you thought college book publishers were bad at updating the book every year or so wait until you hear this one.

Last summer I went to go buy a book for my calculus class. I went to the bookstore and found the book and wrote down the ISBN (because I wanted to buy it online) So I type the isbn into amazon and I find nothing. Very odd I thought. So I went back to the bookstore and just bought it new. I opened it up and low and behold I found out it was a custom edition for my college. Yup, you heard me right - custom edition.

This means the resell ability of this book is little to none. No one on amazon is going to want to buy a custom edition so I am pretty much screwed if the bookstore doesn't buy it back and we all know the publisher will release a new edition for next semester.

Talk about shady business practices.

When I talked to the teacher about this he said he couldn't do anything because the administrators are the ones who decide on the books. He then told me to basically suck it up.
I loathe the practices and prices of college books and bookstores. It REALLY is a scam and some kinda investigation should be launched into it. I am sorry but when I am required to purchase 500-1200 dollars worth of books per semester and I don't use HALF of them, something is wrong there.
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Old 01-17-2009, 04:57 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,336 posts, read 60,500,026 times
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Oldest son just looked at books for this semester UMDCP (2nd semester Jr.)- $817
Second daughter, second semester freshman Towson Univ.- $620
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