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Old 09-17-2010, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
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OP - Like the Calculus is different for every school. I'll bet the Admin types are geting some favors from the publishers salesmen.
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Maryland's 6th District.
8,357 posts, read 25,269,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
OP - Like the Calculus is different for every school. I'll bet the Admin types are geting some favors from the publishers salesmen.
I don't know about administration, but text-book publishers target professors individually, and in some cases-an entire department as a whole.
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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This is not a 'new scam'. It's not unique to textbooks either, or even books at all. Booksellers often have special versions of fiction and non-fiction books. Movie and music are another product where special editions are sold only through certain outlets but the same fundamental product is sold under a different cover elsewhere. Clothing is another. FTC requires that clothes be tagged with a lot number, identifying the actual factory where it was made, but you can find the same product under many different labels and on the racks in different stores at different prices. And some day OP will move out of the dorms and buy their first 'real' bed, and realize that it is impossible to comparison shop for mattresses because every store uses their own names to label the same mattress models!

All this thread demonstrates is that OP is learning a little bit about the way the world works. And that after all is what college is about. The lessons come from more than just the professor's lips.
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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Thirty years ago, before the internet and all the current technology, I would slip on campus three weeks before fall classes and scout out the books that I would need for the following semester. I would get the ISBN or Library of Congress numbers from the books.

I would head to my local bookstore with the information and order the books at a 25-30% savings. Also, I would have the books a couple of weeks early so I could start on the reading.

It seems to me that anyone with a bit of creativity and the internet should be able to save somewhere in the ballpark of 40%.

In MOST cases, the professors and instructors receive little benefit from the textbook folks. They tend to be pro-student and will help you a lot ... unless of course, the professor is a co-author of the text. (My worst experiences were with liberal arts professors who published their own textbooks using vanity publishers.)

As much as students like to COMPLAIN about high book prices, you would be surprised to see how few will scour the internet for savings even if you make all kinds of suggestions.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:20 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 4,791,824 times
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Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Thirty years ago, before the internet and all the current technology, I would slip on campus three weeks before fall classes and scout out the books that I would need for the following semester. I would get the ISBN or Library of Congress numbers from the books.

I would head to my local bookstore with the information and order the books at a 25-30% savings. Also, I would have the books a couple of weeks early so I could start on the reading.

It seems to me that anyone with a bit of creativity and the internet should be able to save somewhere in the ballpark of 40%.

As much as students like to COMPLAIN about high book prices, you would be surprised to see how few will scour the internet for savings even if you make all kinds of suggestions.
Very true. I just saved 74.09% (a total of $163) on ONE textbook. Brand new. Ordered Thursday and it arrived today. It was my first time ordering from that particular vendor so I only ordered one text to be cautious. Since it arrived as expected, I ordered a second text today (savings of $103 [64.357%]).


Also, interesting you bring up the Library of Congress because it reminded me of another strategy I have been using for the past 3 years of college: Most schools have a copy (or two) of each textbook in the library. However, they usually take the book out of circulation during semesters when the text is being used (for obvious reasons). However, a lot of schools participate in the inter-library loan programs, where students of University X can check out books from University Y and have them delivered..generally free of charge. Often, other universities will have a copy of your textbook in circulation and its simply a matter of checking it out from that school.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:40 PM
 
16,404 posts, read 30,345,228 times
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Originally Posted by 540_804 View Post
Very true. I just saved 74.09% (a total of $163) on ONE textbook. Brand new. Ordered Thursday and it arrived today. It was my first time ordering from that particular vendor so I only ordered one text to be cautious. Since it arrived as expected, I ordered a second text today (savings of $103 [64.357%]).
How did you pull that one off? I am impressed.

I have three nephews starting in the next 12 months and would like to be able to come up with some new ideas. My wife and I are the "go to" people on getting good prices.
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:32 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 4,791,824 times
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Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
How did you pull that one off? I am impressed.

I have three nephews starting in the next 12 months and would like to be able to come up with some new ideas. My wife and I are the "go to" people on getting good prices.
Got the international edition of the text. EXACT same as the US edition except with a soft cover (vs hard). Ordered it from Singapore.

The trick with going international is finding a good, reputable source to buy from. I purchased from a dealer on Ebay with a ~99% positive feedback with close to 9000 reviews.

The 2 most common problems with the international editions are
  1. The page numbers are off. This is by far the most common problem. Usually just a few pages off (so, page 8 in the US edition may be page 11 in the international edition) and is more of an annoyance than a serious problem.
  2. The questions/problems may be different. This may be a problem for a subject where teachers assign questions from the book. MOST of the time, the US and International editions are identical, but in rare cases they are different...and if happens to you, then you may have a problem.
Fortunately, I haven't had either of the problems. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

Again, I think the hardest part about going the international route is finding a trusted source to deal with. I guess I got lucky (+ i did a ton of research/comparison shopping). It was the first time I had ever used eBay (haha...I'm a late bloomer by today's standards) and the first time using an international text..so I was really nervous.
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:36 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,852 posts, read 35,178,472 times
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Out of curiosity....if you complete your assignments and pass the tests, what would they do if you did not buy the text book?

When I went to college, the teacher did not care who had or did not have a text book. During class I took notes and then after class I went to the library and studied the assigned chapter, and did any homework that was required. I never bought books.

Once in a while the teachers would ask me the first couple of days where my book was and I usually said something like.. I haven't gotten it yet, or oh I forgot it, or something like that. After a while they stopped asking.

I'm just wondering if anyone else refused to buy text books and if so, was there any problem.

20yrsinbranson
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:26 PM
 
16,404 posts, read 30,345,228 times
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Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Out of curiosity....if you complete your assignments and pass the tests, what would they do if you did not buy the text book?
In general, the professors don't care WITH ONE EXCEPTION. They get picky about the edition and will go after those with older editions.

Most of the other professors and instructors are like the people in THIS thread - they want to help their students save money.

As a profession, teachers tend to be more frugal than not. A lot more.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:28 PM
 
Location: White House, TN
6,486 posts, read 6,204,393 times
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I'm not one for governmental regulation most of the time, but someone has to twist the arm of these people and set limits on college book moneymaking. Like no custom editions, minimum service life of 3 years for a book, and maximum profit on each book of 80% of the purchase price.

In other words, a book that came out in 2010 and cost $50 to print would have to be universal for all colleges it was offered, be used until 2013, and sell for $90 or less.
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