Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education > Colleges and Universities
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-26-2012, 02:59 PM
 
919 posts, read 1,784,295 times
Reputation: 965

Advertisements

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.

If your professor actually told you to suck it up, tell him he's an jackass. That is plain BS, pure and simple. This jerk is being paid by YOU and your merry gang of undergrads who are going in over their heads in overpriced tuition and book costs, primarily because the unis have become scams. Tell Mr. Jackass that you don't want to pay and play the game, tell him to place a textbook with the library in which anyone can borrow it, and if he doesn't then you should report this toad to the uni ombudsman. You have to fight back, organize students against the garbage, otherwise they'll keep jerking you guys into oblivion.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-26-2012, 03:28 PM
 
Location: WA
4,242 posts, read 8,783,716 times
Reputation: 2375
I teach at a CC and we bend over backwards to get the cheapest textbook prices for our students. We pit the textbook companies against each other, haggle, and price match. We examine the pros and cons of using custom editions, unbound editions and e-books. It's like buying a new car.

In most cases, the custom edition of the book is not significantly different from the full edition: usually chapters are eliminated to SAVE THE STUDENT MONEY. Occasionally, a professor will add a chapter and use it. If they do this, its because that chapter is really key to the course. The custom edition can save the student up to 30%: which may or may not be more than what they'd save by buying a used book.

That being said, I don't use custom editions if there is an impressive online sell-back market (yes, we look this up while we're considering options). Sometimes a student can recoup 50% of the book cost online. However, at our school, there's also an underground student-to-student market. You might want to look at this to sell your custom editions to other students.

And yes, the textbook companies can be jerks about editions: it's not the professor's fault: we can't go with an old version of a textbook because there won't be any for the bookstore to buy. We've even had a case of a company changing editions in the middle the school year!

As for the kickbacks from the textbook companies, the best I've gotten is a free donut.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2012, 03:33 PM
 
Location: WA
4,242 posts, read 8,783,716 times
Reputation: 2375
Also wanted to note: this summer session, I made the textbook optional and put up a list of online open source textbooks and resources the students could use instead.

I'd estimate that all but 2 of the students still bought the textbook.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-26-2012, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Metairie, La.
1,156 posts, read 1,801,783 times
Reputation: 775
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'll tell you a worse example of college administrations sticking it to their students--gym facility costs.

I recently attained by doctorate and spent roughly the past five years at the same university. Each year on their "fees" section of the bill (the part not covered by scholarships, etc.), they charged $200/semester for unlimited use of the workout place (arguably the most popular place on campus). Well, I never used the campus gym, yet I had to pay the fee. You cannot reject this fee whereas you could reject the parking fee by not purchasing a decal if you use public transportation or ride your bike.

I bet some lawyer will get wind of this some day, recruit a few other lawyers, file a class action lawsuit and then the victims of this injustice will get a $5 settlement.

Last edited by DiogenesofJackson; 06-26-2012 at 05:00 PM.. Reason: forgot to add "/semester"
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-31-2013, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Buckeye, AZ
38,936 posts, read 23,950,171 times
Reputation: 14125
Sorry for digging this one out of mothballs but Textbook writers annoy me. It's nothing but a scam. All they do is add a chapter or two that isn't even used for the course in most cases.

I can't believe when they decide to change textbooks. My first year of college I took Intro to Music Appreciation which was a fancy title for Rock n Roll history. The book was a great book and went up to the modern rock era of nu-metal and post grunge rock like Nickelback. I took the course in 2005 so besides the emo scene that came around at that point the book worked. The course barely gets into the 70's era of corporate rock, YET the book was changed by the time I tried returning it so I actually held onto it. Half the book is un-used and the course needs a new book? I also have one other text book remaining though I don't think it would be able to be sold. It was a book for business law I needed in 2010.

I also hate the looseleaf books you can't sell back because they shrink wrapped. That is a waste because you will NOT get anything back for them.

Here's what I did once for a subject. My school had a required book for a class that wasn't in for a while (nor did I have the money for it because it was one of those NOT listed on the course list through the bookstore before the semester.) Once it was in, I got it. It was basically pamphlet of cases for the class in magazine form. So we went to Staples and copied it then returned it cause I "dropped the class."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-31-2013, 01:19 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,569 posts, read 7,752,062 times
Reputation: 4059
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkpunk View Post
I also hate the looseleaf books you can't sell back because they shrink wrapped. That is a waste because you will NOT get anything back for them.
You CAN, however, sell the looseleaf via Craigslist, Amazon, or eBay as a used item. I just sold one. It was my wife's developmental psych looseleaf and she'd kept it in a very nice binder the whole time and I sold it for the average used price Amazon sellers had it for. We shipped it in the binder.

I learned a long time ago to stop bothering with trying to sell my books back to the bookstores and instead I sell them privately. I get more than the bookstore will give me, the buyer gets it for a better price than the bookstore is asking for a used book. Win-win.

Generally I go with an older edition of the book too. I usually ask the professor if this is going to be a problem. Most of the time they say no, occasionally they answer with a bunch of disclaimers about how I may or may not find all the information in an older edition and how I am still responsible for the information needed on tests, blah blah. Covering their butts with their answer. Usually it is safe to ignore this and buy an older edition anyway. Often the price for an older edition will be under $10 whereas the new one is $120. Ridiculous.

Last semester though; Sociology of Popular Music. I registered late and my minor is Sociology. This was the only class left that fit with my schedule. Not something I would normally choose but apparently it is pretty popular with other students. There were two "required" textbooks, both authored by the professor, each one about an inch thick at most, only available in new editions, brand new, crapload of money. The infuriating part is that we really only referenced maybe two chapters from each of those books for the entire semester. There is no doubt I could have managed fine without those books.

This same professor also required us to attend a symposium he had arranged for some guest speaker who was a personal friend, on a day when many students had other classes, but we were told it was part of the grade. The subject matter was also pretty irrelevant to the course. Too bad it wasn't ancient Greece style with drinking and so forth. For me it was a 2 hour round trip in the car on a day I didn't normally have to travel to school and after the fact, he let us know it was "extra credit".

Egos, I tell ya.

On a positive note I was able to sell those textbooks on eBay.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-31-2013, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Buckeye, AZ
38,936 posts, read 23,950,171 times
Reputation: 14125
I've sold some books through half though sometimes it is good, others not so much. Better when I was trying to buy books rather than renting them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 08:50 PM
 
Location: California
37,155 posts, read 42,282,757 times
Reputation: 35041
Bookscouter.com. Seriously guys!

My son had a very pricey "school exclusive" book last semester that they told him straight up they would NOT be buying back because they were "updating" it. Updating a math book, yup.

Text books are/have been a criminal racket for years. I've annoyed many people by talking about it, but nobody seems to think there is a problem.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2013, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Buckeye, AZ
38,936 posts, read 23,950,171 times
Reputation: 14125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceece View Post
Bookscouter.com. Seriously guys!

My son had a very pricey "school exclusive" book last semester that they told him straight up they would NOT be buying back because they were "updating" it. Updating a math book, yup.

Text books are/have been a criminal racket for years. I've annoyed many people by talking about it, but nobody seems to think there is a problem.
No I agree, text books are a scam and should face government oversight like many things that do not have the problems of consumer protection.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-02-2013, 12:42 AM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,569 posts, read 7,752,062 times
Reputation: 4059
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceece View Post
Bookscouter.com. Seriously guys!

My son had a very pricey "school exclusive" book last semester that they told him straight up they would NOT be buying back because they were "updating" it. Updating a math book, yup.

Text books are/have been a criminal racket for years. I've annoyed many people by talking about it, but nobody seems to think there is a problem.
Oh don't get me started on math books! I had to take a bunch of remedial math at the community college. I think there were three in total before College Algebra. They were all using the same humongous math book when I started, brand new, no way to get it cheaper; $275! They tried to soften the blow by assuring us that the book would be used through all our remedial math AND College algebra though, so it wasn't that bad divided by four (hey, I can do some math)... but they turned around and stopped using that book when I was on the second class. Lying swindlers!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education > Colleges and Universities
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top