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College bookstore scratched out the ISBN

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Ds was looking for his college algebra textbook. They only offered used and he knew an access code was required and none were available, so he flagged down someone who worked there. The bookstore worker looked up his class on their computer and wrote down the ISBN on the class schedule ds had in his hand. Then they went over to double check that they had the right book and when it was determined that it was, the worker asked to take his paper, walked back over to the computer, scratched out the ISBN and handed his paper back to him. ???!!! 

 

Wow. That's a pretty strict policy on ISBNs. This bookstore also changed their online format to not show any ISBNs. The only thing I can think of is they are trying to prevent students from shopping online for textbooks. Realistically, withholding ISBN only slows people down; it doesn't prevent shopping at alternative places. It's just so weird though. He could have easily taken a picture of the book at the bookstore or scanned the barcode and then shopped prices. 

 

 

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Wow. Our community college bookstore (run by Barnes and Noble) does price matching with online major retailers, even for rental. I was able to get one of my daughter's rentals down from $50+ to Amazon's $16, and a new book with code down by about $40 from the bookstore price to the Amazon price. I went in armed with the information, but they just checked online for me and adjusted the price.

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Wow. That's a pretty strict policy on ISBNs. This bookstore also changed their online format to not show any ISBNs. The only thing I can think of is they are trying to prevent students from shopping online for textbooks. Realistically, withholding ISBN only slows people down; it doesn't prevent shopping at alternative places.

I know at least two state universities and one community college where you can't see the textbooks. You give the textbook staff the class code the staff will tell you the prices. A staff will bring up the books you want. Many are custom editions too. I wanted to browse while at the campus but the textbook section is book store staff only.

 

Stanford on the other hand allows everyone to browse all they want so we could snap photos and scan ISBNs of books on whatever subject my husband wants to self study on. He then goes to the library to see which one he likes. The books are mostly sealed which is why we have to use the library to browse. The world languages books aren't sealed. It would be nice to have a browsing copy for sealed textbooks but that's not a big issue.

 

U of Waterloo's bookstore is much smaller than Stanford's and they don't seal the books so we could do a quick flip and buy if we want.

Edited by Arcadia

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Guess I'd have walked right back to the book, taken a picture of the ISBN, and then checked my online sources.  I guess I don't think much of a bookstore that withholds ISBNs.

 

 

I should have added that in the age of online book sales and rentals I wouldn't be impressed with a professor that didn't include ISBNs in their booklist/syllabus either.  If you want your students on the same page (literally) that is now as essential a piece of information as the author, title, edition, and date.

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The uni dd attends not only does price matching and rentals, they encourage you to find the best price. One book she rented they didn't have a used copy for, so they marked a new one as used and gave it to her for the used price.

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I should have added that in the age of online book sales and rentals I wouldn't be impressed with a professor that didn't include ISBNs in their booklist/syllabus either.  If you want your students on the same page (literally) that is now as essential a piece of information as the author, title, edition, and date.

That seems to be a part of the college's policy as well. None of his recent syllabi include the ISBN, they show the front cover, author and edition only. I noticed the changes before he started last year, but didn't comprehend just how enforced this policy seems to be.

 

Ds had trouble with his English book last semester. There were two books with the same title, edition and author, but slightly different versions. The teacher would only give him a description that was no help because the book cover was a series of squares with multiple colors and the different versions were slightly different colors. It all would have been easily fixed if she could just give him the ISBN, but that does not seem to be allowed. 

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I know at least two state universities and one community college where you can't see the textbooks. You give the textbook staff the class code the staff will tell you the prices. A staff will bring up the books you want. Many are custom editions too. I wanted to browse while at the campus but the textbook section is book store staff only.

 

Stanford on the other hand allows everyone to browse all they want so we could snap photos and scan ISBNs of books on whatever subject my husband wants to self study on. He then goes to the library to see which one he likes. The books are mostly sealed which is why we have to use the library to browse. The world languages books aren't sealed. It would be nice to have a browsing copy for sealed textbooks but that's not a big issue.

 

U of Waterloo's bookstore is much smaller than Stanford's and they don't seal the books so we could do a quick flip and buy if we want.

 

Wow. At least the textbooks are out on the floor of the bookstore, but I doubt it will stay that way. 

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That seems to be a part of the college's policy as well. None of his recent syllabi include the ISBN, they show the front cover, author and edition only. I noticed the changes before he started last year, but didn't comprehend just how enforced this policy seems to be.

 

Ds had trouble with his English book last semester. There were two books with the same title, edition and author, but slightly different versions. The teacher would only give him a description that was no help because the book cover was a series of squares with multiple colors and the different versions were slightly different colors. It all would have been easily fixed if she could just give him the ISBN, but that does not seem to be allowed. 

 

Sort of makes it seem like the school is trying to force students into using the campus (owned) bookstore for all their needs.  They are supporting their profits by withholding this information.  Not the sort of action that would impress me-sorry you have to deal with this!

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One more year and then he's off to a 4-year. Hopefully that will have a better policy. 

 

On the bright side, none of his classes require really expensive texts. His math course only stocks used that can be rented for $20 and the access code was $45. His Music Appreciation class had a brand new edition this year; otherwise they had been using the same edition for years and he would have been able to get that for free at his high school text library.  

 

 

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Our local CC has signs posted that you may not take photos or write down information about the textbooks, which are all located behind the counter. So bizarre.

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I can sort of understand having closed stacks. That would let them quickly pull books for an order without worrying that someone shipped and then abandoned the books in a corner when they got distracted. It lets them do better inventory and probably helps protect against shoplifting. It also lets them use a smaller footprint for the textbook section than if they had lots of students shopping the stacks.

 

In the other hand, information about assigned books should be given to me as a registered student. This is required info to participate in the class. If the store policy is to withhold the info, I would challenge that, first with the store manager and then with school administration.

 

Also I have often browsed the stacks to see what level a particular course was on. I won't register for a lit class that uses No Fear Shakespeare editions for example. I've also flipped through math and science texts to make sure they were on the right level (or to see what needed reviewed before class started). Wihholding access to the books used restricts student understanding of courses offered. It certainly affects my impression of a school when we are visiting. I've also bought interesting books when visiting if I knew it was a period that students were not typically buying their books.

Edited by Sebastian (a lady)
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Wow. Our community college bookstore (run by Barnes and Noble) does price matching with online major retailers, even for rental. I was able to get one of my daughter's rentals down from $50+ to Amazon's $16, and a new book with code down by about $40 from the bookstore price to the Amazon price. I went in armed with the information, but they just checked online for me and adjusted the price.

Ds's college bookstore, also run by B and N, does price matching and often they have researched Amazon before publishing their price so we are usually able to get everything from them.

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That seems to be a part of the college's policy as well. None of his recent syllabi include the ISBN, they show the front cover, author and edition only. I noticed the changes before he started last year, but didn't comprehend just how enforced this policy seems to be.

 

Ds had trouble with his English book last semester. There were two books with the same title, edition and author, but slightly different versions. The teacher would only give him a description that was no help because the book cover was a series of squares with multiple colors and the different versions were slightly different colors. It all would have been easily fixed if she could just give him the ISBN, but that does not seem to be allowed. 

 

As a professor, I have found it increasingly difficult to find out the ISBN numbers of the books for the courses that I am teaching.  The publisher will send me a sample desk copy but the ISBN does not match the ISBN for the student editions.  Sometimes this is because the desk copy has answers or other teaching materials in it.  Sometimes it is done to prevent someone from ordering many desk copies and then turning around and selling them as used books. 

 

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As a professor, I have found it increasingly difficult to find out the ISBN numbers of the books for the courses that I am teaching.  The publisher will send me a sample desk copy but the ISBN does not match the ISBN for the student editions.  Sometimes this is because the desk copy has answers or other teaching materials in it.  Sometimes it is done to prevent someone from ordering many desk copies and then turning around and selling them as used books. 

 

Well that makes more sense and I'd like to think that is the case. Unfortunately, even books that they've been using for years do not have the ISBN on the syllabus when I know they were there before. 

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Our local CC has signs posted that you may not take photos or write down information about the textbooks, which are all located behind the counter. So bizarre.

Our local CC keeps a copy of each textbook in the library which you can look at on their counter under "observation"

I was trying to compare an older edition of a Physics text with the new one they use now - I was able to write down the chapter titles and names along with the ISBN

 

The bookstore told me about the library thing so not all bookstores are "mean" since all their books were shrink wrapped

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