Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Plum

The trouble with used textbooks

Recommended Posts

Update: Mystery solved - Same books different publishers  

————

These don’t look like they are the same size, right? 
They all have the same ISBN. I bought them used through Amazon, from the same bookstore that had multiple copies. The top two have the same amount of pages. The bottom one seems to have more pages or missing page numbers in the back. I can’t quickly tell the difference on the inside. Is there a way to tell? The smaller one has an Amazon rental sticker on it which makes me wonder if they have thinner pages for shipping? 
Is there an easy way to tell if they are different or do I have to page through 3 copies and compare? 

E410A0AE-C241-40A2-8FDD-2E60BBAAF098.jpeg

Edited by Plum
  • Like 1
  • Confused 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, beaners said:

Is the table of contents the same?

🤦‍♀️ Yep. I'm sure I would have thought of that eventually. 🤣 It's just been one of those days where I've had 20 other things on my mind.

Which makes me wonder if the former Amazon rental has thinner paper? It certainly feels thinner. No wonder those things get torn up so quickly.  

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it possible that one is a specially prepared edition for a particular school?  It should say that somewhere if it is.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, EKS said:

Is it possible that one is a specially prepared edition for a particular school?  It should say that somewhere if it is.

Not that I can see. 
I did find the page numbers on the bottom book. They are on the inside by the binding and not on the outside like the other two. Weird.
 

The Amazon rental has a bunch of labels stacked on top of one another on the back side, which is different than the other two.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I assume you noticed that the one book is from a different publisher? 🙂 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, EKS said:

I assume you noticed that the one book is from a different publisher? 🙂 

I did notice that, but I’m not sure it registered that could be all it is. 

Ahhh The Pearson book has Pearson all over the inside. The other two Routledge books say First Published 2015, 2012, 2009, 2006 by Pearson. Published 2016 by Routledge. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Open a random page in one of the books, check if that page number has the same content in the other two books. For e.g. if page 72 in book 1 talks about topic ABC, check if page 72 is the same in the other two books.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check the TOC. Feel the paper. It's entirely possible that the fat ones are printed on better paper while the thin one is on newsprint. Could be an international edition - they are often made more cheaply, but contents is the same.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good catches.  When I purchased textbooks for DD during the past 7 years (actually I bought one of the textbooks she is using in her 2nd semester in UNC for her. There was such an enormous savings on a Used Textbook for the course from a Seller on eBay that it almost paid for the other textbook for that course, which she purchased, Brand New, from Amazon. She has Prime... ) I tried to remember to ask the Seller (in the first years almost all of the books were purchased from Amazon Sellers) when I was buying from someone without a lot of Sales, that it was not an International Edition or an Educators edition (Those are give by the Publishing companies, free, to Instructors they hope will use their new textbooks in their courses.  When I was not  buying from a Huge Seller, I tried to confirm that the textbooks were U.S. editions and Student editions.

Edited by Lanny
change 6 to 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Lanny said:

G I tried to remember to ask the Seller  that it was not an International Edition or an Educators edition (Those are give by the Publishing companies, free, to Instructors they hope will use their new textbooks in their courses.  When I was not  buying from a Huge Seller, I tried to confirm that the textbooks were U.S. editions and Student editions.

What's the problem with an instructor's edition? It's the same book. Just with a big label printed on the front. Ditto for Intl editions: same book. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the Instructors Editions, I have read that they are not supposed to be resold. During the past 7+ years, we have in fact received several textbooks that were Instructors Editions from Amazon Marketplace Sellers, and since we are Overseas and had no possibility of sending them to the USA to be sold, they were OK.  However, I believe at least some of them have the Answers in them,,, so that wouldn't be good for a Student working with an Instructors edition?

We haven't received any International Editions, so I have no experience with them, but from what you wrote, they are the same, just not on higher quality paper or binding as a U.S. Student Edition would be.

There is another trick which I discovered from an eBay Seller, very recently, where they "upgraded" the ISBN number of an older edition of a textbook to a newer ISBN number, to increase the value of their older edition. I was extremely disappointed to see that on eBay, but appreciate that the listing was complete and transparent, although I consider what they are doing to be deceptive and dishonest.

It depends on the Instructor, if an older edition of a textbook is OK or not, IMO, and not upon the Marketplace Seller of a textbook to take it upon themselves to increase the value of an older edition like that.  

DD is taking a course now (I think this is the course where she goes in and sits down and relaxes and enjoys because it is so different from her other courses) which required not one but 2 textbooks.  One of them was available Used, Good, for about $3.99 USD (including Shipping) on eBay and the Seller had about 7 copies when I ordered it for her. Well, almost all of the Used Textbooks she's received over the years have been at least as good as the listing Condition (in this case Good), but the one she received had a glitch in the Binding or something.  It was so inexpensive that I asked her if she wanted me to order another copy for her and she could keep the best copy. She decided that would not be necessary and is working with the copy she received with the Binding glitch. The school bookstore had that same book Used, for approximately $28 USD more, which almost paid for the other textbook for the course, Brand New, directly from Amazon. 

Edited by Lanny
ETA: Including Shipping

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lanny said:

With the Instructors Editions, I have read that they are not supposed to be resold. ... However, I believe at least some of them have the Answers in them,,, so that wouldn't be good for a Student working with an Instructors edition?

None of the many physics texts for which I have received instructor editions had answers in them.

The "supposed to not be resold" is not legally binding. If publishers send out unsolicited merchandise, instructors will resell or give away to get rid of them. Publishers have to deal. I consider it unethical to request a textbook for evaluation and then resell it. But stuff I never wanted in the first place? No qualms.

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...