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(Some Guy)   Submitter remembers the good old days when textbooks were sold back for beer money at the end of the semester. Now you might sell them back for drug-fueled weekend in New York City, Madrid   (thelantern.com) divider line 85
    More: Scary, New-York, semester, textbooks, Government Accountability Office, beer, long way to go, e-books, money  
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7831 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Sep 2009 at 11:00 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-09-29 07:52:13 AM
Subby has mistakenly decided that the higher cost of books means that students will get more back for those same books.

If you spend $400 per semester on books, you'll be very lucky to get back 20% of that.
 
2009-09-29 07:58:12 AM
Go Fast Turn Left: Subby has mistakenly decided that the higher cost of books means that students will get more back for those same books.

If you spend $400 per semester on books, you'll be very lucky to get back 20% of that.


Yeah I just freaking stopped selling them back.
 
2009-09-29 08:16:01 AM
Textbooks should never cost half as much as they do, especially considering how little most of them are read. Worst are the ones by the professor of the class, when you just know that you're the only school who's ever gonna be dumb enough to buy them.

\only made that mistake once
\\never again after that
 
2009-09-29 08:26:33 AM
FriarReb98: Textbooks should never cost half as much as they do, especially considering how little most of them are read. Worst are the ones by the professor of the class, when you just know that you're the only school who's ever gonna be dumb enough to buy them.

\only made that mistake once
\\never again after that


I have that problem right now. It's one of the top 5 worst textbooks I've ever had to slog through, and he's making us read all of the damn thing.
 
2009-09-29 09:02:57 AM
FriarReb98: Worst are the ones by the professor of the class, when you just know that you're the only school who's ever gonna be dumb enough to buy them.

We had that. It was called "half of all your mandatory freshman/sophomore courses."

And then the prof would change two words on each page and issue a new edition each quarter or semester. You COULD use the previous edition, but the pagination would be all screwed up and it would be harder to follow along.
 
2009-09-29 09:07:05 AM
Who buys books at the campus bookstore in this day and age.

AbeBooks FTW! (new window)
 
2009-09-29 09:45:23 AM
I laugh at those prices, try med, dental or law school books.
 
2009-09-29 10:07:39 AM
Gwendolyn: Go Fast Turn Left: Subby has mistakenly decided that the higher cost of books means that students will get more back for those same books.

If you spend $400 per semester on books, you'll be very lucky to get back 20% of that.

Yeah I just freaking stopped selling them back.


Bookscouter.com (new window)works quite well. Looks at about 30 places online that buy books back and shows you who pays the most. Many of them will even float you the shipping for free, up front.

/Non-disclaimer -- I have no affiliation with the above site. I have used their services as a customer. Ain't a plug, just something that might be useful.
 
2009-09-29 10:46:41 AM
$900 a year? If only. I pay roughly twice that, and that's buying used or online when possible.
 
2009-09-29 11:02:53 AM
I think the most I ever got was maybe $40.
 
2009-09-29 11:04:33 AM
What's next - the roadrunner hitchin' a ride on the back of a cheetah? What has our animal kingdom come to?

/Would ride a cheetah, actually..
 
2009-09-29 11:05:48 AM
m3chman: What's next - the roadrunner hitchin' a ride on the back of a cheetah? What has our animal kingdom come to?

/Would ride a cheetah, actually..


Ahem, well, it seems my post somehow got sucked into a blackhole and spat out in the wrong thread.

Well, now that I'm here .. go textbooks? xD
 
2009-09-29 11:08:50 AM
Textbooks are a farking racket. A revised Latin textbook? WTF, did Latin change?

/professor

.
 
2009-09-29 11:10:11 AM
Gwendolyn: Go Fast Turn Left: Subby has mistakenly decided that the higher cost of books means that students will get more back for those same books.

If you spend $400 per semester on books, you'll be very lucky to get back 20% of that.

Yeah I just freaking stopped selling them back.


This.

After a 14 year hiatus I started back for my Master's degree. I'm not even selling the books back anymore. I keep them in good condition and sell them on ebay or amazon.com.
 
2009-09-29 11:10:12 AM
My last 2 years of college I would go to the bookstore and read the books and take notes instead of buying them. The other students and ladies that worked there didn't care.

A couple of times they even let me make photocopies of the chapters.
 
2009-09-29 11:10:57 AM
Go Fast Turn Left: Subby has mistakenly decided that the higher cost of books means that students will get more back for those same books.

If you spend $400 per semester on books, you'll be very lucky to get back 20% of that.


Get money back? I remember one semester where every department pretty much decided to update the edition. I dropped 400 bucks and was able to sell back the three english books I took out. I think I got $5.

/thank god for plasma
//$45, a cookie and a free buzz twice a week
 
2009-09-29 11:12:52 AM
vernonFL: My last 2 years of college I would go to the bookstore and read the books and take notes instead of buying them. The other students and ladies that worked there didn't care.

A couple of times they even let me make photocopies of the chapters.


Ask, and it's likely they won't care at all. I worked a semester at the student bookstore, and I wasn't getting paid enough to care.

I haven't sold a book of mine back since undergrad. The books from grad school and med school are too specialized- it's nigh impossible to get anything back. I really should try EBay.
 
2009-09-29 11:14:21 AM
B/N Campus bookstore: $180
Amazon.com New/Used section: $40

The book binding even had the delicious crackle when i opened it for the first time.

I avoid buying books for classes until the professor explicitly states that we will be using a significant portion of the text book. Thankfully the syllabus at the beginning of the quarter gives us an idea as it if that will happen.
 
2009-09-29 11:14:44 AM
NikolaiFarkoff: FriarReb98: Worst are the ones by the professor of the class, when you just know that you're the only school who's ever gonna be dumb enough to buy them.

We had that. It was called "half of all your mandatory freshman/sophomore courses."

And then the prof would change two words on each page and issue a new edition each quarter or semester. You COULD use the previous edition, but the pagination would be all screwed up and it would be harder to follow along.


Worse than that, the words they would change would be in the end-of chapter exercises that just happen to be mandatory homework for the course.


Whingeing about spending $900/year for textbooks "because of massive inflation since 1986" brings out my tiny violin (.)

When I was in school in the late 80's/early to mid 90's (off my lawn!), we routinely paid $1200-1500+ for textbooks (science major, school on trimesters, YMMV)


Isn't this one of those perpetual seasonal stories Drew was talking about the other day?
 
2009-09-29 11:16:22 AM
My last 2 years of college I would go to the bookstore and read the books instead of buying them. The other students and ladies that worked there didn't care. A couple of times they even let me make photocopies of the chapters.
 
2009-09-29 11:17:32 AM
My wife went back to school this semester 20+ years after graduating. I amazed at the BS used to get money for books and make them obsolete to limit the used book market . One book had work sheets so it couldn't be bought used and another, bought used at half price of $125, need a $75 code.

This is DRM for print media, you didn't buy the book you bought a license to view it for a fix time.
 
2009-09-29 11:18:07 AM
basemetal: I laugh at those prices, try med, dental or law school books.

Yeah, I paid $900 for all my books for my first semester of law school. Semester.
 
2009-09-29 11:18:07 AM
I went to college twice.
 
2009-09-29 11:18:12 AM
I got $50 for a book once but I kept most of mine past freshman year. They're either reference books that I already know to use and thus have a use for, or paperbacks the bookstore was offering $.75 for.

Our bookstore had a bin that you could throw old versions of books they were no longer using in if you just wanted to get rid of them when the bookstore them back. A friend of mine took carloads and carloads of them and sold them all on ebay. He made a few grand a year.

/riveting tale, chap
 
2009-09-29 11:21:31 AM
you have pee hands: Our bookstore had a bin that you could throw old out of use versions of books they were no longer using in if you just wanted to get rid of them when once the bookstore would no longer buy them back. A friend of mine took carloads and carloads of them and sold them all on ebay. He made a few grand a year.

/me fail english?
 
2009-09-29 11:24:42 AM
you have pee hands: you have pee hands: Our bookstore had a bin that you could throw old out of use versions of books they were no longer using in if you just wanted to get rid of them when once the bookstore would no longer buy them back. A friend of mine took carloads and carloads of them and sold them all on ebay. He made a few grand a year.

/me fail english?


sounds like YOU need a new edition.
 
2009-09-29 11:27:17 AM
Cheron:
This is DRM for print media, you didn't buy the book you bought a license to view it for a fix time.

If only someone had WARNED us this would happen...
 
2009-09-29 11:32:53 AM
I just dated girls who had the same classes as me & borrowed their books.
 
2009-09-29 11:33:24 AM
Gwendolyn: Go Fast Turn Left: Subby has mistakenly decided that the higher cost of books means that students will get more back for those same books.

If you spend $400 per semester on books, you'll be very lucky to get back 20% of that.

Yeah I just freaking stopped selling them back.


I was offered $2.50 for a book I paid over 100 for.

I wanted to slap her in the face, but I reminded myself that she didn't set the prices, and calmly walked out before I screamed a slur of nonsensical obscenities.

Though, I seem to remember Obama talking about the cost of college in his campaign speeches- maybe we'll start working on that once health care has done its thing?
 
2009-09-29 11:33:55 AM
Sup guys. CS student in Germany here.

I think I spent once 10 euros in a script 5 years ago. That shiat was expensive.
 
2009-09-29 11:34:38 AM
I teach at an unnamed university (definitely not the one in profile) and we are usually able to distribute mostly-legal .pdf versions of articles course materials through the web. It's really a much better system. I hope for the sake of students that more textbook manufacturers come around to this sort of system but I bet they are quaking in their boots about the possibility of piracy.
 
2009-09-29 11:36:08 AM
FTFM, "articles/ course materials"
 
2009-09-29 11:38:55 AM
This is one of the few areas in which I'm actually glad to be a music major. All of the printed materials I buy I end up using for the rest of my life. I seriously have never bought a music textbook or score that I haven't ended up having to use again.

Why isn't there more of a grey market for stuff like this? New editions aside (and as some have pointed out, the differences in one edition to another are often very minor), if students were more organized in selling books to other students, they could get more money for them while saving the buying students an ass-ton by not having to buy new from the bookstore.

We did this all the time, using the old internet of the 90s. Why aren't they doing more of that now?
 
2009-09-29 11:41:08 AM
I worked for an Off-campus bookstore while in College, quit my last year because I was tired of getting paid a dollar over min. wage to screw my fellow students in some place uncomfortable.

/don't ever buy annotated teachers editions if you plan on selling your book back.
 
2009-09-29 11:43:31 AM
What do you mean I need the 7th edition? What's wrong with the 6th? Oh, the 6th has used ones available, which means the professor who wrote it doesn't get any royalties for his $200 book. I see.
 
2009-09-29 11:43:41 AM
I thought the old too poor to get an education thing was played out
 
2009-09-29 11:44:04 AM
mander: I teach at an unnamed university (definitely not the one in profile) and we are usually able to distribute mostly-legal .pdf versions of articles course materials through the web. It's really a much better system. I hope for the sake of students that more textbook manufacturers come around to this sort of system but I bet they are quaking in their boots about the possibility of piracy.

define "mostly-legal". i'm really curious as to what you do specifically and for what sort of course this works. my students really do need a textbook and problems to work, so i'm not sure that's a feasible solution for me. what i'd really like to do is just get a super-cheap book and then steal problems from another text, but something tells me that's copyright infringement. not that i care, but i would like a "legal" solution so it can become widespread.

for the record, my suspicion is that textbook prices are out of control because publishers have realized how damn lazy those of us teaching are when it comes to preparing for lower-level courses. we don't want to have to think about it at all, ever.
 
2009-09-29 11:47:44 AM
School book stores are an extortion racket plain and simple. Barnes and Nobles runs the store at PSU. Their own website sells NEW BOOKS for cheaper than what they sell USED in the bookstore. For example: I bought my OChem text book, online new through B&N for $140, they sold it used in store for $157ish and new for $199. I have to bite my tongue to not scream "GO FARK YOURSELVES" whenever I walk in there to buy a text book.

What is even worse is the new editions are not new. They move the problems around and insert pictures to change the pagination. My biochem teacher printed out a conversion table for the assigned problems and pages. The book was completely UNCHANGED, yet they had a new edition. The worst is Calc and intro physics books. I mean Calc and Physics are hundreds of years old, what new shiat are you putting in the new edition?

/vent
 
2009-09-29 11:49:59 AM
Let's face it. Anytime there's a captive market, there will be ripoffery. When someone say, 'you MUST have this book' then you will pay more. Literally as much as the market can support. Since students MUST have financial aid these days, the market can support quite a bit. Hint: buy your books from India.
 
2009-09-29 11:50:51 AM
I just recently switched to one of the better private universities in the US my books this semester were just under $1,200. Words cannot describe my anger.
 
2009-09-29 11:55:40 AM
Unless it was a new book coming out I always dealt directly w/ Amazon or went to usedbooks.com and spent less and got close to what I paid for later on.
 
2009-09-29 12:01:31 PM
Honestly, this is between you Fark and God. I stop buying text books for the last two semesters I went to college. I just figured that whatever the professor wanted in his class was probably available either on the internet for free or in the public four year school's library on campus on the private college's library down the hill that we had an inter-library program that was also free. You know what I graduated just fine without spending 300 dollars on the printed word a semester.
 
2009-09-29 12:01:43 PM
FriarReb98: Textbooks should never cost half as much as they do, especially considering how little most of them are read. Worst are the ones by the professor of the class, when you just know that you're the only school who's ever gonna be dumb enough to buy them.

\only made that mistake once
\\never again after that


Actually I only had to buy one book by one of my professors and it was one of 2 books I actually kept. It helps that he was the guru of our field and best expert on the history of it. I even found a copy of it of at my sister-in-law's, one of the few books she kept as an undergrad too.

Then again, we're graphic designers and it helps having visual references of styles and periods.
 
2009-09-29 12:02:53 PM
Man I remember the days of college book buying.

I spent about $80-$90 on a Psychology book...this was for "Intro to Psychology." Not even my major, but covered one of my core classes. I went to sell it back at the end of the semester...they offered me a single dollar. The guy didn't even crack a smile or anything; he was completely deadpan.

I took the dollar and bought a beer at one of the local dive bars. I think it was Busch.

I majored in English so luckily my books rarely went higher than $250 for a semester unless I had a mandatory, non-major class. My roommate on the other hand was a Biology major and had to pay close to $800-$1000 for books a semester.
 
2009-09-29 12:05:02 PM
I just stopped buying books till the teacher forced us to use them. Half the time we never needed them even though the teacher said "You need to go out and buy my book"

I saved tons of money by just waiting to see if we would actually use it.
 
2009-09-29 12:12:10 PM
Go Fast Turn Left: If you spend $400 per semester on books, you'll be very lucky to get back $20% of that.

Fixed that for you.

/Once got $15 back for a perfect condition $300 book before.
//Never gotten more than that for any other book
///the whole industry is a motherfarking racket
 
2009-09-29 12:20:25 PM
I kept all my engineering books, thinking I would refer to them. Google is faster, and I haven't opened one of the books in 3 years.

I think books only exist now as a lame-assed, wasteful form of copy protection.
 
2009-09-29 12:27:37 PM
austerity101:
Why isn't there more of a grey market for stuff like this?


For the same reason that the drinking age is 21. Once you've reached that goal, you don't really care about those that are behind you.
 
2009-09-29 12:27:53 PM
I had a Professor in college say on the first day don't buy the new version of the text book because he liked an older version better. He even said that he had a few copies that he would lend out for the class but had to put $50 deposit down on the book that we would get back when we returned the book after the semester. He even offered to buy copies people had bought used once the semester was over so he could have more of them for his next class.
 
2009-09-29 12:29:28 PM
This guy I know would collect books left in classes all semester and sell them all backk at the end of the semester. he would check out the higher division math/chem classes after class. He said those books are worth the most.
 
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