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Amazon.com Makes Me Sick

  1. Apr 25, 2009 #1
    Take a look at this B.S.

    I need this book for a Summer class that starts May 5. If I order https://www.amazon.com/Shigleys-Mec...s_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240707468&sr=8-1" for $60 it takes UP TO 3 WEEKS just to ship it!!!

    This is appalling to me. Does it take these retards two weeks to find the used/cheap books? Or is this the biggest scam since sliced bread....
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2009 #2


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    I don't think Amazon has anything to do with this. It's probably the publisher's fault. In fact, it's very likely that Amazon doesn't even have the softcover edition.
  4. Apr 25, 2009 #3
  5. Apr 25, 2009 #4
  6. Apr 25, 2009 #5
    There is alot of international editions sold on ebay at a fraction of the cost compared to amazon. The books have identical contents, but are printed on a very cheap (toilet quality paper). Unless you want one, read the ad carefully.
  7. Apr 25, 2009 #6
    It also appears that they are all in SI units. This seemed nice at first, but then I realized that
    it will probably confuse the hell out of the person grading the homework.

    I might get one anyway, though. I don't really care if the paper is like toilet paper, that's probably what I will use it for when this class is done with anyway.
  8. Apr 25, 2009 #7


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    We caution our summer students about using Amazon, and tell them to just buy the books from the bookstore because the shipping time can be too slow. For the regular terms, the required text is already listed for the Fall courses (at least it is for mine, and once most students are registered I'll probably send out an email to make sure), so there's plenty of time for them to use alternative vendors.

    It's probably an issue of availability. The cheaper softcover is likely more in demand and sells out faster, hence the delays. The hardcover is probably sitting in stock because nobody wants to buy the expensive version. Have you checked the price at your university bookstore? If it's not much of a difference, the peace of mind of knowing you have it in hand is worth a few dollars compared to worrying about not getting it on time for your course.
  9. Apr 25, 2009 #8
    Although there are also genuine quality books sold there. It is cheaper (I bought one $30 cheaper than in store). But yeah, you have to decide if its worth it waiting a few weeks to save a few bucks?
  10. Apr 26, 2009 #9

    Vanadium 50

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    Many of these do not pay the authors royalties, I'm afraid.
  11. Apr 26, 2009 #10
    Anything cheaper than the listed amazon price comes from a third party seller and they are likely to have different delivery times.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  12. Apr 26, 2009 #11

    Chi Meson

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    Notice that they say "Usually ships within 2 to 3 weeks." This is only to say that they are not in full control over when the book will be sent from their warehouse. It is not a "scam" by any means.
  13. Apr 26, 2009 #12
    I still think it's a scam. Sorry.

    But the real scam is University bookstores. I refuse to buy from them. If I can not find a book cheaper online, but for the same price as the bookstore, I buy it online.

    Uni bookstores overcharge by a lot and they know it. For a school that gets my 35k usd a year, they should be ashamed of the prices they charge for books.

    And as far as authors getting royalties is concerned... I'm not. I am sure I'll get slammed for this, but the only bigger scam than the bookstore, is "So-and-so's 12th Edition Physics" or "9th edition thermodynamics."

    Give me a break. The material is 300 years old... what's new? Oh you changed the order of the problems? You added some pretty new pics? Well, now that you put it that way, sure, I'll shell $200 for the newest genuine version :rofl:
  14. Apr 26, 2009 #13
    I got a couple of books like that from ebay. On the front cover it says in red

    "This edition is manufactured in India, and is authorized for sale only in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Circulation of this edition outside of these territories is unauthorized."

    On a second book I got, the seller covered up this warning with a tape. This is clearly illegal, but it's very common on ebay. I'm not sure if this is piracy, or if these countries pay any royalties. They have copies of every book unimaginable that is used in US universities. Needless to say, I won't be getting any books like that. I hope to one day replace the books I got with original US editions.

    University books here are expensive. I think this has to do with supply and demand. You can get a cheap paperback novel for seven bucks, but a book on engineering will cost over $100. How many people per year would get the Great Gatsby over nuclear engineering? Also, the paper quality is much better than in paper pack novels. People like to have colorful diagrams, and not being able to see ink on the other side of the page.
  15. Apr 26, 2009 #14
    What also needs to be accounted for is the expertise required to produce a nuclear engineering text as compared to "The Great Gatsby". I would imagine that the review process is more intensive for a textbook as well, to ensure that the examples, problems, solutions, derivations, etc. are correct.
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