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Saving money

  1. Aug 24, 2005 #1
    As we all know text books are very, very, very, (you get the picture) expensive and the bad thing about it is that no matter how good the condition of the book is, when you try to sell it back you don't get anything considerable for it.

    Here is what I did. I needed the general chemistry book but the one that was recommended was the 4th edition. The book is priced at over $100 and I don't even think that I should be doing chemistry as an ECE major. So I looked at the price of used copies on Amazon and it was just about 30% less. Eventually what I did was just buy a used copy of the third edition for $8.

    I know that the most recent edition has the most updated info (and less errors) but I think that the content is more or less the same. I think I will do this for all textbooks. Is this a good idea?

    Clearly I have already saved atleast $100.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2005 #2
    I would not even waste that much amount on buying the book,
    you must be having a college library where you can get book issued for a sufficient period of time!
    Obviously book which you need all through,you have to buy that!
    In my case there is hardly any book which i can't find in my College Library!
  4. Aug 24, 2005 #3


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    Bad, bad idea. Newer editions sometimes will have different problems! If your professor assigns problems and you have an edition that had different problems, you are in big trouble. Another problem is that sometimes entire sections are removed (math department here is currently going through that situation... they thought it a bright idea to go to a previous edition that was structured differently and unfortunately, the covers look nearly identical).
  5. Aug 24, 2005 #4


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    I usually use old editions. If there is graded homework from problems not in my book, I just copy the problems down from someone else's book. Otherwise the questions in the old book are good enough. You save a lot of money and often times there are only minor differences between editions. Just make sure you know the difference isn't too big before you go with the old edition. Another thing I do is take some of my books out from the library. They don't have a lot of the books, but when they do it's free!
  6. Aug 24, 2005 #5
    I would say that, for mass-produced texts that get "updated" every two years, just find a guy in the class to go in halves for. For other books that have a new edition about once every five or more years, go ahead and get the latest edition. Those might have something more than just pretty pictures.
  7. Aug 26, 2005 #6
    Pengwuino, I am experiencing the very same thing that you talk about concerning problems. The funny thing is that the library doesn't even have the new edition, they should get it soon enough though. LeonhardEuler you are right cuz there is no big difference in the material, some of the problems are even the same. I'm just happy about the fact that I save a ton of money and the notes that I made from the book is no different than the information presented in the new edition.
  8. Aug 29, 2005 #7
    What I heard a girl at my school does:

    Buys a book. Gets the receipt. Puts book in bag. Goes back into store. Grabs another book off the shelf (same book obviously). Says she doesn't need the book anymore and gets the money back for it.

    I don't have the balls to try something like that, but I hear she's been doing it all the time. =/

  9. Aug 29, 2005 #8
    If she is paying with a credit card, she will get caught VERY fast.

    Also, most schools (I know mine does) make it a point to have every single textbook for all classes in the library on reserve. That way, if you have an older edition, you can photocopy the problem sets from the new book.
  10. Aug 29, 2005 #9
    That's pretty ballsy poop loops :) I guess the barcode on the back isn't unique for each book?
  11. Aug 29, 2005 #10
    "If she is paying with a credit card, she will get caught VERY fast. "

    So the book barcode is unique? And this info is attached to the purchase information? How could you get caught this way as opposed to paying in cash?
  12. Aug 29, 2005 #11
    This is something I can never understand about US students, I have a few friends in florida who always complain about having to buy books all the time.. Why not just use the library surely they have copies? I'm on my summer vacation (july to oct) and over the summer perdio I have taken out 10 books.. When I get back to university I plan on just renewing them till they are recalled. When this happens I'll just put a reserve down for them so I can get them back again at least two weeks later :)

    I'm in my final year of my undergrad studies and I've been doing this since my second year...
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