It's to supplement the author's (often the professor) income.
Hmm let's see
turn in value $45
Resell as used book $90
see something wrong here? I hear this every semester (and goodness knows I've experienced that myself! - what I liked was the fact that for a few years - I ran into the fact that the book had a "new" edition that came out - thereby rendering my slightly used book - useless
Economy of scale may enter into play here. If the book is constantly under revision, or is being run in small quantities of a certain edition for each university, then price will be inherently high. Not working in that industry I have not idea how standardized a text is from school to school, etc. I may be way off base here. I usu sally am.
This thread actually reminds me of one of my MBA classes. A friend of mine located a few copies of the book (correct edition and all) selling for $6 on Amazon as compared to $120+ (used) in the bookstore. I ordered it, got it just before the class began in the summer of 2006. The class was titled "Global Capital Markets". I quickly realized why the book was so cheap. It was from 1996... 10 years old! It was the correct book, however. Even though there were newer books on the market, the professor chose to go with this one (probably so he wouldn't have to revise his presentations). Funny part is it talked about how one day soon, Europe would utilize a common currency to be called "the euro" and automatic teller machines (ATMs) would also become more widely used. I am comfortable in saying that I got very little out of that class.
The rate of inflation for textbooks is about four times normal inflation. I generally keep mine, or just borrow the book from a friend.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Well tomorrow I will return these books. I had to bring the economics book to class, so I kept it in the original plastic bag. It looks brand new (it is brand new). If I am told that they wont take it back....and I've already purchased a cheaper copy....I will be pretty pissed. By the way, macroeconomics 401 seems like it's going to be a pretty easy class -- easy A. That's okay, that means maybe next year I'll be more eligible for a scholarship, so text book costs wont be so detrimental to my financial well being.
My economics professor is a Turkish immigrant with a heavy accent. I have no problem understanding his words, but I'm not sure if I interpreted him correctly here. He says that when governments establish price floors or ceilings on anything, that it actually makes the problem worse due to an economic law which I forgot the name of. I've never taken economics, so obviously my academic knowledge of the subject is minimal, but this seems like an arguable statement. I'm not sure if he is trying to make some point, or trying to teach his belief has fact.
Oh man you got it coming. Wait for these things to happen
- You professor requires you to get a book. If you dont have it you get penalized. Coincidentally the author has the same last name as your teacher.
- You buy a book off online and for some god awful reason it takes forever for you to get. You can fall behind a little and suck it up, or in certain extreme situations purchase another book only to have the one you ordered come within the next 24 hours.
- Buy a book. Go to sell it back at the bookstore and they wont take it because there is a new edition out after one semester!
- The bookstore has used books that sell for like $10 less then new but are so beat up that if you go to sell them back they say there not in good enough condition. WTF you sold it to me!
- Order a book online only to have some completely random book show up you never ordered.
- Teachers accidentally giving you the wrong ISBN number and you dont find out untill half the class ordered it.
As far as the new editions I hear it in all my classes. I am in college for engineering. The number of engineers in the country is at a pretty low level compared to years ago so the companies need to produce money. So they make a new edition every year. Maybe 20-30 years ago there was always 1 or 2 books used across the whole country and it stayed that way.
With the new editions here is what they change. You get a cool new cover! Maybe some different illustrations. The problems in the back are the same just in a different order. Sometimes all they do is change all the numbers by 4. So problem 20 in 3rd edition is problem 24 in 4th edition and so on.
It really is a big scam. So you have to scam them back.
Buy books for cheap off of ebay, half, amazon, ect... and then sell them back to the school for a profit. I have done it many times.
Also your books will just get more and more expensive. My engineering books are out of control. Sometimes Ill look at the book and be like "good this things gotta be cheap its so small". Turns out to be $180. This semester some of the books look like the school made them themselves and bound them and sell them lol.
If you want to save big money buy the international editions. They are softcover, on really crappy paper. They are exactly the same but have different covers. A $160 book can be had for like $20 shipped.
There are tons of places on campus to post free classifieds. If i ever had to, I always posted my books for $10-15 cheaper than the used book price, which was usually 40-50 more than what i wouldve got if i sold it back to the bookstore.
I was lucky that i knew quite a few people in the year below me, so i never had a problem selling books.
Be glad you aren't in architecture.
Books: +/- $400/semester
Required computer: +/- $3000 (needed to run Autocad and Rhino)
Supplies: +/- $300/semester
Studio fees: $500/semester
On top of all of that, you have ABSOLUTELY ZERO free time for a part time job that might ease the financial pain. You complain about textbooks?
Originally Posted by Moderator
Prime examples you will come across regarding this topic is price ceiling on rental rates on houses and price floors on minimum wage.
Price ceilings on rent (an idea meant to make housing affordable for everyone)---> housing shortage, increased crime rates, slums, poor neighborhood, inequality in property value where the rich pays the same as the poor.
Historic references include Detroit, and New York City.
This belief is fact, it has been proven consistently. Economic research is intriguing.
One research I came across was the effect of extending sentencing times for gang leaders specializing in drug trade actually increases the amount of drugs available on the market.
Gang leader in jail for 10+ years --> conflict issues with leadership within gangs lead to split and the control of drug trade ---> competition between increased numbers of drug producers thus increased the supply of drugs (Cocaine for example) ---> when supply increases while demand stays constant, drug prices are cheaper, thus more widely available.
Textbooks actually are fairly expensive to produce, considering it takes an expert, or group of experts several years to write, typically, plus quite a bit of editing to add in all those fancy pictures and illustrations, then the printing and binding costs for heavy paper and all those fancy, colored pictures and illustrations.
But not as much as Barnes and Noble charges. They actually sell the same books under different ISBN's in other countries for typically about 2/3 the price. If you look around on Amazon, you can usually find these and save ~$100 a semester. Make sure you order ahead of time though. It can suck going through the first couple of weeks without the book.
WHAT?!? There's no way you need a $3000 computer to run those. The Rhino requirements say Pentium Celeron or higher, and the AutoCAD requirements are similar. That's a $300 computer (although you'd be a masochist to go with the minimum for 3-D modelling).Originally Posted by cypress
That's pretty crappy they make you buy the software, too. Most schools just have engineering computer labs for running all the expensive stuff.
There are labs that the students can use, but when it's negative 800 degrees outside, the lab option disappears.
Originally Posted by Moderator
Of course, if you're talking Power Mac, well, that's a different cup of beans.
Interesting. I bought that Macroeconomics book on eBay. The location of the auction was Washington State, so I figure it's being shipped from WA. Makes sense, right?
I got UPS tracking info emailed to me today. Naturally, I go to track it and see when expected delivery is. lol, it's not coming from WA state, it's coming from Thailand.
I've taught entire courses based on e-texts found on the internet.
On the other hand, sometimes you end up teaching a course in which it is crucial to have the latest translation or a course which requires a number of recent publications not available on the internet. In that case you're stuck ordering a textbook.
And yeah, they're ungodly expensive sometimes. In 15 years, they've doubled as publishers add gimmicks like color printing and worthless cds.
In the logic class I'm currently teaching, the publisher could have easily printed the solutions in the back of the book or posted them online. Instead, they make students pay for a fancy cd that contains a 1MB .pdf file. But I ordered the book because I think it's by far the best book.