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DD will be attending a small midwestern college in the fall - so small that they don't even have a bookstore. Textbooks must be obtained somewhere else, and the 'recommended' company is MBS Direct.

So I go to the college's website and print off the required textbooks, but I am reluctant to order them yet. For one thing, I have found some of them cheaper on Amazon, and much much cheaper for used versions. Same editions, as far as I can tell.

The other thing is - remembering from my college days, often the syllabus would list books that, while useful, weren't really required. So I would wait until I was sure I needed those books to buy them. In DD's case though, she can't just go to the bookstore when she needs a book.

MBS Direct does guarantee the right course materials, though, and that is a big plus. I'm thinking of buying the math book from them, just to be sure, and getting the others somewhere else.

Has anyone else gone through this?


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Has anyone else gone through this?

No - we made our kids responsible for paying for their books so they did their own research and buying. 2 of 3 have had mixed experiences with buying online that they've mentioned.

rad
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My kids are also responsible for paying for their own books. My son said he could buy several of them cheaper online from England. Including shipping.

Doug
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My daughter bought and sold textbooks online last year, but checked with the teachers first to see
if it mattered. They specified the latest edition just because it was the latest and greatest.

Received this timely article today; registration is required:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/12/AR2006071201979.html?referrer=email&referrer=email

Kathy
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Thanks for the article! And I didn't have to register.

I just bought 5 books from 5 different Amazon sellers. Even though each will have a shipping charge, I saved a considerable amount.

For some of the books, I can't see why the edition would possible make a difference.
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Usually the homework problems are changed in different editions.

EBay is a good source for textbooks as well.
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I'm currently in a class so I thought I'd share. I bought a book on amazon for $100 (recommended online bookstore was $130). I was feeling pretty proud, till the guy next to me said he got his on www.half.com* for $29 and change, not including shipping. He said they aren't 100%, but he definitly goes there first when buying.

Has anyone else used this sight?

-spookysquid

*I've never been there and have not tried it (yet), so take this story with a grain of salt, but $29 versus $130 certainly warrants poking around.

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www.half.com is very similar to the used section of Amazon.

You are buying directly from individuals, who may or may not follow through. My sister purchased many textbooks from half for her recent graduate degree. They were often editions from other countries but that was good enough for her.

There's a board here at TMF about Selling Books Online with many Half sellers who I'm sure could answer any questions you might have:

http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=116175

I go first to half.com and bookcloseout.com for any books I need (fiction or nonfiction). There's a whole world of book buying choices that wasn't around when I was in college.

- Megan
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half.com is owned by eBay. So if you're comfortable dealing with their auctions, the experiences at half.com should be similar.

Mark
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