Should I buy used books?

  1. Hi,
    What a great web site!!! So glad I found it.
    I start nursing school in the fall. Has anyone purchased used nursing school books on line?
    Looks tempting, but I'm skeptical. Let me know your experience and where you bought them from.
    Thanks!!
  2. Visit kjmathews profile page

    About kjmathews

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 10

    25 Comments

  3. by   kukukajoo
    I have bought many used books online and saved TONS of money! I have used half.com and amazon.com marketplace. I also check other sites and have used valore books with great success.

    I did have one problem getting a biology lab book completely filled in and unusable but Half.com did refund the money without problems but it took a bit of time. I understand since that incident (about 2 years ago) they have made their refund policy more user friendly and speedier. I also have purchased about 50 books from them since without problems.

    There was a time when I was worried I may be getting addicted to Amazon marketplace as I was buying so many books and saving so much money I just could not stop buying! I have a GREAT collection of nursing books worth thousands and paid a fraction of their cost for them!
  4. by   MB37
    Be careful with it, but I got a lot of my pre-nursing books online - usually that amazon marketplace. Now that I'm in NS though, my school has a neat little racket where they require us to buy our books from the bookstore. The company that makes Mosby and Saunders is going to make us a box of books each semester that we have to buy new. It comes with access codes that we need to even get to the blackboard site and supplemental material that our instructors are supposed to be using. Make sure that you aren't in a similar situation - if you bought our patho book for $30 less than the new price, you'd then have to shell out $45 for an access code that can only be used once.
    Most of that can be answered with a quick e-mail to your school or to your instructors. The other things to check when ordering from a private seller are their approval rating and shipping times. Read the fine print on shipping - it frequently takes over a week, and amazon won't accept complaints unless it's 21 days or more with standard shipping. They don't all offer expedited. I'm not at all trying to dissuade you, I wish we were allowed to do it that way. Just make sure you're getting the products you need in time for when you need them!
  5. by   allthingsbright
    In my school, everyone buys used books when we can. I get everything off half.com. In fact, I just bought the nutrition book I needed for summer today--at my school bookstore it is $110, and I got it at half.com for $41.99. I've even bought older editions (Like Brunner and Suddarth's) and been fine. Just use reputable places like half.com, alibris, and amazon and you should be ok. And you may want to ask your instructors as posted above. GL!
  6. by   IrishIzCPNP
    That's kind of a tricky question...

    I bought a book used once and it came. I opened it up and was shocked at what they sent. This book was in pretty crappy shape. The book also had highlighting, which I expected except, it was in red, blue, black, yellow, orange, green, blue and I believe there was purple too. So what color was I supposed to use in I wanted to mark something and know that I did it? I was not happy and sent it back and got a new one. Now it gets worse is that my friend had one on hold up there and they told her it was the last one. Well guess what...they sent me her book and she didn't get one.

    For our school our nursing books are included in our tuition and we just buy books for any gen eds that are taken through the school...hospital based program that had gen eds in the program.

    So it's tricky but it can be fine.
  7. by   arciedee
    I don't know about other sites, but when I use Amazon Marketplace I look at the descriptions of the books looking for the ones classified as "Used-Like New" or "Used-Very Good" and a lot of times there will be comments saying things like "no highlighting" or "some notes in the margins" or whatever. I also look at the ratings the person/store has received and go with the ones that have as close to 100% positive ratings... sometimes that means I don't buy the absolutely cheapest book, but I still save a significant amount of money. Also be sure to factor in the shipping cost. For some brand-new books there are no cheap alternatives out there and with shipping it ends up costing more than it would at the campus bookstore.
  8. by   elisabeth
    I've purchased used books before without any problems, but I think for nursing school I'll buy new books. I'm pretty easily distracted at times and I want to read the information and decide for myself what is important rather than skip a bunch of stuff and end up reading only what someone else highlighted.

    I was a spanish major once upon a time and I always bought my major books new. I didn't care about the general ed stuff, but knowing I would likely keep my major books, I bought them new.
  9. by   midcom
    One of my school's big selling points is that textbooks are included in the cost of tuition. What they neglect to mention is that they loan them to us. I like to highlight so I go to amazon or half.com & buy them used. I also like to unbind them, 3 hole punch the pages & only take what I need of the book to class. I normally get them for about 1/3 the cost of new and every book has been in very good shape with limited highlighting. I've also picked up some very handy referencebooks that way. Griffith's 5 minute Clinical Consult for about $10! I got a really great one on assessment with cool pictures & all the things to look for.
    Yeah, buy used!
    Dixie
  10. by   *Blessed2BaNRS*
    Hi kj and welcome to allnurses!! Like arciedee above posted, be careful about who you buy from. I too buy and sell at amazon.com and have been very pleased with all of my purchases. BUT, I also check the ratings and tend to buy the "like new" or "used." I won't buy from anyone who comes across as a dealer or bookstore, simply because they tend to have lower ratings and in reading the comments, they tend to have the most problems with sending books that aren't "as described." I think though, that I will buy all my nursing books as new from the school, since they are something that I will want to refer back to. Good luck~
  11. by   CrufflerJJ
    Quote from kjmathews
    Hi,
    I start nursing school in the fall. Has anyone purchased used nursing school books on line?
    Looks tempting, but I'm skeptical.
    Amazon.com is good. You've got pretty decent buyer protection on that site, especially if you pay with credit card. If all else fails, you can always do a credit card dispute through your card issuing bank.

    I have bought loads of textbooks used through Amazon.com, and some through Ebay. As others have written, look closely at the seller's description and HOLD THEM TO IT. I've received books listed as "like new, unused", but they've got pages and pages totally filled with writing/scribbling.

    In that case, according to Amazon's policies, you're liable for return shipping costs if you return the book. I don't think this is fair (since the vendor mis-represented the goods), and have done credit card disputes if I really felt screwed.

    Make sure you get the correct edition/ISBN of book.

    Other than "buyer beware" factor, I strongly recommend buying used books. With some paperback texts running $90+, it's silly to not to try & save $$$ wherever possible.
  12. by   vamedic4
    YES, if you want to save $$$!! Just (and this is from my own personal experience) buy Hardback books used that are in good condition. My Fundamentals book is paperback..and it's getting really ratty looking!!! I'll never be able to resell it...heck, I can't stand to look at it longer than I have to.

    You can get great deals online, too. Beware, however. Some sites will advertise that they have a book "in stock", when they really mean "on backorder" and you don't find out until you get your books and one is missing. Before you order, try to talk to someone in person.

    vamedic4:spin:
  13. by   allthingsbright
    If you do buy paperbacks, laminate the covers. You can do that at Kinkos for CHEAP or buy the laminating plastic yourself.

  14. by   Lorie P.
    Quote from kukukajoo
    i have bought many used books online and saved tons of money! i have used half.com and amazon.com marketplace. i also check other sites and have used valore books with great success.

    i did have one problem getting a biology lab book completely filled in and unusable but half.com did refund the money without problems but it took a bit of time. i understand since that incident (about 2 years ago) they have made their refund policy more user friendly and speedier. i also have purchased about 50 books from them since without problems.

    there was a time when i was worried i may be getting addicted to amazon marketplace as i was buying so many books and saving so much money i just could not stop buying! i have a great collection of nursing books worth thousands and paid a fraction of their cost for them!

    same here, my dear hubby says i can no longer visit ebay!! yes, used books can be bought and saves lots of $'s. keep in mind that when it comes to nursing fundamentals, they very rarely change, the new editions may have more colored pictures, but for the most part the same, the way pt's are moved, bathed, certain skills like foleys, iv's etc remain the same no matter which nursing book you use.
    example, when in school the newest edition (2004)of our fundamentals book cost 119.00, i got the same book, only the edition from the year (2002) before off of ebay for 15.00, that included s&h charges. the only thing changes where more colored pics and the page numbers.

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