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Saturday, 13 November 2010

Saving money buying textbooks online

Last time I checked, buying textbooks online from Amazon.com and paying for shipping to Australia was about 1/3 cheaper than buying the same textbooks "locally" from the Uni Co-op bookshop (even after the ~10% "member" discount). So, while the Aussie dollar is at parity with the greenback I decided to order all the remaining textbooks and recommended reference books for the rest of my MAstron course. Below is a comparison of what I'm paying for these books from Amazon.com and what the Co-op bookshop would charge:

Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, An (2nd Edition) [Hardcover]          $132.10
Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps [Paperback]        $21.86
Encyclopedia of the Solar System, Second Edition [Hardcover]               $102.53
How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper [Paperback]                     $24.56
Physics and Chemistry of the Solar System, Volume 87, 2nd Ed.) [Paperback]  $66.47
Scientific Writing: Easy When You Know How [Paperback]                      $47.95
Planetary Sciences [Hardcover]                                              $78.84
Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences [Paperback]     $50.62
                                                       Shipping & Handling: $60.91
                                                         Amazon.com TOTAL: $585.84

Prices if purchased from the Uni Co-op bookshop:
Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, An (2nd Edition) [Hardcover]          $145.56
Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps [Hardback]        $109.20 *
Encyclopedia of the Solar System, Second Edition [Hardcover]                  N/A
How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper [Paperback]                     $36.35
Physics and Chemistry of the Solar System, Volume 87, 2nd Ed.) [Paperback] $128.31
Scientific Writing: Easy When You Know How [Paperback]                      $52.73
Planetary Sciences [Hardcover]                                             $181.09
Data Reduction and Error Analysis for the Physical Sciences [Paperback]    $111.88
                                                       Shipping & Handling:  FREE
                                                 Uni Co-op bookshop TOTAL: $765.12
If you add another $100 or so for the textbook that isn't even available from the Uni co-op, the total cost buying locally is around $865, which is 53% more than it cost using Amazon.com.

Most of the textbooks I could find searching the Uni Co-op website were also listed as "out of stock" - which most likely means that the Uni Co-op bookshop simply orders these items from Amazon.com themselves!

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