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Ordering textbooks for Fall 2015????

amazondotmomamazondotmom Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
My DS son and I discovered that all of the books that he needs are listed under the Home tab under the detailed schedule tab. If you submit for fall of 2015 and scroll down to the bottom it will have a box that says "click here for available books". Should we order our books now or wait? If so, can anyone explain the options for Calc 3 (Math 247). Here is what we see:

*Essential Cal W/ WebassignStewart (Hardback Bundle) ISBN 1133425941Edition 2Binding Hardback-$267.00
*Essential Calculus W/WebassignStewart (Binder Ready Bundle) (Custom) ISBN 1285041674 Edition 2 Binding Looseleaf-$147.00

I am guessing you can choose between Hardback book vs a Binder? Any thoughts on which is better other than the price?

*Webassign 2 Semester Access CodeNoneISBN 1285858484-$117.20
*Webassign 1 Semester Access CodeNoneISBN 1285858506-$80.45

It looks like we need to order the 1st Semester. Or maybe we just need to order the Hardback for $267.00 and it includes everything (book and Webassign) for the class? What does Webassign mean?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Replies to: Ordering textbooks for Fall 2015????

  • MandalorianMandalorian Registered User Posts: 1,510 Senior Member
    It's a good idea to wait until classes start. Sometimes those lists aren't always up to date.
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    Waiting is difficult for a first-time student, but it can avoid mistakes, because the list sometimes includes a book or an option that the professor does not use (doubt that for Calc III, tho). Some Calc classes use the same book for the I, II, and III series, and I'm guessing that's what is listed here (multiple semesters). Instead of waiting until class starts, the student can also contact the professor beforehand and have him explain these options to you (sem 1 vs sem 2).

    Hardcover books are heavy; looseleaf is just that: you get a bundle of pages and you have to supply a binder to put them in. Some students prefer the looseleaf, because then they are able to carry only those pages that they need, instead of the entire book.

    If you feel you might not use the book again, I would rent over buying (you can also try renting through Chegg or textbooks.com, etc.).
  • NerdyparentNerdyparent Registered User Posts: 863 Member
    We are looked ahead and the next math course after 227 (or 247 if Calc 3 honors) for us would be 237. Math 237 does not appear to use the web assign thing. So for calc 3 we are just going to rent the hardback then get 1 semester of web assign.
  • laraleilaralei Registered User Posts: 576 Member
    Do the professors allow time for the book purchase after class? Or do many just buy it at the bookstore? My oldest waited, as the class ahead of her told them not to buy anything. (Not at UA) But, she was then expected to have it by the next class. Of course, by then, all the rentals & used books were gone & she had to pay full price. Or she had to pay extra shipping fees to get it there on time.

    Best strategy if waiting?
  • jrcsmomjrcsmom Registered User Posts: 927 Member
    I've always bought books in advance. That gives me time to do price comparisons and in engineering I generally save at least $300/semester over the prices advertised from The Supe store (although sometimes the books are only sold at the Supe and sometimes they do have the lowest price and it is best to purchase there). In 3 years of classes my son has never had a book listed that was not required, although others recommend waiting because they have had a different experience. I have no regrets about purchasing books in advance and plan to continue to do so - in fact my son already has all but one book he will need for this fall.

    I have also found that my son frequently has assignments given during either the first or second class meeting, so I strongly prefer that he have his book in advance than scrambling at the last minute.

    Every book store I have ever used allows for a return of a book within a brief time span if the student finds they do not need the book or if they opt to drop a course with the receipt and if a new book that it is still in the original packaging.

    Webassign is access to an online site where the student will submit homework. Students taking multiple semesters of calculus can purchase access that will allow access for multiple semesters for a discount, but if starting in cal III, you should only need 1 semester of access. Assuming the next math course they take is Diff EQ, it may also need online access, but would be a different site.

    I recommend the binder version of the text for both the price and the ease of carrying just the pages needed. It has the same content has the hardback book. The binder version above also mentions that it comes with webassign. If instead you opt to buy a used book or rent a book, then you can buy the webassign code direct from the book publisher for access. The class syllabus should include instructions on how to get a webassign code and students generally have 1-2 weeks of free access so they do not fall behind if they do not have a code the first day of class.

    If you opt to wait to purchase books, I would recommend looking at the syllabi to determine when initial assignments are due. Many syllabi will be posted to Blackboard on the MyBama site a week or even two prior to classes starting. If students have assignments due right away, then the best option would be purchasing from The Supe or the Offcampus Bookstore (which is located just off campus).

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,546 Senior Member
    My kids ALWAYS bought books in advance, but we carefully saved the receipts and didn't open (unwrap) any shrinkwrap or anything that would mean that returning wasn't possible.

    Then during the first week of class, if they learned something wasn't needed, they went DIRECTLY to the SUPE store and returned. The SUPE books need to be returned within a few days after classes start.

    My kids also bought used books online Amazon, etc. And, also bought books at the nearby off-campus book store.
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    I have heard that if you buy/rent a hardcover book from Chegg or similar, they give you the online codes (turning it into an 'e-book') for a short time until the book is shipped to you and arrives.

    Q: I know you can sell back hardcover books, but can you sell back looseleaf editions? If not, that is a consideration because with hardcovers you may recoup part of your cost.
  • jrcsmomjrcsmom Registered User Posts: 927 Member
    I haven't tried selling a binder version back to the bookstore, as my soon likes to keep most of his math, physics, engineering books for later reference and we tend to rent the ones he knows he doesn't want to keep. But even if the bookstore won't buy them back, there's always eBay or a FB resell site selling direct to other students.
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    I'm looking at Chegg right now, and my son has also mentioned this as being useful: there are problem solutions that are available (usually 1 mo free trial, then $15/mo thereafter or $120 for the year - and this is applicable to all 9000+ textbooks available through Chegg for 1 price, not per book!). It gives step-by-step solutions to problems in the textbook. Highly recommend for the tougher, upper-level eng'g courses. (Lower courses have tutors available, of course.)
  • amazondotmomamazondotmom Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas! I love this forum! I am a bargain shopper (my son is not) so I would like to purchase his books prior to school starting. So, I looked up Chegg and found my son's calc 3 textbook and here is the link:


    It looks like we can rent it for $19.00?! What a huge savings compared to the SUPE store. The E textbook looks interesting too, I like having this an option. We can purchase the web assign from Chegg too?
  • jrcsmomjrcsmom Registered User Posts: 927 Member
    I don't know if you can get the Webassign from Chegg, but you can purchase direct from webassign.com, however you'll need the 'class key'. It should be on the syllabus. You can check Blackboard to see if the syllabus is already posted, I just checked and 2 out of 5 are already posted for my son's fall classes. You might save a few dollars by buying the code direct from the publisher, but it's usually not a huge savings. I think since students are renting so many books now and buying used, those codes are how the publishers continue to make their money.
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    edited July 2015
    ^ The 2 bundles (from SUPE) you mention in your original post, @amazondotmom, INCLUDE the webassign options.

    And, yes, you can buy webassign from Chegg (put in ISBN into Chegg search box). It is $80.99 for 1 semester, so no savings there. The ISBN you had above does not work, but if you go to the course list (not your "View Your Schedule", but on the list of sections of courses in "Look Up Classes" in mybama), there is a different ISBN which works. (here's what I mean: http://www.chegg.com/textbooks/enhanced-webassign-single-term-loe-printed-access-card-for-math-and-sciences-1st-edition-9781285858500-1285858506?trackid=260e3cf6&strackid=0ee524e5&ii=1&om_ss=1)
  • ccforlifeccforlife Registered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
    FWIW, my DS bought the looseleaf pages for an Econ class last semester. Because it was a 2015 edition, the hardbound was very expensive and we couldn't find a rental. I was pleasantly surprised that he was able to sell it online to one of the large textbook companies for a decent price.
  • bamagirlsbamagirls Registered User Posts: 2,063 Senior Member
    edited July 2015
    The binder ready books are a great option, and the SUPE will buy them back just as any other used books.

    We always purchase books ahead using whichever vendor is most economical and convenient between Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and the SUPE. Returns are a snap at Barnes and Noble since books may be returned to the store rather than by carrier. Regardless of where the purchase is made, but especially at the SUPE, just be sure you check the return period and don't buy during the Summer session return period. As long as the purchase is made within the purchasing/return period for Fall, the books or codes are not unwrapped, the books are in the original condition, and you keep track of the receipt, you'll be good to go.
  • bamagirlof2018bamagirlof2018 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Don't pay $200 for the calc book! It is without a doubt the easiest to buy for around $15 on facebook in any of the UA groups or UA textbook exchange. I've even seen it going for free before. Since the same book is used for calc 1-3, lots of people have it and want to get rid of it. You can probably even make money off of it once you're done by selling it on facebook again.
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