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You can save up to 75 or more when you order international college textbooks. Here are a few words concerning international college textbooks:
What is an international edition textbook?
An international college textbook has been published at a lower production cost for sale in foreign markets. Distributors overseas then re-sell the titles to customers in other parts of the world at a much lower price. International textbook may be softcovers with black and white illustrations, and may not include cd roms, or other supplementary material.
What the warnings are all about
Most international college textbooks may bear a label that says something to the effect of "Not for sale in the U.S. or Canada". This is because the publisher has printed the books to be sold overseas. There is nothing illegal, however, in purchasing international college books from sellers overseas. International college textbooks sold in this way are termed grey imports or parallel imports.
Save Money and Buy International Textbook Editions
Guess what? You're paying way too much for your textbooks. I know what you're thinking: "Duh. The whole world pays too much for their textbooks.
But you're wrong. It's really just us. Just like your nana here in the US pays far more for her prescription drugs than your relatives who live in Europe, you pay far more for your textbooks than students in other countries. How could this be?
Like pharmaceutical manufacturers, publishers set the prices of their US editions far higher than they do for the same textbook published overseas. You might wonder why I'm telling you this. Well, with the advent of the internet, it has become possible for students in the US to purchase these international editions cheaply, quickly, and easily.
The compelling reason for ordering international editions of textbooks is, of course, the cost savings. Even when shipping costs are included, students typically save 50% or more over the US price of equivalent textbooks. For example, the US edition of Mary Munter's "Guide to Managerial Communication" lists for $53.33. The international edition of this same book can be purchased online for $26.60, including shipping to anywhere in the US; a savings of 50%.
Similarly, the MBA1 text "Corporate Finance" by Ross/Westerfield/Jaffe has a list price of $162.96 for the US edition. The international edition is available online for $74.50 including shipping; a savings of 54%. Over the course of a two year MBA program, the savings possible through purchasing international editions of textbooks could be substantial.
At one time, it might have been difficult for US students to find sources of international editions of textbooks. But with the advent of the web-based retailing, locating and purchasing international editions of textbooks has become very straightforward for anyone with an internet connection. International editions of textbooks can often be found simply by doing a web search: Googling the ISBN number of a US edition textbook along with the word "international" will turn up international editions of textbooks wherever they may reside for sale on the internet. For example, Googling "0073337188 and international" turns up dozens of vendors offering the international edition of "Corporate Finance" by Ross/Westerfield/Jaffe.
The auction site eBay also continually has listings of international editions of textbooks.
Additionally, a number of bookseller websites have cropped up to meet the demand for international editions of textbooks. For example, www.abebooks.com provides listings for a wide variety of international editions, conveniently linked to the ISBN number of the US textbook.
Some students are hesitant to order international editions under the assumption that anything with such a cost savings must be illegal. (Not surprisingly, the publishers do their best to encourage this misconception, by stamping words like "Not for sale in the US" on the book - often in large scary red letters.) At one time that concern may have been valid. However, in 1998 the US Supreme Court ruled that US copyright law does not protect US publishers from cheaper international editions of books being shipped into the US for sale.
Lacking actual legal protection, publishers have resorted to trying to confuse the consumer in an attempt to discourage the sale of international editions in the US. In addition to the "Not for Sale in ... " warnings, publishers almost always change the cover graphics -- and occasionally even the title of the book -- in order to make international editions seem different from their US equivalents. The actual content of the textbook however is almost always unchanged.
Once students learn the details of this international edition option, they rarely pay the high prices of US edition textbooks again. For students looking for an easy way to save a significant amount of money on textbooks, international editions are clearly an option to consider.