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Thread: Feedback on buying books from half.com?

  1. #1
    Aklys joossa's Avatar
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    Exclamation Feedback on buying books from half.com?

    Hi everyone. School is about to start in a couple weeks and I have looked at the prices for my textbooks at my campus’ bookstore. Let’s just say they are a BIT unreasonable (as usual).
    Anyway I wrote down the textbooks’ details (author, edition, etc.) and have been looking for them online. A friend recommended that I use half.com. I looked up the books and sure enough the prices were excellent.

    My friend mentioned that its very similar to ebay, with the customer ratings and all. Here’s the thing though, I have never shopped online for anything (let alone eBay) using a credit card, so I have a couple questions about using half.com.

    In you experience:
    -How long does it usually take for a book to get delivered using “media mail” and “expedited mail”? I know the website says 2-9 for the former and 1-3 for the latter, but does it usually take a bit longer, or are those numbers accurate?
    -Is the site generally safe (with your credit card number, and all…)?
    -Have you had any negative experiences with purchasing from the site?
    -Do you have any tips or suggestions when purchasing my books on the site?


    Thanks for the help.
    -Joel from Southern California


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    to you questions:
    accurate
    yes
    no
    get a good deal?

    I've even ordered books off the site when I lived in Germany. It took forever to get them but you can blame that on German customs. It seems every government office in that country only works from 2-4pm on monday and wednesday....once a month...
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    jiana54's Avatar
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    ive always had problems trusting half.com. ive experienced a couple of times when i searched half.com with an isbn, then the search engine would bring up lists of totally different books.

    ive always gotten my used books from amazon or alibris. i trust them more.

    as far as shipping media mail, it really depends where you're located. i live in illinois so when i order stuff from ca or wa, i normally get the shipment 7+ days after it's shipped. the books are received faster if it's shipped from the central and east region of the country.

    also, make sure you read the product description. you dont want a book with ripped up or missing pages.
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    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiana54 View Post
    also, make sure you read the product description. you dont want a book with ripped up or missing pages.
    Yeah, my wife got Harry Potter 6 with nice "puff paint" drawings all over the cover... That might have been from Amazon, though.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I've bought lots of used books through abebooks.com, which is a clearinghouse for small used booksellers. Many also list with Amazon's used books or on eBay. You have to pay attention to book editions (check with the professor before buying an older edition) but I've saved plenty of $ that way.
    Bruce in CT

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    I have purchased books online for quite a few years now with Amazon as well as Half.com.
    I've had no problems with any of my orders which in total number around 200 book related transactions.
    Media mail can be really slow, watch where you seller will be shipping from and decide from there. When I have books sent from the lower 48 to Alaska, media mail has taken up to 9 weeks but normally runs around 3 to 4 weeks...Don't use it unless you have the time to wait, it's unpredictable.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    It's less unpredictable down here, but I agree that you shouldn't rely on media mail if you're in a hurry. So, if you're getting a textbook for the semester that starts in two weeks, pay the extra few $ for priority mail. The other advantage is that sellers seem to move a little more quickly if you've paid the extra $ for priority mail. They recognize you're in a hurry and are more likely to squawk if there are any delays. That said, I always choose media mail unless I'm in a hurry.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    RL7836's Avatar
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    I've purchased from Half.com many times. Like on eBay or Amazon used books, check the ratings on the seller. Dirtbags are the same everywhere and sellers who have good reps like to keep them clean.

    As another poster noted, check the edition. Profs are notorious for demanding that you only purchase the newest edition and it's always difficult to find if there are really any substantial changes or just a cosmetic upgrade to get more bucks ....
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