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So I look around for Introduction to Solid State Physics and I find a copy on ValoreBooks for $18, which is almost as good as Abe, and a small fraction of what everyone else wants. How can they be so much cheaper? Perhaps because they are ordering their books from Abe by the container load. A notice on their web page might be a clue:
ALTERNATE EDITION: International Edition. Paperback. Brand New. Different ISBN number and Cover Page but contents similer to US edition. No CD/Access code with this. Legal to use despite any disclaimer on cover as per US courts.Shipping is $4, which is reasonable. That's the standard rate for Amazon for 3rd party book sellers. Actually it's unbelievably cheap. If I had to ship a book I'd want $50 for my trouble. I'd have to root around for packaging and tape, labels and stamps, wrap it and weigh it and cart it off to the post office or UPS. $50 would barely cover my time, trouble and expense.
Anyhoo, I get to the checkout page and they make me this offer which has oh-so-many benefits, it sounds like a vacation package on a cruise trip, or a Ronco TV ad ("but wait, there's more!). No explanation of how it works, but I suspect it's all email, all the time. Yes, no, I don't think I want any. I'll pay the $4.