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Old 02-23-2011, 06:58 PM   #1
Kevin2960
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Seven things you should never buy online

Seven things you should never buy online ....


http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/Sev...173405030.html
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:06 PM   #2
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It's true that it's often cheaper to buy a book online rather than in a store, especially now Amazon has stopped charging for delivery. But if you're going online anyway, why buy a book at all when you can swap one you no longer want and get it for free instead?
This is not a very compelling argument to not buy books online
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:45 PM   #3
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The list is not bad. Some of them are no-brainers. I noticed a plug for Yahoo news in there.

I'm not against book swapping. There's an annual book exchange here for English books that I really appreciate. I picked up an out-of-print title a few years ago. I actually encourage people to circulate books rather than keep them on shelves for a long time. It's a lot cheaper, too.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:36 AM   #4
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I will never swap a book. When I buy a book, I buy that book to keep. Not to swap. Otherwise, I'll borrow it.

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Alternatively, if you've got an ebook reader, head over to Project Gutenberg and download thousands of works of literature for free.
But what if you simply like contemporary books? Personally, I think not buying a book because you can get an oldie for free is a fallacy.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:43 AM   #5
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In my case, it comes down to needing a book to read, and wanting to read a well-written book that I haven't read yet. It doesn't matter to me what year the book was printed in -- this year, this decade, this century -- only whether it's good or not. And when there are two books that are likely to both be good, I'm inclined to go with my cheapskate impulses and pick the cheaper of the two, which in the case of classics is free.

In other words, a book written in the 1800s that I haven't read before is just as "new" to me as one written three days ago. Just cheaper.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:04 AM   #6
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I generally don't like those old classics. Most are way too difficult to read. And Dutch classics are even worse as the spelling has changed too often the last 50 years even... Let alone the last 100 years.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:17 AM   #7
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I'd be extremely surprised to find the books I have bought the last year in any used book swaps or equal. Heck, I can't even find them NEW if I don't go online!
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:23 AM   #8
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If we stop paying authors to write books we probably won't have any new books. Some academic books are funded from research trusts etc, but 99.99% novels are written and published by people hoping to make money out of their writing. Sure, they like writing, but I certainly don't go out and play music all night for free (apart from the few charity shows I do each year). If I play for free it's playing something completely self-indulgent and for my personal enjoyment. If you don't pay authors that is all you'll end up getting. (Try reading most of Satre's literary works to get a preview of authors writing to please themselves!)
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CazMar View Post
If we stop paying authors to write books we probably won't have any new books.
But Smashwords and all the new free ebooks that pop up daily on it would seem to indicate otherwise.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:48 AM   #10
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But Smashwords and all the new free ebooks that pop up daily on it would seem to indicate otherwise.
Those are folks hoping to get noticed so they'll get payed later.
Would they still do it if there was no hope of that?
Some, yes.
But less.

More likely, they'd switch to teleplays for Mexican telenovelas.
There'll always be a market for those.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:02 AM   #11
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In the real world one of the hats I wear is a US Federal Government Information Security Officer which is a fancy way of saying I worry about how to keep people from defrauding the US Government. Here is what a lot of my collegues say about buying on line:

Only buy from stores that you know, these stores have a lot to loose by scaming you out of your dollars. Buy from stores such as Amazon, Border, B&N, Kobo Book and ebooks.

Be suspicious of companies whose prices are far below that of their compeition. A pal of mine was buying home repair services and all of the estimates clustered around the $100 mark and one was approximatly $35 for the same thing. The low bid was rather supicious. Turns out that was an attempt at fraud.

Never enter your credit card number in a web site unless you see the https:// in the web address, this indiciates that the data is scrambled between you and the estore.

Be careful about the web address. There is a electronic store that I do business with ocasionally called Swanson Vitamins (there address is swansonvitamins.com) there is also a fraud site called Swansons Vitamins (address is swansonsvitamins.com). Notice the addition of the s.

When you do business with an electronic store notice the format and graphics on the site and notice little things that hackers will miss. Notice the sweeping arrow under Amazon's logo, notice the little trasure chest next to the todays' deals icon, notice the position of the litte r next to amazon's logo on the bottom of their page. Its little details like this that will indicate a hacker's site or an attempt to scam customer.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:12 AM   #12
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If we stop paying authors to write books we probably won't have any new books.
So the instant an author dies, all their books should be destroyed?

Seriously, that's what your position comes down to. You're saying that readers should be paying authors (even authors of books we don't want to read, apparently) so they'll continue to write. Aside from that seeming like welfare to me, we keep coming back to the idea that only books which will pay authors should be sold.

By the way, take a look at fanfiction.net sometime. Take a weed-whacker -- 90% of what's there is utterly terrible, and 90% of the rest is merely bad. But in that last 1%, in stories which cannot ever be sold, nor, in most cases, even connected to any other identity of the author, and enhance that author's future reputation, there is some very, very good writing. I've read FFN fanfic that's as good as anything I've ever seen between covers, and better than a lot. It's stuff people write for the sheer joy of writing it. Music is a purely mercenary endeavor to you, but it isn't to many people (have you ever heard a really good organization or town musical group perform? I have). And neither is writing. So your premise is wrong from the beginning just on that basis. And prior to the advent of mass publishing and widespread literacy, few people made much money off of writing. They wrote anyway. So, it would appear that other motives for writing exist than making a buck off it.

But let's say you're right. Let's say everybody stops buying books, and just reads public-domain books. That would be, in effect, rolling back the calendar to 1923, with a few excursions as late as the 1960s for stories and books whose copyrights weren't renewed. Well ... there was no shortage of books then. I would guess that, on a per-capita basis, people read more books then than they do now. Enough books already existed to supply them with a lifetime of reading. They weren't reading books that weren't even going to be published until 2011, obviously. So, in actual fact, providing incomes to modern authors is not actually necessary to have a lifetime full of books to read, and hasn't been since shortly after Gutenberg invented movable type (or possibly just popularized it, or possibly just popularized it in the West).

But, in any event, I wasn't saying that nobody should buy new books (though I do think that nobody should rent new books for prices surpassing that of buying them, which is what most ebook "sales" are). My ebook reader contains books published centuries ago and books published weeks ago (note: Agatha H. and the Airship City is major fun!). I was just responding to the person who said that the idea that someone would read an old book instead of buying a new one was a fallacy.

Sweetpea, I'm sorry to hear that. One of the advantages of English, it seems, is that it's mostly stayed the same for the past few hundred years. With the exception of some shifts in word usage, like "stunt" not meaning exactly what it did around 1900, a book written a hundred years ago is just as readable as a book written today. It's easy to forget that other languages haven't held still, either through natural forces or government action.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:39 AM   #13
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In my case, it comes down to needing a book to read, and wanting to read a well-written book that I haven't read yet. It doesn't matter to me what year the book was printed in -- this year, this decade, this century -- only whether it's good or not. And when there are two books that are likely to both be good, I'm inclined to go with my cheapskate impulses and pick the cheaper of the two, which in the case of classics is free.

In other words, a book written in the 1800s that I haven't read before is just as "new" to me as one written three days ago. Just cheaper.
"New" is not the same as "contemporary". There are plenty of classics I haven't read (yet), and the language is still readable, but times have changed. It's not as easy to connect to characters who live in a different century. Especially from a feminine view point, when so much has changed in the past 100 years. (Just try reading Stranger in a Strange Land as a 20-something female. I dare you. And that's relatively recent, published just 50 years ago.)

But in a post exchange we had a couple days ago, you said you don't really connect to characters, whereas that's usually my main driving force behind reading. If I stop caring about the characters, I stop reading the book. So yeah, I can read the classics, and yeah, they're free, but 98% of the time I'll choose something contemporary and pay for it.

Last edited by queentess; 02-24-2011 at 11:09 AM. Reason: spelling fail
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:56 AM   #14
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Also, I read books about elves. A woman a hundred years ago is still a lot more human than any elf.

(elves who are just humans with stick-on Spock ears don't count)
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:24 AM   #15
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I have to really disagree with number 3.

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3) Books

It's true that it's often cheaper to buy a book online rather than in a store, especially now Amazon has stopped charging for delivery. But if you're going online anyway, why buy a book at all when you can swap one you no longer want and get it for free instead?

There are two big free book swap sites out there: bookmooch.com (which is international) and readitswapit.co.uk (which is UK-based). Both have literally hundreds of thousands of books available for free.

Alternatively, if you've got an ebook reader, head over to Project Gutenberg and download thousands of works of literature for free.
I see no reason not to buy new books online, and I've had such good results with used books at bargain prices that even if the next one arrives in tatters I'd still be well ahead of the game. From what I've seen, most vendors are pretty honest in their appraisals of a used book's condition. Oh, sure, I had one that was advertised as very good condition arrive with yellowed pages, but I also bought one not too long ago that was advertised in good condition that arrived looking brand new and unopened. And many of the books I've bought used are in the $50 and $60+ price range new, so when I can buy a slightly used one for $5 to $15, why not?
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