I’ve got a question for anyone that has ordered anything used off of How long does it usually take to get the stuff?

The reason I ask is because I ordered my college books from used on Saturday night. It saved me a boat load of money, but at the risk now that only two of them have been shipped (that I know of) and I start classes on Monday, August 20. And then I got a notice saying that one would take 7-14 days to arrive, by mail. I’ve never experienced such a delay in mail travel.

Any insight would be appreciated.



Sometimes it is amazingly fast and sometimes they split your orders and one will lag behind. I’ve found them to be conservative in their estimates, they seem to under promise so they can over deliver! We just ordered some textbooks as well, one of them is shipping from Great Britain so that is the one which will take the longest. But classes don’t start until the 27th, so we had the time.

How many times have you ordered things online? lol

The reason I ask, is because I’ve been purchasing things online since 2002 and I’ve had things take as quick as 2 days, or up to a month and all with “standard shipping”.

For the most part you don’t need your books for class your first week, since everyone is still trying to get theirs and what not. Just tell your professor, and they’ll make some copies, and probably be flexible. I’ve never had a teacher be a pain in the butt and demand you had your book the first week. It’s just not possible sometimes with bookstore problems, and various other reasons.

It shouldn’t be abig deal, but learn from this for next time.
Order in advance!

Unless I really need the book immediately, I always wait until the first week of classes to order my books. Many classes say a book is required, but you don’t end up using it because the professor may provide all the material you need in powerpoints. I bought many books my freshman year that I never even opened once.

I have bought from Amazon before. It originally told me 2-3 months…I laughed then said o well, since it was a gift card I used and I was only buy a few DVD’s so it didn’t really matter when it came. It ended up being about 10 days. But everything was correct and in great condition.

My experience has been that, if you chose the free shipping option that’s often available, they will wait as long as possible to ship your items while still meeting the arrival date the website provides. If you pay for shipping, things will come much faster.

If you live in Seattle (and a few other places, I think) and pay for shipping, you can get your order on the same day :slight_smile:

You might find that the teacher has different ideas about textbooks that what is printed. Don’t sweat it, you can probably share with another student until your books come in. Good Luck in school, where are you going?

Thanks all.

Al, I’m going to Black Hawk College and I’m enrolled in the Engineering Technology program, Mechanical focus. It’s a 2-year degree, but I got in late last year so I have to extend it to three years, I’m beginning my second. Hopefully, by the time I graduate the credits will be transferrable to Western Illinois, they’re already transferrable to Bradley University.

Anyways, I unnexpectedly got two of my books in today. My engineering design book and a stupid Windows XP Quicksteps book… Computer Applications in Technology, probably going to be a waste of time like my Interpersonal Communications class (yay for public speaking substitute, though).

Blackhawk is a good school and I certainly can vouch for Bradley. I graduated in 1973 and my son with an ME in 2005. One of the guys I graduated with had his first job at the TV studio at Blackhawk.

Well All I can say is make friends fast! I start at RIT on the 3rd and don’t yet know what books I need. I am sure if you talk to people around you in class you can use their books. Besides it is a good way to meet people, and split to work load. Or maybe try talking to your professor, and maybe they can let you use their book during office hours. You shouldn’t have any hard long assignments during the first week or 2 of class.


There are at least 3 different parts of amazon, with different rates and terms and such.

If you order direct from Amazon and chose the free super save shipping, they will ship the books when they have a low volume and it may take over a week for them to ship, and then you have the normal shipping time for USPS Media Mail (a week or more).

If you ordered from an Amazon Seller (such as Target, Borders, etc), they set their own shipping policies.

Since you mentioned used books, you probably ordered from Amazon Marketplace which has a mixture of small businesses and individuals. The sellers promise to ship within 2 days of when you place the order. If you used Domestic Standard shipping (4-14 days) it most likely uses USPS media mail.

You are right that normal first class mail doesn’t take that long, but Media Mail is much cheaper and slower.

That’s what I did. What I had done was searched google for “college textbooks” then went to one of the first sites listed. There I put in all of the ISBN numbers and they compiled three lists for me. One had all the used books at individual sites, all the books at one site, and all the books for the cheapest total at individual sites. I selected the middle one, and I ended up with Amazon.

I’ve never heard of “Media Mail” before you mentioned it, Joe. :rolleyes:

Media mail is awesome. Anything sold on is sent via media mail and it’s a very cheap method of shipping. It’s not very slow either, anything I’ve bought via media mail has pretty much arrived (at most) a week after I bought it. It all just depends on whether the seller is on the ball and ships what you purchased immediately.

Well, unfortunately I’m still waiting on one book… which so happens to be the one that I NEED tomorrow. I am going to have to resort to buying it at the bookstore… full price. I’ve got no email confirmation for this book either, so I don’t know if it has been shipped or what. I have all of the books that I don’t need until the next half of this semester, though.

If you do purchase it at the bookstore, save your receipt. Many universities have 2-week or midterm return policies. You can always return it when your book arrives later.

…especially if you treat it really nice and not cause damage or wear…

I’ve only ordered media stuff and small packages, stuff usually comes within a day or two of being shipped.