Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Pricing for "Law for Professional Engineers" (4th Ed.)

The usefulness of a book after completion of a course can vary. I had more than a couple textbooks back in college that I barely used during the course and almost never touched again after finishing. Regardless, it is understandable that one may want to spend less than necessary for textbooks -- and maybe other things too.

For reasons unknown, I've been researching the price for what appears to be a somewhat popular book: "Law for Professional Engineers" (Fourth Edition) by Donald Marston. It may be a course textbook and/or reference used to help in preparing for an exam. The uniqueness of this book may be that it doesn't seem to get updated very often -- according to, a fourth edition copy of the book had a publishing year of 2008 while a third edition was noted to have a 1996 date. This may not be great as the book's contents can become outdated, but it may mean something for its availability if one were interested in getting a copy.
Covers of "Law for Professional Engineers" (4th Ed.) by Marston

What I've found about the book's price
The product page for a fourth edition copy of "Law for Professional Engineers" on noted the "List Price" as CA$ 124.95 around October 2016. It was out of stock but listed for just under CA$ 100. Copies under the "Used" section from third-party sellers were priced at CA$ 100 and up after including shipping charges. I may have seen it in the past for CA$ 90 or less from third-party sellers but those went quick.

Checking the price in October 2016 on for a fourth edition copy showed the same list price, and the book was for sale at just under CA$ 101.

Other than Amazon and Indigo, I can't think of any big name retailers for books in Ontario. University or college campus bookstores are options. They haven't had the best prices in my experience though.

I have also seen fourth editions of "Law for Professional Engineers" by Marston show up on Kijiji for the Toronto area. Prices I saw, if I remember correctly, were around $100. As a website for classifieds, haggling is probably on the table.

Cheapest Option?
The cheapest option I found in the Toronto area was probably the Toronto Public Library. When I checked the library's website in October 2016, a page for a fourth edition showed that there were 12 copies and 16 holds -- not sure how many were reference copies.

That's quite a lot of holds and being a library, they may want their books back at some point. And being so popular, I don't know if renewals would be allowed or not. This could be a problem. Even if someone finished reading the book, they may need to look things up after the return date.

The Third Edition?
I found a product page for a third edition copy of "Law for Professional Engineers" by Marston on There were more than a few copies available for under CA$ 10 in the "Used" section from third-party sellers -- checked in October 2016. However, remember the publishing year above I mentioned? It was 1996. Twenty years and counting. How much has changed since? I have no idea but it's probably not nothing.

Pricing for "Canadian Professional Engineering and Geoscience" (5th Ed.)

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