SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads) I hope to do a few things with this post. 1) Give a definitive list of the materials and their evolution over the years. 2) Reduce my PMs by having a post that answers some of the FAQs I get. 3) Help some sellers with current materials get a fair market price and have a list available that prevents buyers from getting taken when buying outdated books. First off, SDN classifieds are by far the best place to get used BR materials. Most of the feedback about dishonest activity (scams) and bait-n-switch listings (outdated material or counterfeits with missing pages) come from Craigslist, so you should never buy from Craigslist. Ebay has items from time to time, but in many cases they cost more used than you'd pay for them brand new. It would be a sad experience if you paid more than twice what they cost brand new and then you got a 1995 book in the mail. For the sake of getting current materials, you should look primarily to SDN if you opt to buy the materials used. In your negotiations, it might also help you to know that older versions of the books cost less brand new than the current versions, so if you see someone trying to sell 2007 biology books for $50, they're asking the same amount that they paid brand new. Here is a general pricing suggestion for the materials. For details about what makes the updated books different from older books, consult the other book thread. You should always ask about the writing in each book and version. PHYSICSThe physics books underwent a major change during late 2010 and the latest version of the book is "pure gold" and "amazing" as many users at SDN have put it. You shouldn't settle for anything less than the very latest version, used or new. Brand new from the company: $65 for the pair Used from November 2010 or later should run you about $45-$55 for the pair, depending on the shape. The books likely cost the seller $60 new. To make sure you are getting the correct version, ask if it has a table of contents in the back with page numbers. If it is, then you have the right book. Used 2009-November 2010 should run you about $35-$45 for the pair, depending on the shape. This version has the temporary blue cardboard cover. It has some upgrades in terms of editting from the previous version. Anything before 2009 just isn't worth getting with so many newer versions on the market. _______________________________________________________________________________________ GENERAL CHEMISTRYThe general chemistry books underwent a change in 2009 that upgraded the electrochemistry chapter significantly and a few other chapters got minor facelifts. The books underwent a bigger change in March of 2012. Brand new from the company: $65 for the pair Used from March 2012 or later should run you about $55-$60 for the pair, depending on the shape. To make sure you are getting the correct version, ask the seller if the books have 360 pages and 317 pages respectively. Used from 2009 to 2011 should run you about $45-$55 for the pair, depending on the shape. To make sure you are getting the correct version, ask the seller if the topic of "galvanizing" is on page 282 of Book II. If it is, then you have the right book. Anything before 2009 just isn't worth getting with so many newer versions on the market. _______________________________________________________________________________________ ORGANIC CHEMISTRYThe organic chemistry books have undergone three major changes since 2004 In 2004 the test writers removed topics such as alkene reactions and benzene chemistry, so these sections were omitted from the BR book at that time, changing the chapter sequence in a significant way. The topics that were modified again in 2007 after the switch to the CBT. The most current version was released near the end of January 2012. It has more passages, reduced text, and more sample questions. It can be recognized quickly from the index at the back. Brand new from the company: $65 for the pair Used from August 2007 to December 2011 should run you about $45-$55 for the pair, depending on the shape. To check if you are getting this version of the book, ask the seller if the topic of "Edman's reagent" is on page 199 of Book II. If it is, then you have the right book. DO NOT USE ANY VERSION BEFORE 2004!!! The test changed and those books contain topics that are no longer tested. _______________________________________________________________________________________ BIOLOGYThe biology books have undergone small changes with each printing. These changes generally included correction of typos, updates of drawings, and a few questions and/or explanation changes. In early 2011, a practice test was added to the back of each book. These exams are invaluable as summaries. The latest version is best, but older versions (as far back as 2004) will suffice. Brand new from the company: $65 for the pair Used from March 2011 or later should run you about $50-$55 for the pair, depending on the shape. To make sure you are getting the correct version, ask the seller if there is a practice exam that starts on page 339 of Book I. If it is, then you have the right book. Used 2009-March 2011 should run you about $40-$50 for the pair, depending on the shape. This version has the temporary red cardboard cover. DO NOT USE ANY VERSION BEFORE 2004!!! The test changed and those books emphasize topics that are not tested as heavily. _______________________________________________________________________________________ VERBAL REASONING and WRITING SAMPLEThe verbal reasoning book underwent a major change during 2009 when there was a concerted effort to include multiple ways to solve questions. The latest version is best, but older versions (as far back as 2006) will suffice. Brand new from the company: $65 for the pair Used from 2011 or later should run you about $45-$55 for the pair, depending on the shape. To make sure you are getting the correct version, ask the seller if the passages on 332 and 390 are different. If they are, then you have the right book. Used 2009-2010 should run you about $40-$50 for the pair, depending on the shape. This version has a regular tan cover but has more pages than the previous version (a little over 700 pages). This version has some copies that accidentally have the same "Boomerang passage" listed twice. _______________________________________________________________________________________ The suggested prices are based on sales over the past year at SDN. The list below is a few suggestions to follow on any purchase of used books. 1) Always ask for the edition. Older books cost less brand new than they do now and should not have the inflated value some people ask for them. 2) The passages are the most important part, and you shouldn't buy books with writing on them. Even the slightest amount of writing ruins the integrity of the practice experience (and biases your thought process). Hold out for clean copies if you plan to do the passages. 3) For physics, the newest version is best and it's worth paying a little more to get it. 4) Illegal PDF versions exist for the outdated versions. If someone is selling what they call a used 2009 version that lacks verbal reasoning, it is probably an illegal pdf version. It's not worth using them for many reasons, including ethics, risk to your future, and lack of preparedness. Most people get caught when a fellow premed reports them. With any pdf files of any materials, is it worth saving maybe $50 to risk your chances of going to medical school. 5) BR books retain their value more than any other books (check the classifieds and you'll be stunned). Buying them new (or the most current used versions) is worth the investment because of their resale value. 6) If you sell your used books through SDN classifieds, you should list the version and emphasize the key pages that show it's the latest version. You are welcome to link this post if it helps your sale. 7) This post will be updated when the new general chemistry book is released later this year.