Generally speaking, living in Netherlands is expensive. However, it is even worse if you love buying books enjoying reading. Yes, books are extremely expensive here. For instance, a new Dan Borwn’s Da Vinci Code, paper back English version, will cost you at least 12 euros in any book store in Netherlands. You can easily find the recommended price (£7 or so) on the back of the book. Guess the exchange rate does not work well in this industry.
Nevertheless, such high price per book doesn’t keep Dutch people away from reading or buying books. You can always find lots people in the bookstores. How come? Well, answer is simple: The flourishing second hand book market keep people buying, reading and then selling. In Netherlands, you can find a chain bookstore called De Slegte selling second hand books as well as new ones that are not interested by people at the first run bookstores such as Donnar in Rotterdam.
What about textbooks? Since the MBA program is international, all required textbooks are written in English. They are either published in UK or in US. It is then obvious that students like me shall pay a premium on textbooks. For instance, I paid easily more than 70 euros for one book, no matter how many pages that book consists of. Most of RSM MBA students had pay more than 500 euros for all the textbooks during the program. Of course there are ways to pay less on the books. Buy from seniors who are going to graduate or purchase from Amazon.com for less price but pay for shipping.
Not surprisingly you can also find textbooks in De Slegte whom I just sold some of my old textbooks to this afternoon. I’ve been always a fan of De Slegte since a friend introduce it to me. I could find second hand English novels with decent price there, sometimes even new ones. Even though they are second hand, they are all in excellent condition: no broken page and clean. I bought a lot there yet never sold one until today. I brought seven books to the counter where they accept the books. After the shop assistance had checked the system with all the books, he offered 60 euros for five books. I accepted and offered him the other two simply because I did not want to carry them home.
Well, those books will cost at least four times more on the new book market. And I can assure you this bookstore will sell them at a discount price, probably 40% to 50% off of the Donner price. Well, nothing wrong with it since it is De Slegte’s business model. For people who do not enjoy that much bidding on eBay or would like to get rid of old textbooks like I did, De Slegte provides an easier way to sell and buy second hand books.
De Slegte (only in Dutch) http://www.deslegte.com/index.jsp