The most important thing to remember when dealing with Out of Print vendors is that their primary customer base is not generally academic libraries. Every purchase I send out to an Out of Print dealer is accompanied by a letter explaining what KSU's ordering procedures are and what kind of payment timetable they can expect from K-State Libraries. Click here to see actual letter.
I normally start my search with BookFinder.com, but use whatever sight works best for you...and share trade secrets! If you find a new sight that works better or specializes in some particular type of book, i.e. Spanish books, children's books, etc., let me know!
Current order of preference....subject to change at anytime as new information becomes available.
Powells.com - We have an account with Powells.com and they only list items on their website that are actually in their inventory. They also ship the items within 7-10 days.
Mom & Pop shops - I like to go to "Mom and Pop" shops for the reason that they have the book. However, it is essential that the Procedural Letter for Vendors is included so that they know KSU's ordering procedure.
21 North Main - 21 North Main accepts purchase orders and is good, however they charge a 20% mark-up.
Barnes & Noble - B&N accepts purchase orders, but in my experience is unable to provide part of what they have listed. Use as a last resort.
Amazon.com - Amazon.com does not accept purchase orders. The company also lists items that are not intheir inventory and that they, in the end, are unable to provide. Use as a last resort.
In general, just use your best judgement.
Again, share information on your "best sights" so that we can update the list. This is currently a VERY small list and I would like to see it grow as we unearth good search spots.
Ordering from OP Vendors
Use the same procedure for ordering monographs, but contact the vendor to reserve the copy either via email or phone! That way we won't get the purchase order back saying that it was already sold. This also give the vendor the chance to require prepay. We can then contact Financial Services and have them email/phone/fax a credit card to the vendor to ensure that we get the item. (I usually do not have them send a check, as it takes the state up to 4 weeks to process the payment.)