You would think. Unfortunately, the fastest way that I can think of to tell whether or not you have a 2nd printing is this:
1. Purchase the following: a ball of string, scissors, a pencil, a yellow pad of legal paper, a bus ticket, a sapling Osage Orange tree, and the bezoar of a yellow toad.
2. Wait until October 15th, just after dark, then go to the graveyard nearest to the place where you live- but it has to be located north of your actual dwelling.
Anything to the south will not work for these purposes. Bring the yellow pad of legal paper, the string, the scissors, and the pencil.
3. Find the oldest tree in the graveyard (if the graveyard has no trees, keep heading north until you find one that does), and tie the string to the tallest branch, then drop the rest of the ball of string to the ground.
Climb back down to the ground (if the tree was tall enough to climb in the first place).
Search around the graveyard until you find a piece of broke off gravestone (it should weigh no more than 1/2 lb, and no less than 2 oz), then go back to where the bottom of the string is resting on the ground.
Set the yellow legal pad underneath the end of the string, then tie the pencil to the string, so that the tip rests on the top sheet of the yellow legal pad. Cut off the rest of the string, then use the spare string to tie the piece of headstone to the pencil.
Recite the following:
Winds of our fathers, winds of the dead
Answer my questions, by those who have bled
Soon, a small wind should start up (if one is not already blowing).
Recite this every hour until it the wind begins, or until daybreak- in which case you have to take everything down, and come back the next night and repeat everything.
The pencil should be blown back and forth across the paper, leaving strange markings and possibly even some sigils. Moons, stars, etc.
(Note: if the pencil ever draws an eye, then stop it from swinging, shout into the wind, "No! Not YOU!" then tear off the top sheet, burn it, and start this part over again. Never, under any circumstances allow it to draw two eyes on the same sheet of paper- if you do, then we're all in trouble.)
When the wind dies down, remove the top sheet of paper and fold it corner to corner seven times.
4. Before you leave the graveyard, go to the nearest tombstone and record the name. Then go to the phone book and look up the nearest psychic who shares at least one name with the name on the tombstone- first, middle or last.
If you can find a psychic that shares all three, that would be ideal.
Go to the psychic and have them unfold the paper and interpret the markings (they will be able to do this whether or not they are actually a fraud).
Among various bits of personal and hygienic advice, the interpretations should include a location the place that you need to go next.
Return home- your bus ticket will now be for this location. I'm not sure how that part works, but it does.
5. Get on the bus, taking with you the bezoar, the sapling, and your copy of RUE.
(Note: Some bus lines will require you to pay extra for the sapling. Also, expect extra fees if the location you are traveling to is an unusual one, like "The Shadow of Tuesday" or "The Forever Bogs." It should be less than $100, though.)
6. When you get to the location, but before you get off the bus, swallow the bezoar.
After the bus leaves, a large snake should show up and attempt to bite you.
When it does, you will be unharmed, but should pretend that you fall over dead. If you do this, then the serpent will coil itself up and go to sleep.
Grab a large rock (there will be one handy), and bash the serpent with the rock until it is dead (the serpent).
Then dig a hole (you will have to use your hands for this). Set your copy of RUE in the bottom of the hole, then wrap the dead serpent around the base of the Osage Orange sapling, and plant the tree in the hole.
7. Every year for three years, you will need to show up on the anniversary of the day you planted that tree. Water the tree while chanting, "Grow, grow, grow! Tell me what I wish to know!" repeatedly.
8. Ignore the tree for the following fifty years.
9. Return to the tree (in October) on the 53rd year after planting the tree, and count the number of fruits on the tree, and divide by three; this will tell you what printing your copy of Rifts Ultimate Edition was.
10. Enjoy your newfound knowledge!