My Half-Price Book Results

There were more than a few surprises when I arrived to my local Half-Price Books.   It was certainly an experience.  I had been racing to get there to beat Dianne, who was meeting me from Cincinnati.  I was going to test a couple of theories that web research had pointed out. Beautiful people get more for their books, the smaller the batch the better price per book.  You'll spend your profits right there if you aren't careful. 

The first surprise being, after lugging in a laundry basket full of books, is they have carts you can bring out to your car.  They even have a ramp built into the sidewalk.  Nowhere did I see that in any research I did.

A second shock was these beautiful children's books are ineligible.  What?  I was stunned.  I was also sweaty from hauling in a basket load and I'm sure my face was beet red.  I demanded to know why.

They simply have a policy that they do not accept books that have ever belonged to a library.  Not just this library either.  The most remote library in the world, including home libraries were exempt.  I had one book with a card pocket in the back and a borrows card.  No names, no removal stamps, nothing to suggest it was a library copy except the lone plain pocket and borrows card pasted in between the back page and the back cover.

My dismay and sadness was evident in my facial expression.  My face never lies.  I walked away disappointed with my basket of library books.  Outside on the sidewalk in front of the entrance I briefly contemplated hawking them to customers who were entering the store, but thought better of it.  Glancing at the sides, I spotted a book without a tag on the spine and realized I had one I could sell.  Rooting though the rest, I discovered ten more and again entered the store and re-registered. 

The same young man, quaking, redid my registry and I was asked to stay in the store while they evaluated my books in the order they arrived.  I waited.

In the mean time Dianne came in with the kids and I gave her the bad news.  I had a huge suitcase full of books for her to turn in and another for Bill to turn in.  She and Bill could pull the non library books from the other two suitcases and turn those in.

Now in this batch, I had little grocery store books next to books I paid a hefty price for at a home party, such as the ones above.  I also had quite a few collectible books, older books out of print and old kidlit from good authors.  While waiting I browsed the collectible shelves and knew were my books would end up!  They wanted $15 plus for the collectible books and I anticipated a good price.

I was wishing I had brought in my box of VCR tapes because people were bringing in stacks of them.  I don't even own a VCR anymore.

I didn't bring in my AP magazines either.  I don't think I can get rid of them until I find all the ones that have a TDWP story or picture.  But I saw people bringing in magazines and I wondered what my AP's might bring.

Eventually I was called up and offered $8.00 for my eleven books.  I was quite surprised and very happy!  I began counting my chickens now and told the grandchildren, who had chosen books, that I would buy them each one.

After an eternity while I had visions of paying for dinner with the profits, Dianne was called up by the female clerk, who didn't care how beautiful she was and offered $3.50 for her stack of about 30 books.  I almost snatched them all to my breast and ran, but cooler thoughts prevailed and I sucked it up.  I'm moving in two weeks.  I have tons of books I can't bring.

What did I learn from the experience?  I learned smaller amounts pay more.  Beauty and/or sympathy will color their price.   You'll spend your money in the store.  The kids two books came to $11.56.  $.06 more than I was paid.

They also profit mightily from the older collectible books.  They won't pay much, but will price them high and let them languish on the shelf until the right person comes along.

Never fear, this book did not get taken yesterday.  My Miss Read friends will know why.

What magazines come to your house?  Have you ever sold to Half -Price Books? 


Marushka C. said…
I typically sell my books on if I can price them lower than most other sellers and still make enough money (after amazon takes its cut) that it feels worthwhile to package & haul them to the post office. what's left after that, i take to a huge used book store in our town. They offer about 50% more if you'll take store credit than cash, so I generally do that then browse their craft books.

It's often disappointing with used books -- and used clothing -- to find out how little the resale shops will offer, even though that's their primary business.

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