Disclaimer: No person or company bestowed any gifts upon me in order to garnish this praise. That said, if a company or person would like to bestow a token of some sort, such as a gift card, for my perusal and/or review I would be happy to accommodate their wishes.
The name of the place can be deceiving. The books available in these stores are not all half of the cover price. In fact, most of the books are much less than half the cover price. Stickers on the front of each book display the current price. When I take books in for cash, I don’t expect a lot for them. I am better off selling my books at a consignment store or at my garage sale, but after several $1 a bag and 6/$1 sales, I often have boxes of books to bring in. I know what they pay top dollar for; newest releases, and not the Book Club versions. I know this because when David and I ran a bookstore, that is what we paid the most for. I cannot tell you how many times we had someone open up the front of a book and point at the retail value of $24.95 and be totally insulted by our $1 or less offer. So it is with HalfPrice Books. More than once I have heard a customer storm out of the place in disgust because they were only offered a quarter for a paperback or $2 for a bag full of books. People, if you are going to bring in books for cash to these places, do realize that not all books are created equal. Just because you paid $14.95 for Lisa Beamer’s Let’s Roll nine years ago doesn’t mean that you can sell that book for $5 now. Or $4.00. Or even $2.00. And if you can’t sell it for even $2 at your garage sale, why would you think a bookstore dealing in used books would do any better? Check out Amazon’s price for Let’s Roll. For the grand sum of 68-cents, you can have a like new copy sent to you. Yes, it is a good book. Yes, you bought it brand new. But no, HalfPrice Books isn’t going to pay you much of anything for it. They might be paying you $1 for one of the books in the bag you bring in, a dime for another, and the other books might be totally worthless to them and donated the second your back is turned. Let’s face it, you aren’t going to get rich selling used books to HalfPrice Books, but if you read a lot and can pick up the right books or magazines (new releases, unusual non-fiction, magazines from the current month) fairly cheaply (think 25-cents each or the free magazine bin at your local library) then you should at least be able to make back enough money to buy more books. Even if you are one of those people who only buys new books, you will be delighted to find a good selection of new books at these stores, probably overstocks and remainders. And if you can live with the fact that a fairly new release has been read by at least one person, you can usually find a good selection of very slightly used new releases here too.
My visits are always marked by a good ten minutes of perusing the magazine section, where I often discover at least one issue of interest that I haven’t read. Yesterday’s visit netted two Saturday Evening Posts, two Muse magazines (a favorite children’s magazine that both my husband and I read cover to cover), a new issue of Countryside, a Victoria magazine that included an interview with one of my favorite authors, Jan Karon, and a marketing magazine that I am hoping gives me some insight into the female mind in regards to shopping choices. Near the clearance book section I discovered a board game based on a favorite magazine, Mental Floss. And, for $2 each, I nabbed three books from my “wish list,” including Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club. The small $1 notebooks are a perfect size for my purse.
If it is DVD’s or CD’s you are interested in, they have a large selection of those, as well. I don’t think I’ve ever gone inside a HalfPrice bookstore without coming out with something.
Is there a HalfPrice Books near you? http://www.hpb.com/