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Topic: Good will/Salvation Army used books question

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Subject: Good will/Salvation Army used books question
Date Posted: 12/18/2010 6:27 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2010
Posts: 3,860
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I'm just curious....of those of you who buy used books in book stores such as good will or salvation army, how much do you generally pay for these?  Our local salvation army store just really raised their book prices.  Buyers pay 10% of the cover price, or as marked (i suppose there are no cover prices on some books.)  Before the price change, I was getting 5 books for $2.00; now it's at least $2.50+ per for hardcovers.     And, as long as I'm asking, what about regular used book stores? How much do people pay for used books.  I'd like to know.  I swore I'd not go back, but I went in out of curiosity yesterday and noted some good WL books, so I might buy a couple (with money earmarked for Christmas but that's the way it goes.)  Terry

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 7:14 AM ET
Member Since: 12/3/2005
Posts: 3,388
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If I am buying just to post to the system and not for myself to read first, I limit myself to $1.00/book.  The rates at the thrift stores here range from $.50 to $1.00 so that works out well.  I do once a month hit the local Ed McKay's to look at books.  Those are usually 1/2 cover, but I only purchase the titles that are on my wishlist so that I can post them afterwards.

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 7:33 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Like Melissa, if I'm buying books solely to post, I won't pay over $1 per book, and prefer less. Our Goodwill and Salvation Army stores are too high priced for me, so local charity thrifts get most of my business. It doesn't make financial sense to spend much more, because with the book price and the shipping, I can buy a credit for less.   

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2007
Posts: 9,520
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When I first joined here, I was buying a lot of books to post and to read. Now, if I have the book, unless its highly wishlisted and under 2.00, I don't buy it. However, if I don't have it and want to read it, as long as its less than the price of a credit, I will buy it.

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,207
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Our Goodwill is .75 for paperbacks and 1.50 for hardbacks.  And we have about 5 of them here in town.  I go to one GW at least once a week, it is where most of my books come from.  I used to buy books to post but I try not too now, it make me feel good to send out a WL book but you can buy credits cheaper. 

@Melissa - I do love Ed McKays - but I haven't been there much since I joined this site.  It is nice for being organized and you can find a specific book easily but now it just seems way too much to pay.

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 8:45 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I don't buy books just to post anymore.I just don't have the budget. If I need credits then I put my WL on hold until I've earned some-usually by reading and posting WL books.  When I used to buy them just to post-I didn't pay more than .75, maybe $1.00 if I found something witih a super long WL.

I've noticed that the chain Thrift stores (Salvaton Army/Goodwill) charge much more than the small local only thrift stores.  I had 5 Thrift stores near me when I lived in MD and they all charged .10-.25 for a MMP, .50-1.00 for trades and hardcovers. 

I've found most used books stores to be about half-cover price for mmps and trades and then a little less than 50% for hardcovers.  With some discounted to get them out and others upcharged for being hot sellers.

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 8:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I've never shopped at UBS just to find books to post.  They're never cheap enough-understandably since they pay somethign for hte books and then are in it to make a living.

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 608
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Salvation Army - $1 PB, $2 HB but Wednesday is 25% off.  I'll do $1.50 for HB or .75 PB because nowhere else is cheaper.  The FOL sales sometimes are but those are scattered throughout the year and held on Fri-Sat.  Working Fridays makes the lot picked over before I can get there.

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 10:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2005
Posts: 7,500
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As others have said, I won't pay more than $1 for books just to post here.

Our Goodwill stores charge $1 for paperbacks and $1.50-$2.00 for hardcovers.  DH gets a 15% senior citizens discount.

Books at the two Salvation Army Stores are 90% off  the publisher's price.

St. Vincent De Paul offers paperbacks for 50 cents each and the YWCA shop sells paperbacks 5/$1.00.

I scored at a library sale last week. You could fill a bag for $5 or a box for $10.  A couple of friends and I shared a large box and I ended up with 34 books.

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 10/28/2008
Posts: 3,529
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My local thrift store charges .33 for all paperbacks and 66-99 for hardcover. 

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2010
Posts: 4,177
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At the second hand Store I visit twice a week I pay $.25 a book (PB & HC) and I get a 10% discount if I shop on Thursday.I still shop for books just to post.I tell myself that when my shelf hits 500 I'll stop; but then I up that to 550.No self control.PBS is the "Crack Cocaine" of book swap sites.


Last Edited on: 12/20/10 1:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/18/2010 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 37,140
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Goodwill here is expensive-  haven't been there in a while so I don't remember what they charged- something like 33% of cover price.

If I am buying a wl just to post,  won't pay more than $.50

If buying  a wl I want to read first, $1.00

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2010
Posts: 78
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Salvation Army .50 paperback, $1.00 Hardcover.Same with all Garage sales in my area.  Goodwill is .89 softcover, $1.79 Hardcover or there about.

Your Salvation Army may go back to old pricing, if the books sit on their shelf long enough. 

Funny though, our neighborhood Senior Center thrift store must think their books are gold. $3.00-5.00 for some, (And there they sit)

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2010
Posts: 110
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Goodwill charges $0.75 for paperbacks and $1.50 for hardbacks.  Other thrift stores in the area charge between $0.50 - $1 for paperbacks and $1-$2 for hardbacks.  My local used bookstore charges $4 for mass market paperbacks, $5 for trade paperbacks, and $5.50 for hardbacks.

I NEVER buy books just to post.  I only buy books I am going to read first.

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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My library FOL sales are by pound.  The sales are twice a year and all books are $1.50 a pound.  I usually go there and get trade paperbacks to list.  I like that the money goes to get me more library books.  The pound price means I'm paying about a dollar a book. 

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Guess I am a real cheapskate! The most I will pay for a WL book is .75...just got back from my local Salvation Army where all books, paperback and hardback, are 5 for $1. Lucky me!!!

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Local chain thrift stores are expensive for used books, the closest one has paperbacks starting at 1.98...and up.  Our UBS are generally 1/2 of cover price.  Some members report success shopping for used books at yard sales.  IIRC the local FOL's start at $1 for paperbacks, which is workable if I can find wishlisted books.    And Book Sale Finder hosts a national list of...well, book sales.

ETA - Selection seems to vary by location also.  I've shopped almost all the UBS & thrift stores in our area, and frankly the selection sucks.  Members in other areas frequently report picking up wishlisted books...cheap.  I have a serious case of UBS envy  devil

Last Edited on: 12/18/10 2:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/18/2010 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2010
Posts: 2,102
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Goodwill paperbacks 75 cents, hardbacks 2.00..............senior discount 10 % and they have a lot of 50% sales, Wed, is always 25% off. The books they have are all in very good to new condition.

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,088
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To buy a book just to post it, not more than 50 cents, and only if I know its a WL.

To buy a book that I want to read, I will pay up to $2.50 because that is about the price of obtaining a book here anyway. Unless it is a heavily posted book, in which case, I would not only wait to order it from here, but I would also be looking for a deal on it.

I buy tons of books at my FOL stores .... They do sell the brand new paperbacks for $2.00 and that is still cheaper than PBS, so I will take it. Regular paperbacks (anything not brand new)  are usually either $1 or 50 cents. I do find tons and tons of WL books at the FOL stores (I go round to the stores every 2 months or so).

The thrift stores around me are full of really beat up copies of John Grisham and Nora Roberts books ... not worth looking thru.

The used book stores typically sell paperbacks for half cover price and hardcovers either for half cover or maybe around $10. Depends on what kind of book, really. The very popular ones are discounted down to maybe $3 or $4. I will still buy books there if I am looking for something that I know is going to take a long time to post (a lot of the hardcover sci fi titles are harder to find unless you want to buy them new).

Last Edited on: 12/18/10 3:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/18/2010 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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Our local Goodwill is usually .99 for PB and 1.99 for HB but I was just in there this afternoon and they hardly had any books on the shelf.  There were a lot of kids books and VHS tapes but that was about it.  Not sure what was up with that.

Date Posted: 12/18/2010 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,880
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WOW!  Some of you are lucky at the prices.  Here in Oregon, books at Goodwill are individually priced.  It ranges from .99 cents to $19.99.  Most newer books (PBs) are $2.49, TPBs are  $2.99-5.99 and HBs are $3.99 for oldies, newer ones are $5.99.  SVDP is a little better but they price the newer books individually higher; oldies are $1.50 PBs and $2.50 for HBs.  Our only Salvation Army rarely has any decent books at all so I don't bother going there.  In Eugene, SVDP has just a bookstore retail store for their used books with the prices as listed above.  They consider new books anything up to 3 years old. 

Last Edited on: 12/18/10 6:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/18/2010 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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Our local Goodwills charge what I think is an outrageous price for books that have been donated. The library just a quarter mile away has better prices, and at their weekly sale the paperbacks are 5/$1.00 for regular ones, 2/$1.00 for new releases, and $1.00 for hardcovers, any age.

Subject: Salvation Army SERIOUSLY raised prices
Date Posted: 12/19/2010 1:52 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2007
Posts: 31
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Hi all-

Here's my experience.  When I first joined PBS, I would make monthly trips to the local Salvation Army thrift store.  (Not only for PBS, but also to get books to send to the troops overseas.)  Anyway, at that time prices for books were 25 cents per paperback, $1 per hardcover.  I would regularly leave with anywhere from 40-60 books.  But last year, I found out they had raised their prices - but only when I got to the cash register!  Paperbacks are now well over a dollar, and hardcovers close to $5.  I stopped going because it didn't make sense from a financial standpoint - I could just buy credits at those prices.  The local libraries are not an option.  Books they offer at sales are in horrible condition and would be unpostable.  I wish I could find another source with reasonable prices.




Date Posted: 12/19/2010 2:14 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2009
Posts: 20,210
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Our GW has gotten really expensive too. It used to be all PBs were $.25 to $0.50 and hard covers were $1 to $2. Now all PBs are $1 to $3 and HCs are $3 to $5. We only have 1 UBS within 20 miles of us and his prices are pretty good.  For the most part PBs are half the retail price and HCs are between $2 and $5. Anything he has over 10 copies (PBs and HCs) of and all his skinny romance books are only $0.25.

Date Posted: 12/19/2010 11:54 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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Goodwill: 50cents for paperbacks and $1.00 for hardbacks

Salvation Army: 29cents for any book. Half price on Wednesdays.

Both locations charge the same price no matter what the book's condition. Quality runs the gamut from brand new, to the ones that I wonder why they don't trash.