I love Half Price Books. A regular bookstore where everything is half price or better. What a brilliant idea. To top it off, they even let you sell your old books to them for cash. I thought this might be a good way to clean up the old home library. We have collected several books we rarely touch, and even more rarely think about or read.
I packed up a box full of books and headed to the local Half Price Book Store. It is only 10 minutes away and easily accessible to the freeway. I hoped to get at least $50 for my box of books, which I thought was extremely low considering several of the books cost at least $30 or more. However, $50 would have been worth the trip.
The way it works is that you take your books to the counter, and while they are tabulating your box of books, you can wander around looking for new books to spend your cash on. They told me that once they tabulated everything they would make an offer and I could accept or decline. I had come in with the intention to take whatever offer they gave me.
I left with the whole box of books. Not only was the offer well below my expectations ($26), I wouldn't even be able to buy the new books I had picked up while wandering around the store. I was incredulous. Still am. Now I know that if I want to sell enough books to buy a few new books, I have to bring my whole bookcase. Crazy!
I decided to check out a couple websites that offer to buy books from you. One is Cash 4 Books, which would only take 6 of the books I was offering for $45. The other website, Powell's Books, Offered me $7 for 3 other books. This is totaling $52 (or twice as much as Half Price) for only 9 books of the offered 20-30. Not bad. Good thing I didn't take Half Price's offer. It's a rip off.
In Half Price's defense, I'm sure that they have seen an influx of people bringing in old books due to the economy. They were the only place I checked out that would actually take all of the books. Based on simple principles of supply and demand, I can't really imagine that they are offering top prices in this economy. It is still surprising though that I can get double their offer with a third of the books.