Have you ever went into a thrift store such as Goodwill or Salvation Army with your trusty book scouting scanner and started scanning away? After an hour or two you find that you’ve only picked out a handful of listable books. You then think to yourself, “I wonder if another online bookseller has been here before me.” Little did you know that online bookseller may have been the thrift store itself!
Check out this article about thrift stores selling books on the Internet. It looks like we’re competing with the big dogs!
Yes, it’s true. Some thrift stores including Goodwill and the Salvation Army aren’t giving you those dirt cheap books anymore and doing the dirty work themselves of listing online. They’ve found that we’ve been buying books out from under their noses all this time and have been making a nice profit off of the books that are donated to them. I can’t get as aggravated about this as if another bookseller was taking my stock, unfortunately. Thrift stores exist to give jobs to unfortunate individuals and to generate money for charitable events. I’d much rather get beaten to the punch by the thrift store than one of my blood-sucking, proft-driven fellow online booksellers!
In all honesty, I’ve known that Goodwill sells a lot of books online due to some conversations I’ve had with Indaba Systems. They are Goodwill’s vendor for listing software. I sighed whenever I first heard that.
In the future, it may be a good decision to ask an employee or two if they sell their books online before you start scouting. I’d be miffed if I searched through a few hundred books and find that there were no gems in there because they’ve already been cherry picked. If you’re going to ask, I’d approach it as a customer and not as a bookseller though. I’ve found it’s always best to be as discrete as possible.
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