The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Book Pricing Scheme at Sally Army

Hit the 23rd Street Salvation Army during my 3-D / offline outing yesterday and discovered they have a new pricing scheme.

Basically they charge 30% (or 20%, can't remember) of the lowest marked price on the book. A $23.95 hardcover would be $7.18. If it was a B&N special--stickered at $6.50--the price would be $1.95.

They had typed, laminated prices sheets tacked up (forgot to take a picture but next time) laying out the pricing spread. It was slick enough that I was wondering if it came from HQ. Has anyone else encounter this?

I have mixed feeling about this policy since it doesn't take into account condition, desirability or any of a number of factors. But at most SAs there's no one capable of correctly pricing books--and I've noticed them creeping up to ludicrous levels lately--so at least this is consistent.

And if they don't have a minimum price point (and there may be) a bookbuyer could do well on vintage HCs and PBs that were price at anywhere from $.35-$5.95.


Nathan Roberts said...

They are going to find themselves overflowing with a lot of unsold books. That's a rather idiotic pricing strategy.

Our Salvation Army is currently charging $2.47 for Hardcovers, and $1.47 for softcovers, and that is comparatively expensive for this area. As a result, they are overflowing with junk books, and adding more shelving to accommodate the books that aren't selling. I have a strong feeling a lot of books aren't even making it out to the shelves because they "aren't selling" and are winding up in the garbage. I hardly ever find myself going there anymore... and if they adopt the pricing strategy you're talking about, I won't go there at all.

Joanna said...

The Salvation Army near me (Cambridge, MA) just did this too - hardcovers are 80% off cover price, paperbacks 90% off. At first I was annoyed - a new hardcover is $6! - but I've really made out on vintage paperbacks (ie Venus on the Halfshell for 39 cents!) and books without cover prices. It can't last, though - not only do they have mounds of unsold books, the employees HATE it.

gabriel said...

Wow... I can only say that this sucks. Was in another thrift store this weekend, marveling at the absurdly high prices charged for used books. Kills me.

Pharoah said...

I loathe when thrift stores do this, or write varying prices inside books.
Our local Goodwills have now decided that paperbacks will be priced at $1.99 and hardbacks at $3.00. The consequence has been that more books are staying on their shelves and I believe this is deservedly so. The paperbacks used to be .69¢ and hardbacks $1.19.