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I saw a person with scanner in Goodwill scanning books.

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Like the title says, I saw a guy with a portable scanner and a cell phone scanning barcodes on books in Goodwill, and then putting some of them in a basket to buy.

Do anyone knows what they may looking for, is it a high price books for resell or something else?

I think I have seen it before, but did not think anything of it.

 

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I've seen quite a few people do that. I mean, if they're taking books, scanning them, then buying only so,e select stuff, what else can they be doing other than looking for books to resell at a higher price?

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For resale.  The only thrift store I used to go to 2 years ago would have a different person in their scanning every day of the week.  The phone would alert when a minimum resale price was found.  The book area was very compact and hard to get into as it was and they would 'guard' the isle and prevent anyone from looking at the books until they finish scanning them.  One of the reasons I quit going to thrift stores.  I still see this at the flea market every once in a while but it is rare.  I'm not going to lie, I look stuff up to resale while at the flea market but will step away from the table so as not to offend anyone.  On a side note, I found the rarest Atari game I have ever found in the wild last week, Waterworld (I did not need to look that up). 

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This sort of crass and unseemly greed is what kills stores in the long run by preventing anybody from getting good deals and ultimately driving customers away. If I ever saw this in person I would immediately alert the Manager or workers, and if they were okay with it I'd never bother going to the store again. There's already a few thrift and book stores that I stopped going to because there's no longer any good deals or have anything interesting. They used to always have great stuff. I've also stopped donating to those stores and I know that I'm not the only one. Once or twice a year (in normal years) I'll gather up all the cool and interesting thrift store books that bought, read, but won't be keeping and donate them right back to local stores so that they can get yet another sale from the exact same copy and that somebody else can have an interesting read. At least once I've even bought a book, donated it back, and then re-bought it after forgetting that I'd read that exact same copy, and then re-donated it back to the store.

 

On the flip side, several of my favorite thrift and used book stores have signs up that explicitly forbid scanning and Ebay lookups. These stores know how these sorts of leeches can drag down stores that, in the case of two different favorites of mine, happen to be run by actual charities and aren't about the money anywhere near as much as they are to serve the local community, help fund animal shelters and adoption services, and also serve as a place for affordable household goods, clothes, and furniture.  

 

Part of why a lot of people even go to stores that sell used items is the thrill of the hunt for those of us that are collectors, and for many more simple curiosity of seeing just what's out there (I enjoy seeing what's circulating in my community), but if there's never anything good or worth going for then eventually the traffic dwindles and the store goes away. I've seen this happen. This sort of scanning is not harmless, and actively creates a worse experience for everyone else.

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When the lockdown eased up and libraries were still closed, I went with my kids and got $50 worth of books to read.

 

This was a second time I saw someone scanning books in many years. The technology made this easier for them to do that.

 

I usually get audio CDs, movies, books and sometimes games from Goodwill. Recently they got a lot of DVD collections or complete seasons of TV shows. One day someone donated 100-200 Marvel comic books, I only got few of them because they priced them little high, maybe to discourage resale ($3-$6 each).

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Seems like a heck of an effort, I can't imagine reselling thrift store books will make you a lot of money. And any book that's actually worth a decent price probably doesn't have a barcode on it.

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I never heard or observed such a thing. But of course anything is possible and it doesn't surprise me one iota.

 

This whole thread is a reminder (as always) to not overpay for books on ebay or amazon. These. Are. OLD. Books. And so I pay old price.

 

 

Edited by Keatah
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Value Village prices have risen 10x in the past few years. I used to be able to pick up a leather jacket for a few bucks, now they want almost full price. Disgusting practice... especially since the majority of their product is from donations. 

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My local library has signs up during book sales that forbid the use of hand scanners. Keeps these cretins away.

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I used to frequent thrift stores a lot and I have seen this on many, many occasions. It annoys the hell out of me but what can you do if the stores don't seem to care. At one of the local thrifts the books are right next to where the old PC stuff is and on one occasion one of these book scanners saw me grabbing a few old PC's and asked me how I even make any money reselling those. It never even occurred to him I would want them for myself. Apparently you can make decent money reselling thrift store books, at least according to him.

Edited by soviet conscript
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On 10/12/2020 at 11:04 PM, soviet conscript said:

I used to frequent theft stores a lot and I have seen this on many, many occasions. It annoys the hell out of me but what can you do if the stores don't seem to care. At one of the local thrifts the books are right next to where the old PC stuff is and on one occasion one of these book scanners saw me grabbing a few old PC's and asked me how I even make any money reselling those. It never even occurred to him I would want them for myself. Apparently you can make decent money reselling thrift store books, at least according to him.

Wow I would not have been so kind if someone said that to me.  Sad that people don't get that someone might actually want to buy an out of print item to enjoy it!  Wow...predator.

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5 hours ago, onlyinajeep said:

Print out barcode on a label for an expensive book, place over barcodes on books at Goodwill :)

 

Better idea is for Goodwill to put their labels on barcodes. Win-Win.

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It's a tough balance to strike for these shops. Raising the price of books to $3-$5 can obviate most opportunities for profit (when you consider a valuable book to be worth $10 or a very valuable book to be worth more). After time for finding valuable stuff, sales tax, storage (it can take months or years to sell this crap), percentage from selling venue, the $5-$7 profit is now $2-$3. But then the thrift shop is stuck with way more books that didn't sell because they are priced at $3-$5.

 

I like finding books to keep or sell now and again, but when the price is that high, I'm not making any impulse purchases. Nor are 100 other customers that might have bought more as well. And supply is not the limitation at a thrift store, they usually have way too much donated product, the limitation is often managing stock.  It's a complex balance at play, and raising the prices can only go so far to counter resellers without stymieing regular buyers. 

 

And by the way I've been seeing people with scanners since the early 2000s. Personally I have more respect for those of us who base their purchases on their own experience, knowledge and passion, rather than mindless scanning or price checking. 

 

When I pull out my phone while resale shopping, I'm usually checking my spreadsheet to see if I own something already. But I'll admit, I'll occasionally check eBay to avoid overpaying, since thrift store prices are getting so high, I can sometimes buy stuff cheaper online. 

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2 hours ago, ianoid said:

When I pull out my phone while resale shopping, I'm usually checking my spreadsheet to see if I own something already.

I've done that before, I used to have a text file on my GBA.

Sometimes I kind of wished that I had a phone, just so I could check reviews on a game/movie and see if it's worth buying or not. I usually ended up checking when I got home, and maybe going back for it later.

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3 hours ago, ianoid said:

When I pull out my phone while resale shopping, I'm usually checking my spreadsheet to see if I own something already. But I'll admit, I'll occasionally check eBay to avoid overpaying, since thrift store prices are getting so high, I can sometimes buy stuff cheaper online. 

That's my exact go to anytime I go out anymore.  Sadly I'll also admit I held out a LONG time against this both with the list, but also the look up.  My mind was sharp enough from daily reading online I could remember the values of almost any game within multiple systems I paid attention to, and I could sense/feel out less familiar and did this a long time as I didn't have a data phone until the iphone5S was out.  Sadly in more recent times since the 5s thing have become so much more predatory for a lack of a nicer way to word it, causing so much instability, the phone is a must so the store doesn't roast you worse than buying it online and paying shipping still being less or worse notably less.

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I don't bother with thrift stores around here anymore.  They never have anything interesting because way too many people are scanning for resale.  I do visit flea markets when I can.  I keep a database (CLZ for movies and another freebie for games/books) so I can keep track of what I own.  If I find something interesting, that isn't necessarily cheap, I'll check eBay quick to make sure I'm not overpaying.  I understand everybody and their brother wanting to make a quick, easy buck...but they are literally killing the market.  People with limited income can't find squat.  Everyone else has to pay eBay prices for everything.  eBay was never meant to be a universal price guide for everything on the planet, but that is sadly what it has turned into.  Even if you find something in the wild it's almost always eBay prices.  Even rummage/garage sales are getting that way.  "How much do you want for this"?  Seller pulls out phone....
I'd like to see what would happen if eBay (and other sites) hid the option to view SOLD items....The world would probably end in total chaos.  😳🤣

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I looked through ShopGoodwill.com. Ridiculous. Their prices are now as high as Ebay's.  They even copied the "Buy It Now" option for some items.  Not good.  They are now getting Ebay-like payouts.  Sad.  As the theme song from the movie Warriors (original version) says, "There's no where to run. No where to hide".

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4 hours ago, Wyluli Wolf said:

If I find something interesting, that isn't necessarily cheap, I'll check eBay quick to make sure I'm not overpaying.

[..]

Everyone else has to pay eBay prices for everything.  eBay was never meant to be a universal price guide for everything on the planet, but that is sadly what it has turned into.  Even if you find something in the wild it's almost always eBay prices. 

Sounds contradictory with high eBay prices..?

 

4 hours ago, Wyluli Wolf said:

Even rummage/garage sales are getting that way.  "How much do you want for this"?  Seller pulls out phone....

That's when I walk away.

 

Sometimes I give the speech that the stuff is old, and used, and therefore is worth only a fraction of the original price. Junk don't accumulate no value!

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