Half-Price Books - What do you think?
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Post Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 8:47 am 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:Hitting the stores in the Sea-Tac area isn't as difficult as hitting the DFW stores.  Up in Seattle, the traffic isn't as bad, the stores are cleaner, BadMike and the rest of the DFW Acaeum crew are 2000 miles away . . .

DFW's roadside scenery is bad.  The stores are farther apart and a bit dirtier (still clean --- just not as shiny).  DFW also doesn't have the RPG companies that Seattle has.

$4 gas should not deter you from making the rounds of the HPB stores . . . who knows what rarities lurk in the hearts of them?

But $3 gas shall deter the DFW crew from HPB this weekend!  Stay away!  Is that boxed Goodman Games set really worth the drive?  :)


So John....what do you look like?  That way when I see you I can holler at an employee and tell them I saw you shove a book down your pants.  :P

I just think we need to carve up the HPB territory.   Mike can have Arlington and the mid-cities.  I'll take the Plano and Richardson stores.  You can have whatever is left including the monster flagship store on Northwest highway.  Sound good?  :wink:

  

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Post Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 9:11 am 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:So John....what do you look like?  That way when I see you I can holler at an employee and tell them I saw you shove a book down your pants.  :P

I'll be the one that looks like he works at the store because he is straightening up the shelves.  :)  Seriously, if everything is randomly inserted into the shelves, I can't find anything by scanning the shelves.  I have to flip through the shelves by hand, and at that point I might as well tidy them up.   Spotting new stock is also easier for a week or two after that.

20%-off weekends are not the time to straighten things up.

Kingofpain89 wrote:I just think we need to carve up the HPB territory.   Mike can have Arlington and the mid-cities.  I'll take the Plano and Richardson stores.  You can have whatever is left including the monster flagship store on Northwest highway.  Sound good?  :wink:

On a related note, I will be attempting to hit at least three to five Lone Star Comics on Free Game Day --- Mesquite (over the highway from HPB), Mockingbird (up the highway from HPB), Plano (across from HPB), Irving (by HPB), and Fort Worth (by HPB).

  

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Post Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 9:35 am 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:On a related note, I will be attempting to hit at least three to five Lone Star Comics on Free Game Day --- Mesquite (over the highway from HPB), Mockingbird (up the highway from HPB), Plano (across from HPB), Irving (by HPB), and Fort Worth (by HPB).


Screw you guys....I'm poaching territory.

Mesquite AND the FW HPB on Hulen?  Man that is ambitious!!!! Gas is too expensive!!!

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 9:58 am 
 

When is Free Game Day again???

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Post Posted: Sun May 27, 2007 11:10 pm 
 

Hi everyone,

I live in Rhode Island, and unfortunately the nearest Half-Price Books store to me is in Pennsylvania...  :(

However, two years ago I went out to Phoenix, Arizona, and had a great time poking around all the used book stores in that area.  I did visit the HPB in Phoenix, plus the one in Superstition Springs.  I must admit that I didn't find much for RPG stuff in either store, but maybe I just hit them at a bad time.

I did have better luck at another used bookstore chain out there called Bookman's, though.

Wish we had places like that in New England, but with real estate prices at ludicrous rates, I don't see it happening anytime soon...   :(

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JohnH
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:32 pm 
 

HPB is part of my regular circuit of stores to hit. There are four in the Cleveland area and three in Columbus. The one in C'bus I've been to has had stuff way overpriced, like Dragons for $10, but I've managed to find some good deals there. There are a few comic shops in my area that sell 1st ed. stuff, but they price stuff kinda high too, like an orange White Plume Mountain for $20.

But as a store, I love HPB. I buy pretty much all my books there, though I did hit the annual book sale at Case Western Reserve Univ. over the weekend. No D&D, unfortunately.


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:36 pm 
 

You guys actually have a real store to go into? Wow, lucky. I have to deal with them online, and they suck. Half off, my bunghole.

  


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:59 pm 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:I can second what BadMike says about HPB in Dallas-Fort Worth --- they are hit-and-miss.

Boxed sets are often laughably overpriced and fscking taped shut.  Tape may every-so-slightly deter theft, but it definitely deters collecting.  A side effect of being clueless (or generous to balance the scales?) is that boxed sets can have more junk inside than they should.

Miscellanous bits and interesting items can also be found at cheap prices.  I recently saw the Silver Anniversary G1 and G2 modules for $0.98 apiece.

BTW, HPB is having a 20% off sale this weekend . . .


That has been my experience as well.  Sometimes you feel so lucky you can't bring yourself to buy something because you feel like you've ripped them off, other times you just sigh.

And what is in stock varies dramatically from week to week.


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Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:58 am 
 

oh man, oop rpgs... Travelling man used to sell a lot of stuff, I got the complete book of necromancers for abou £4 I think as well as a second copy of Harbinger house for £2:50 which I sold on for about £8.. whooo.
unfortunately, they've stopped stocking second hand books and theres nowhere else about that sells them. Ebay is alas, my only option. Shamereally, I love bargians


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:04 am 
 

Badmike asked
When is Free Game Day again???


Pretty sure it's on June 23rd  :cry:  (because only applies to US)


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:33 pm 
 

AdderMcOne wrote:Pretty sure it's on June 23rd  :cry:  (because only applies to US)

Here are two links:

http://www.freerpgday.com/stores.htm
http://www.freerpgday.com/sponsors.htm

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:36 pm 
 



Looks like all the local Lone Stars are participating....Generation X is only a block away, I'll be there when they open!

JG, if you are coming this direction (for the Fort Worth or Arlington LSC), maybe we could catch a lunch.  I don't know what Aneoth and Kingofpain are doing that day, but I know King wants to hit as many LSC as possible to pick up some free stuff.  Maybe we can meet up.  Hell, what's Gus Landt up to?  We should have a mini-Acaeum meeting after we are done.

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:25 am 
 

Badmike wrote:JG, if you are coming this direction (for the Fort Worth or Arlington LSC), maybe we could catch a lunch.  I don't know what Aneoth and Kingofpain are doing that day, but I know King wants to hit as many LSC as possible to pick up some free stuff.  Maybe we can meet up.  Hell, what's Gus Landt up to?  We should have a mini-Acaeum meeting after we are done.

Lunch does sound good.  I should be able to do that since I am randomly driving around anyway . . .

I still have a goal of hitting as many stores as possible, though throwing in some stops at HPB will slow me down.  A carpool with King would make more sense but be impossible to coordinate, since I want to drive where I want to drive when I want to drive.   :D

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:30 am 
 

Back to Half-Price Books . . .

According to the HPB website, an "Everything $1 or less" warehouse sale is being held June 9-10 in Seattle.  The location isn't a storefront, so it literally may be a warehouse.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:41 am 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:Lunch does sound good.  I should be able to do that since I am randomly driving around anyway . . .

I still have a goal of hitting as many stores as possible, though throwing in some stops at HPB will slow me down.  A carpool with King would make more sense but be impossible to coordinate, since I want to drive where I want to drive when I want to drive.   :D


I only plan on going to the Plano LSC.  A friend of mine from out-of-town may be coming in that weekend so I am not sure about my plans that weekend yet.

I'll see if he has any problems with hanging around a bunch of RPG nerds for a bit.  PDT_Armataz_01_11

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:45 am 
 

It's Friday; I might as well do my best to annoy people.

Texans:

If one drives from Dallas to Houston in search of Half-Price Books, which stores are the best to hit over a two-day period?  I see eight stores in the Houston area; in what order should I hit them?

Also, will I frickin' melt in the June heat and humidity of Houston?  The last time I was there I lost 10 or 15 pounds in a matter of weeks.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:02 am 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:It's Friday; I might as well do my best to annoy people.

Texans:

If one drives from Dallas to Houston in search of Half-Price Books, which stores are the best to hit over a two-day period?  I see eight stores in the Houston area; in what order should I hit them?

Also, will I frickin' melt in the June heat and humidity of Houston?  The last time I was there I lost 10 or 15 pounds in a matter of weeks.


JG;

I have stepkids in the Houston area, so I hit the stores there about once or twice a year...I usually space it out over two days since there is a lot of area to cover.

First, yes, the heat and humidity are brutal in Houston, "The Toilet that never flushes" as one of my friends so admirably referred to that city..... 8O

I would ignore the Rice Village store and the Clearwater (Egret Bay) store....havent' found anything useful at either the last few times I've been.  Plus, the Clearwater store is WAY south and not near any of the others (unless you want to combine a trip there with a trip to NASA, which is close by).  They rarely have any decent gaming stuff. The Rice store is an ass whipping.  No parking, always packed full of people, and a gaming section maybe half a shelf wide filled with crap.  Avoid at all costs. The Copperfield store you might also cross off your list; it is way, way up in the NE sector of the city, and most times not worth the long drive.

My favorite stores in the last few years have been both the stores on Westheimer; The Sugarland (south) and Humble (west) stores; and the North Oaks center store.  All have yielded treasures at one time or another.  If you visit the store on East Westheimer, be sure to visit Nan's which is a few blocks away.  It used to be Houston's premier game store; a gigantic building filled with all sorts of goodies.  Alas, the years, and flooding, have removed all the coolest stuff.  Still, very well stocked and every once in a great while you can come across a treasure.

You can probably hit the five stores i mentioned in one day if you start early; I have done it before.  It may take all day, but with so many good places to eat in Houston who cares...! Be sure to stop at Taco Milagro at least once. (The Kirby store)

Damn, I wish I was going now!!!! :D

Mike B.


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Last edited by Badmike on Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:04 am 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:I only plan on going to the Plano LSC.

Oh, come join the madness . . .  what could be crazier than driving hundreds of miles for free stuff?

If I get one copy of the Goodman Games DCC module, I'll be happy.  Given the franchise nature of LSC, I fully expect that a combination of the following will happen at any given store:

(1) Be told that I must buy something to get the swag.
(2) Be told that I must sit down and play a scheduled game to get the swag.
(3) Be told that the DCC is sold out.
(4) Be handed some leftover comics from Free Comics Day.
(5) Be told that other LSC stores have called about the idiot wanting free RPGs, and that I must go away.
(6) Be told to wait in line for a long, long time.
(7) Be given a blank stare when asking about Free Games Day.

I could be wrong and wind up with half-a-dozen DCC modules, in which case I can offer some to the overseas members.  I don't  plan on getting and keeping more than two copies of the DCC module.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:17 am 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:Oh, come join the madness . . .  what could be crazier than driving hundreds of miles for free stuff?

If I get one copy of the Goodman Games DCC module, I'll be happy.  Given the franchise nature of LSC, I fully expect that a combination of the following will happen at any given store:

(1) Be told that I must buy something to get the swag.
(2) Be told that I must sit down and play a scheduled game to get the swag.
(3) Be told that the DCC is sold out.
(4) Be handed some leftover comics from Free Comics Day.
(5) Be told that other LSC stores have called about the idiot wanting free RPGs, and that I must go away.
(6) Be told to wait in line for a long, long time.
(7) Be given a blank stare when asking about Free Games Day.

I could be wrong and wind up with half-a-dozen DCC modules, in which case I can offer some to the overseas members.  I don't  plan on getting and keeping more than two copies of the DCC module.


Being LSC is a toy store masquerading as a comic/game store, I would have to agree with all the above points. Every single ass-whip you wrote, and probably some we didn't think of, might be occuring that day. I'm going to try at least my local two stores in case a brain cell is functioning by an employee and I can actually walk out with some goodies.  I'll check with Wayne (owner of Generation X) this week to see what his procedure is going to be, hopefully it's no hassle unlike the LSC.
 As an aside, the original LSC owner's son now runs the stores, and word is he despises comics and games.  If he had his druthers, he'd sell them all and deal in toys/figurines exclusively. The stores I go to are very spottily filled with games, but not every system, and they run out of their comic shipments pretty quickly.  As badly run as the chain is, there is little competition, so no wonder they stay in business.  I've heard their internet business makes ten times what the brick and mortar stores bring in, not surprising.....

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:56 pm 
 

Since I work at one of the HPB stores in Indiana, the idea that the other stores in the chain are treating their customers this way is just mind-blowing.  At the same time, it doesn't surprise me one bit (the Ohio stores especially seem to have all sorts of problems with pricing out-of-print materials for some reason).

I don't run the Games & Humor section at my store, but I wind up pricing nearly all of the gaming stuff that comes through, whether it is current or out of print, because I'm the resident gamer of the store.  I've been collecting TSR 1st and 2nd edition products for twenty years now, and I've never had a problem selling the classic stuff out of my store.

I'm certainly not claiming to be a know-it-all (I'm far from it, in fact, and quite prone to mistakes), but I know how to treat the stuff so collectors and casual browsers alike will be apt to buy it.  I've got a huge personal collection, so I know what to look for in most items.  Modules and boxed sets are checked very carefully for completeness before being polybagged, and any missing item that I find deducts money from the price of the item.  I also write up descriptions on post-it notes included in the bag to indicate what edition, what print run, and whether or not the set is complete; if it is incomplete, I list what is missing.  The price sticker is also placed on a post-it note before being attached to the cover of the item, which makes it very easy to remove once you've gotten it home and pulled it out of the bag.  Needless to say, we very rarely have these items sit on our shelves for very long - all the collectors in the city know to come to us for a very fair price on their gaming goods, and an indication of when something is missing a map, a handout, or some cardboard counters.

I've told my managers about the Acaeum and requested that it be listed on the Intranet page with the other links to sources like Amazon, AbeBooks and eBay for helping pricers get their stuff right, but so far that hasn't happened.  This isn't surprising, since all of that stuff is taken care of out of Dallas, Texas and not locally by us. :)

A lot of what you get out of HPB (or any other used bookstore, really) depends on who is in charge of the sections.  When you get somebody who knows LPs in charge of the LP section, you get a great selection of stuff at cheap prices, and someone who has an eye for the collectable items that should go out for more than fifty cents or a buck.  When you have somebody who knows nothing about LPs doing the section, you get a lot of trash to sort through in the hopes that you get a couple good deals and almost nothing pulled aside and showcased for the collectors.  Sadly, from what I know from personal experience, many stores in the company do not have these types of people in these jobs and their shelves suffer for it.

Just thought you might like to hear from somebody who works for the store and actually tries to get stuff right. :)

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