Half-Price Books - What do you think?
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 3 of 612, 3, 456
Author

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7946
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Feb 25, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:02 pm 
 

MichaelC wrote: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. :)


Thanks for posting, Michael. While I don't like my HPB employees to be TOO knowledgable about the game items (I'd never get a good deal  :lol: ), I do appreciate it when they at least do their job well. It sounds like you are one of the few that knows what they are doing, and helps the customers rather than hindering them.  

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 601
Joined: Apr 15, 2007
Last Visit: Feb 23, 2021
Location: Cleveland, OH

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:12 pm 
 

Yeah. And remember HALF PRICE is just that.

So when you come across an OCE WHITE BOX, remember, half of $12.00 is SIX DOLLARS.

:)

We have a real jackass at one of the three stores around here - he runs the games section, and is a gamer himself. When the "good stuff" comes in (he does this by his own admission), he prices the items at 1/2 price and then sets them aside for himself to purchase with his ADDITIONAL employee discount.

All of the gamers in greater Cleveland used to wipe out that  1/2 Price's gaming section quite frequently...now, there's four shelves of so-so garbage priced at what he "thinks" collectors can pay. I had to laugh at the beatdown 1E Monster Manual marked at $9.98.

What a tool.


Original 28mm fantasy gaming miniatures at http://www.centerstageminis.com

  


Active Collector

Posts: 52
Joined: Jul 31, 2006
Last Visit: Jan 14, 2016

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:17 pm 
 

The 3 Half Price Books stores in the Indy area have been a great place to find stuff for me.  Unfortunately, I don't get down there enough to really take advantage of them.

  


Active Collector

Posts: 64
Joined: Jun 24, 2007
Last Visit: Feb 28, 2021
Location: Indiana

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:42 pm 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:Yeah. And remember HALF PRICE is just that.

So when you come across an OCE WHITE BOX, remember, half of $12.00 is SIX DOLLARS.

:)

We have a real jackass at one of the three stores around here - he runs the games section, and is a gamer himself. When the "good stuff" comes in (he does this by his own admission), he prices the items at 1/2 price and then sets them aside for himself to purchase with his ADDITIONAL employee discount.

All of the gamers in greater Cleveland used to wipe out that  1/2 Price's gaming section quite frequently...now, there's four shelves of so-so garbage priced at what he "thinks" collectors can pay. I had to laugh at the beatdown 1E Monster Manual marked at $9.98.

What a tool.

Then he's violating store policy.  Nobody is allowed to price the stuff he or she intends to buy.  Those items are to be given to a manager for pricing.  Nice of him to flaunt that to his customers...

 WWW  

User avatar

Verbose Collector

Posts: 1026
Joined: Jun 05, 2005
Last Visit: Jan 31, 2021
Location: Huntsville, Ala.

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:03 pm 
 

MichaelC wrote:Since I work at one of the HPB stores in Indiana


Do you know of any plans to open a HPB store in Huntsville, AL?  Or perhaps Nashville, Chattanooga, or Birmingham? (All are within 100 miles of Huntsville).

Thanks,
Keith


"Not all those who wander are lost." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

  


Active Collector

Posts: 64
Joined: Jun 24, 2007
Last Visit: Feb 28, 2021
Location: Indiana

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:09 pm 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:
Do you know of any plans to open a HPB store in Huntsville, AL?  Or perhaps Nashville, Chattanooga, or Birmingham? (All are within 100 miles of Huntsville).

Thanks,
Keith

Wish I could help you there, Keith, but that's not in our region, so we don't usually hear about it until we read about the grand opening that happened two weeks ago in the corporate newsletter. :)

I'll keep my eyes open though.  Right now they seem to be focusing a lot on the midwest: new stores and renovations for Illinois and Ohio seem to be the word right now.  There's a new Chicago store that's going to open up either at the end of 07 or start of 08.  Other than that, I'm not aware of any new stores going up.

- Michael

 WWW  

User avatar

Sage Collector

Posts: 2737
Joined: May 31, 2007
Last Visit: Dec 30, 2020

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:14 pm 
 

*uses mental control* Need to open a store in Buffalo, NY.... get out of the near-Midwest and go east, damnit.


Those who can, don't. Those who should not, do.

  

User avatar

Verbose Collector

Posts: 1026
Joined: Jun 05, 2005
Last Visit: Jan 31, 2021
Location: Huntsville, Ala.

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:21 pm 
 

MichaelC wrote:Right now they seem to be focusing a lot on the midwest: new stores and renovations for Illinois and Ohio seem to be the word right now.  There's a new Chicago store that's going to open up either at the end of 07 or start of 08.  Other than that, I'm not aware of any new stores going up.

- Michael


Bummer.  I'd been hoping for a store down this way.  Thanks for responding. :)

Keith


"Not all those who wander are lost." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

  


Prolific Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 468
Joined: Nov 25, 2006
Last Visit: Feb 27, 2021

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:32 pm 
 

Thanks for the good post Michael.

 WWW  


Active Collector

Posts: 64
Joined: Jun 24, 2007
Last Visit: Feb 28, 2021
Location: Indiana

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:52 pm 
 

brute wrote:Thanks for the good post Michael.

No problem. :)

http://www.halfpricebooks.com/find_a_store.html

That might be of interest for people to check from time to time.  Looks like they keep a log of where the new stores are opening and when the grand openings are.  Apparently, Illinois, Texas and Pennsylvania are all getting new stores this year.

For those who want stores in new areas, I'd urge you to write to or call the corporate headquarters down in Dallas.  While I wish I had something to do with where new stores were opened, alas, I'm just a regular ol' peon.

Customer Service can be reached via e-mail at [email protected], or via their 800 number of (800) 833-2114.

Corporate HQ sadly is a long-distance call for anybody who doesn't live in Dallas, but the number is (214) 360-0833 if you want to talk to a human being.  Also, every store should have comment cards available at the cash register; ask for one the next time you're there, fill it out, and in the comments section tell them where you'd like to see a new store.  It's probably no exaggeration to say that one of those cards gets more attention than one hundred employees telling their managers where someone said they wanted a new store.

I hope this helps (also, I'm not a corporate shill, I swear).  I just wanna help some fine folks get good deals on filling in their collection gaps. :)

- Michael

 WWW  

User avatar

Sage Collector

Posts: 2737
Joined: May 31, 2007
Last Visit: Dec 30, 2020

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:55 pm 
 

Hey, thanks. That's not too bad. Pittsburgh has 2, and its only about 3 hours away... I could do that trip sometimes.


Those who can, don't. Those who should not, do.

  


Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6463
Joined: Dec 13, 2004
Last Visit: Dec 25, 2019

Post Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 10:40 pm 
 

serleran wrote:Hey, thanks. That's not too bad. Pittsburgh has 2, and its only about 3 hours away... I could do that trip sometimes.


Serl, I wouldn't waste my time if I were you, unless of course you have an wierd desire to pick up sh*t loads of 2nd edition splat books.  Thats about all you ever find in the HPBs here.... :?


"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." -Neitzche

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 339
Joined: Sep 09, 2006
Last Visit: Mar 26, 2017
Location: 8000 feet below the summit of Pikes Peak, Colorado

Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:03 am 
 

serleran wrote:*uses mental control* Need to open a store in Buffalo, NY.... get out of the near-Midwest and go east, damnit.


Need to get out of midwest and east and open in Colorado . . . Colorado Springs, Denver, and Pueblo...!!! 8)

  


Active Collector

Posts: 64
Joined: Jun 24, 2007
Last Visit: Feb 28, 2021
Location: Indiana

Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:12 am 
 

sleepyCO wrote:
Need to get out of midwest and east and open in Colorado . . . Colorado Springs, Denver, and Pueblo...!!! 8)

There's a pretty funny reason why they haven't opened a HPB store anywhere in Colorado (at least, it's funny to me - I imagine the corporate people don't think it's very amusing).

When HPB first trademarked its business name, they didn't do it in all fifty states, just Texas.  (Keep in mind, this was like 30 years ago and the two people who started it were hippies without Harvard Business degrees).  A few years after they opened up the first HPB in Texas, a little old lady got the idea to open a used bookstore called Half Price Books, Inc. in Colorado (Englewood, as it turns out).  She trademarked the name in Colorado only, since she was just doing a local business.

Fast-forward a few years, and Half Price Books attempts to trademark their name in all fifty states.  49 states give them no problem...but there's something wrong in Colorado, since this woman already trademarked the name there in 1986.

Over the years, HPB has made every effort to acquire the "Half Price Books" trademark from this woman, but she has steadfastly refused to sell it to the company because she doesn't want to re-name her business.  Keep in mind - this is basically a one-woman operation, and the people who have been there say it's a very, very small store.  Yet this woman has single-handedly prevented HPB from opening up a single store in Colorado because of this. :)

A couple years back, I understand the woman who owned the store passed away and willed the store to her children, who continue to tend it to this day.  I hear that HPB is still making them all kinds of offers on the trademark, but from what I understand they haven't sold it and have no plans to do so.

So, until one of this woman's kids finally caves in and sells the Colorado-based HPB trademark to the Texas-based HPB, you won't see any Texas-based HPB stores anywhere in the entire state.

http://half-pricebooksinc.com/index.html

There's a link to their website.

Does this strike anybody else as being gut-bustingly funny?  Because I cannot help but laugh every time I think about it. :)

I guess you could send them an e-mail asking them to sell the name to the Texas-based HPB so they can open up stores in your state, but it doesn't strike me as being a tactic that is very likely to work...

- Michael

 WWW  

User avatar

Sage Collector

Posts: 2737
Joined: May 31, 2007
Last Visit: Dec 30, 2020

Post Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:30 am 
 

Serl, I wouldn't waste my time if I were you, unless of course you have an wierd desire to pick up sh*t loads of 2nd edition splat books.


Heh, I actually need a couple of them, since I didn't buy them when they came out, and have not bothered picking them up otherwise. Kind of sad, really, but even I don't have a use for them (unless I just wanted to have a complete 2e collection, which I could care less about.) :)


Those who can, don't. Those who should not, do.

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 123
Joined: Oct 06, 2005
Last Visit: May 22, 2017
Location: Cleveland, OH

Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:33 pm 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:Yeah. And remember HALF PRICE is just that.

So when you come across an OCE WHITE BOX, remember, half of $12.00 is SIX DOLLARS.

:)

We have a real jackass at one of the three stores around here - he runs the games section, and is a gamer himself. When the "good stuff" comes in (he does this by his own admission), he prices the items at 1/2 price and then sets them aside for himself to purchase with his ADDITIONAL employee discount.

All of the gamers in greater Cleveland used to wipe out that  1/2 Price's gaming section quite frequently...now, there's four shelves of so-so garbage priced at what he "thinks" collectors can pay. I had to laugh at the beatdown 1E Monster Manual marked at $9.98.

What a tool.


Which store is that? One in the Cleveland area? I found a buttload of modules at the Great Northern store last week. Everything was  priced at $5, including the stuff that was beat to s**t. I picked up five items, much to my wife's dismay.  :lol:


"We were put on this Earth to fart around."
                            - Kurt Vonnegut

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 601
Joined: Apr 15, 2007
Last Visit: Feb 23, 2021
Location: Cleveland, OH

Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:01 pm 
 

I saw those too...and got several of the ones that were marked at $2.98...left most of the $4.98 stuff there, as it was SERIOUSLY rocked.

Great Northern's half price is where gaming guy used to work - the one who "roots through" the gaming stuff and keeps the good stuff for himself. Apparently, either he's gone or he has all the 1E stuff he needs.

I used to pick up AMAZING things there...3.5 books for $9.98....The 1/2 Price in Rocky River just had several copies of the D&D 3.5 Dungeon Masters Guide II for only $12.98.

:)


Original 28mm fantasy gaming miniatures at http://www.centerstageminis.com

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 123
Joined: Oct 06, 2005
Last Visit: May 22, 2017
Location: Cleveland, OH

Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:11 am 
 

Center_Stage_Hobbies wrote:I saw those too...and got several of the ones that were marked at $2.98...left most of the $4.98 stuff there, as it was SERIOUSLY rocked.

Great Northern's half price is where gaming guy used to work - the one who "roots through" the gaming stuff and keeps the good stuff for himself. Apparently, either he's gone or he has all the 1E stuff he needs.

I used to pick up AMAZING things there...3.5 books for $9.98....The 1/2 Price in Rocky River just had several copies of the D&D 3.5 Dungeon Masters Guide II for only $12.98.

:)


I was there Tuesday, they're down to one. I took a look at it, and thought about buying it, but declined. I'm a little tired of WotC putting out loads of useless, overpriced books (though $13 is pretty good.)

I've found the most at Great Northern, followed by Mayfield, since I work near there. RR and Mentor not so much, but I don't get to those too often because they're kinda outta the way for me.


"We were put on this Earth to fart around."
                            - Kurt Vonnegut

  

User avatar

Sage Collector

Posts: 2332
Joined: Feb 20, 2006
Last Visit: Aug 27, 2017
Location: Shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods

Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:06 pm 
 

The HPB stores in Houston, Texas, are disappointing.  :(  After seeing the Houston stores, I won't be as quick to complain about the overpricing of  RPG items in the DFW stores.

I didn't visit the Rice Village or Clear Lake stores.  The North Oaks store had the best selection of stuff, but the others were kinda small.

I did pick up the Monsters & Treasures book for Castles & Crusades for $10.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7946
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Feb 25, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:17 pm 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:The HPB stores in Houston, Texas, are disappointing.  :(  After seeing the Houston stores, I won't be as quick to complain about the overpricing of  RPG items in the DFW stores.

I didn't visit the Rice Village or Clear Lake stores.  The North Oaks store had the best selection of stuff, but the others were kinda small.

I did pick up the Monsters & Treasures book for Castles & Crusades for $10.


Did you try the Westheimer stores yet?  I've picked up decent items in both, but they are hit and miss. The Rice Village store is generally a huge strikeout. Haven't been to the Clear Lake store in awhile, it's so far south.

Are you already there? Man, someone got up early today!!!

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  
PreviousNext
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 3 of 612, 3, 456