Thrift Treasures (The Nora Roberts & Brad Meltzer Score)

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I don’t know what the hell is going on. I’m finding autographs left and right. I have a few theories; most of them having to do with houses getting cleaned out in estate sales and the rest of the stuff getting dumped at Goodwill because it is too much work to search through books. I wasn’t even planning to go, but I’m taking a trip to Las Vegas starting tomorrow, and I needed to run to the ATM (obviously). I stopped by two stores on the way to my bank’s ATM and somehow, someway, I found 3 autographed books. Considering the fact that two of them were 99 cents and one was $1.99, the deal wasn’t that bad. The first book I found was Nora Roberts aka JD Robb, autographed to someone back in 1993. IMG_9620.JPG

She has probably signed a ton of books over the years, considering she has sold 400 million books and probably has a yacht the size of Florida. Pretty cool pickup, and as of now, there are none on ebay.

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I picked this book up, yet, I have no idea who this author is. The sticker on the front made it obvious; he probably signed at a local store or something. I thought it was interesting President Clinton wrote an introduction to the book, which I don’t think he does very often.

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It was highly bizarre that he chose not to sign the usual author title page, but rather the page before. What a weirdo or a pretentious asshole.

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The shocker today, was a third autographed book in a very short time span. Notice the ripoff at Goodwill these days; it was at Big Lots across the street for 3 bucks. Goodwill dropped it by a buck. Even though it was a blue sticker day, it was still more expensive than the independent thrift shops. Yes, I know they say Goodwills are essentially “ebay supply stores” these days, but damn, they are pricing stuff like an antique store for crying out loud. When I started scalping twelve years ago, prices were 50 cents a book. Eventually their raising of prices, along with the postal service raising their rates, along with amazon raising their cut, then competition cutting prices to a penny basically destroyed my little operation and many others back in 2004-05. I’ve noticed this tendency with practically anything that looks of value. Not to let any penny go to a flipper, they do stuff like take a framed picture and price it at $80 bucks, although it won’t ever sell at that price. They will wait until it goes to half price sticker day and hopefully someone pays for the frame. Oil painting? $200 bucks despite knowing nothing about art. The store is pretty backwards these days which is why the flippers and ebay folks still pick the stores clean everyday (some in my town sit all day at each one in teams … yep, I call them the ebay mafia), but the collector types like me hunt in more obscure places they don’t know about. Plus, there are scams going on with the employees themselves. Tonight, as I walked out, I checked the record section, and only saw crap, until I walked on and in another section, buried beneath expired calendars, were two Frank Sinatra vinyls in pretty awesome shape. Stuff like this goes on all the time; I’m not a picker newbie. I know the workers in the back text their contacts when they see something good and coordinate a time to bring it out. IMG_9617.JPG

In any case, there it is, the last autograph by Brad Meltzer, boldy signed. Pretty cool for a buck. So, 3 autograph books, 2 Sinatra Albums, 1 Duck Dynasty sealed Chia Pet, and a first edition of Message in a Bottle … all for 9 bucks. Pretty good stop before hitting the ATM.

 

Thrift Treasures (The Oliver North Score)

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I quickly stopped in a Texas Thrift, and was shocked a little by the prices. Some books were as pricey as $3. I stayed for 30 minutes and found some good scores.

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I found a pretty good score. The Pimsleur Approach Spanish 1 language set was selling for $2.98. Brand new, this went for $250 back in 2010. On ebay now, this goes from $35 to $60 depending on the seller and condition. Many of the languages, especially advanced levels go for $99 to $150, so I’ll keep my eyes peeled in the future. I actually might listen to these on the way to work the next month and then sell online in August.

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This was my book haul. All in all, I overpaid. One I bought as a joke. I’m an Anne McCaffrey fan, so I paid $2 for this first edition since I didn’t own it already. I bought a first edition of “The Historian” because it might be collectable down the road. Who knows. I bought The New New Thing by Michael Lewis because I read most of his books. He had me hooked after Liar’s Poker although most people know him from The Blind Side, Moneyball, and The Big Short.

The score of the day? Oliver North, autographed. You can buy this for as low as $11.98 on ebay, but who knows in 20 years. IMG_9511.JPG

The big hint was the sticker on the front cover.

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An autograph is an autograph. I couldn’t go wrong for $2.

 

 

 

Thrift Treasures (The Annie Hall Score)

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I want to start with full disclosure. This is a combination of trips to Goodwill and actually happened in between the Tom Clancy and Bo Jackson score this week. I was going to write this blog but got excited with the Bo Jackson find that I wanted to share that first.

So on my trip to San Angelo, I visited a few of their stores. The prices were generally good, around a quarter to 50 cents for each book. This is much better than the 99 cents to 1.99 that San Antonio stores have tried to charge (prices fluctuate). I’m not sure if it helps with profit margins as anything of value is usually picked relatively fast. In any case, I picked up a bunch of books (maybe around 30, some will be blogged about in the future). I found a first edition of Confederacy of Dunces, however it was like a 10th printing and ex-library book (might be worth $30 on ebay). For 50 cents, I thought it was worth it to find a hardcover version. Maybe I’ll spot a first edition, first printing in the future, who knows. I picked up a Stephen King novel I didn’t now already for 50 cents. Despite the disappointment, I figured a buck for Harper Lee’s second book was worth a shot.

Along in the batch, I picked up a pretty decent score of older science fiction paperbacks that I want to share, but I need to do some research first. I still buy everything on a hunch and try not to spend time on documenting what I have, outside things I suspect are of value (autographs and rare first editions). So I don’t focus too much on that old DAW paperback first edition bought for a quarter and can be flipped for $15 on ebay. Just not my style. I am open to trades, but for now, I just buy what I like and recognize as value from a decade of researching.

So that brings me to the Annie Hall score. Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 10.37.18 PM.png

Right inside the jacket was this sticker and her autograph. I guess a couple years ago she attended this event, here in San Antonio and signed a ton of books (according to the news, the event raised $400K). This is what you would call 100% authentic. There was news coverage. There is the date stamped. Her name is on a sticker where she spoke as protestors screamed outside. Then the signature matches. Pretty cool find I think. Annie Hall was a good movie. The Godfather is a masterpiece. On ebay right now, this goes on average between $35-60.