The Best Thrift Stores For
Book Scouters

By Joe Waynick

The best thrift stores are the ones where you have close personal contacts that help you find valuable books you can sell online.

The old adage "It's not what you know but who you know" has never been truer than in online bookselling. Developing solid contacts in thrift stores should be the top priority of every serious bookseller who wants to earn top online profits.

When you know people on the inside, you can be alerted to new shipments arriving long before your online book selling competition has a clue and you can scoop up all the great deals.

And you can also know in advance when fresh inventory is going to be put out on the shelves in local thrift stores. This advanced information can mean a great deal to your online profits.

Just as importantly, you can know on which days to stay at home because no books will be processed so you don't waste your time, energy, and gas money visiting your community thrift store with stale, picked over inventory still on the shelves and there are no new books for sale.

Making The Connection

Okay, you're convinced. So just how do you establish these inside contacts? Start by introducing yourself. When you see a store clerk in the thrift store loading books onto the shelves, walk up to the person, give a big friendly smile and say "Hi!"

It's that easy. Make light, jovial conversation, nothing heavy, and make sure you're not interfering with the clerks' job.

They have things to do and they really don't appreciate being interrupted by overbearing customers who sell online.

However, in the best thrift stores almost all of the clerks don't mind a brief friendly greeting from the people they serve. I found this to be especially true in Goodwill thrift stores. Also, stay away from politics and religion! There's no faster way to make an enemy if you happen to be on the opposite side of those issuers from someone you're trying to befriend. Stick to book sales.

Find out the organizational scheme the clerk uses when stocking the shelves and pledge to keep the books in that order when you're book scouting.

Make Yourself Useful

Few things tweak thrift store clerks' more than inconsiderate customers who indiscriminately mess up the bookshelves and walk out, leaving the mess for the stocking clerk to clean up. This gives internet booksellers a bad name.

Frequently, you'll arrive at Savers thrift stores early and you'll have to wait for the books to be rolled out. While you're waiting, tidy up the bookshelves for the stocking clerk and you'll be pleasantly surprised by their reaction.

Take It Slow

Don't be pushy. I want to sell my used books as quick as the next person. However, you want to let the friendship evolve naturally.

You don't want the clerks to think that you're using them. That's not friendship. That's manipulation. An honest friendship is always a two-way street.

Follow this advice in the thrift store business you prospect and you'll soon discover that several of your book scout stops will turn into the best thrift stores on your map! That's exactly what happened with my favorite Goodwill thrift store.

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