Not too far from here, there's a thrift store. It works in conjunction with a local charity and there's usually something or other I can find to buy there. Usually, it's used books. I'm a sucker for used books. Natch.
Anyway, the last time I went there, I noticed I hadn't seen the manager in a while, so I asked about him. Well, he's moved on to a new mission in life. Good for him. The new manager, I was told, had all these great ideas on things. Okee. Whatever. Cool for you if you get more sales for your charity.
So, I went in there last week. Everything looks about the same. :shrug:
I wandered through to the books. I immediately found two paperbacks I needed. Then I found another two. Then I remembered that I'd heard they were changing the pricing on books from 4/$1 (used to be 5/$1) paperbacks. I scanned around for the new sign. PAPERBACKS 50c EACH.
Well, that kind of put a crimp in my crinolines. But whatever. I found two more I wanted and then walked over to the 'vintage' shelves. Big sign: VINTAGE $5 EACH. Oh, holy crap. Those used to be $1.50 ea. I was almost afraid to look at the hardcover section. Those only doubled in price from 50c to $1.
No hardcovers or vintage books for me that day. Time to check out. With only 6 paperbacks when I'd usually take home a bag of books. :shrug:
I made casual mention of the price change in books to the cashier. She must've been hearing it a lot because she got kind of defensive and a little snotty when she's usually quite nice. She told me how they're having trouble moving books. So much trouble that they're no longer accepting book donations. Which is why they raised the price.
No offense to her, but that's about the most stupidful thing I've ever heard. (Yes, so stupid, it deserved its own word - STUPIDFUL.) I didn't tell her she was stupidful. She doesn't set the prices or the policy for the store. This is one of the new manager's brilliant ideas.
As I was relaying this story to Hubs and then on Facebook, something occurred to me. This thinking seems to be what the traditional publishers are using. Book sales are down... supposedly... so jack the prices up. The last time I looked at buying a hardcover, it was $27.99. And I didn't buy it. I can't afford that. Just like I can't afford to buy 12-15 books from the thrift store like I used to. Not at 50c ea. $3. I had three dollars to spend. Period. It's called a budget, and I have to stick to it.
Oh, that store manager and those big publishers might comfort themselves with the idea that they made more money per book. But they're selling fewer books. For the thrift store, that means a backlog of excess inventory. For the publishers? I don't know how all that works. I would think it would mean the same. At the very least, it would mean their sales numbers are down. Thus, book sales are down. And I think it's showing in the pocketbooks of writers.
The cashier did invite me, in an oh-so-snotty tone, that I was welcome to come volunteer at the store, if I had a better idea. Oh, I do. I have a ton of awesome sales ideas that might benefit that place. And the idea of going in there and sorting through boxes of old books is tempting. Problem is, I don't think they'd really welcome my ideas. And I really don't have the energy or the will to stand in that place for more than an hour at a time a couple times a month.
So, I'll do what most self-respecting customers do. I'll bitch about it here and at home, and I'll find other places to spend my money. Cuz that's how the free market works.
There's another thrift store a little out of my way that benefits a different charity. Maybe I'll drop in there and see what they have to offer.