A Textbook Case of What Happens in Bad Economic Times

More customers selling at used bookstore chain


As the economy goes south, buying and selling are up at a Dallas-based used bookstore chain.

At Half Price Books, customers buy at a discount and sell at one, too.

"You can find some real treasures," customer Nick Griffey, of Dallas, said.

The stores will buy back almost anything in good condition -- books, magazines, DVDs and LPs.

"After I'm finished with it, I bring it back," Griffey said. "There's no reason to leave it sitting around."

Kathy Doyle Thomas, Half Price Books' executive vice president, said buy-back transactions are up 4.6 percent.
"It really started over the summer with the gas prices," she said. "I mean, you could see the people who made enough money just to get gas in their car, and they were selling their books, and their libraries to us, and it really has not stopped at all."

Some customers turn around and spend the money in the store. Sales at Half Price Books in the Dallas-Fort Worth market are up 5.8 percent.

But other people said they just pocket the cash.

The trend to sell isn't isolated to Half Price Books. Many local consignment stores said they are having to turn away clothes, shoes and bags because so many people are consigning.

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