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Book Exchange Shops


Sparkles

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Have only been in Chang Mai for a short while but yesterday was marked down as the day to visit as many book exchange shops as I could find. With a small bag full of good quality novels, inc authors Rankin, Robertson, Rendel ,Francis etc I was soon convinced that (a) There are far too many shops to be viable and (:o They are very reluctant to trade books preferring you to only buy. In fact in a couple of shops the staff's surly attitude ensured I wont be going back. Maybe I have been spoilt using Dasa Books, on Sukumvit, in Bangkok where all stock is computerised ,you can ring before you go if you need a specific title and with traded books you are given 70 baht off the purchase price of 150 baht-170 baht average. Yesterday I was offered, for books in excellent condition between 20 and 50 baht ,but the purchase price was 150-200 baht. For me the gap is fat to much and I would rather give them away to friends etc. Does anyone else share this view or am I being too critical. And is there a library in Cm that carries good quality novels ?

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Have only been in Chang Mai for a short while but yesterday was marked down as the day to visit as many book exchange shops as I could find. With a small bag full of good quality novels, inc authors Rankin, Robertson, Rendel ,Francis etc I was soon convinced that (a) There are far too many shops to be viable and ( :D They are very reluctant to trade books preferring you to only buy. In fact in a couple of shops the staff's surly attitude ensured I wont be going back. Maybe I have been spoilt using Dasa Books, on Sukumvit, in Bangkok where all stock is computerised ,you can ring before you go if you need a specific title and with traded books you are given 70 baht off the purchase price of 150 baht-170 baht average. Yesterday I was offered, for books in excellent condition between 20 and 50 baht ,but the purchase price was 150-200 baht. For me the gap is fat to much and I would rather give them away to friends etc. Does anyone else share this view or am I being too critical. And is there a library in Cm that carries good quality novels ?

As you quite rightly said, it is better to give them to friends to enjoy rather than let them go for a pittance. That's what I do with all my books now and I ask for them back so I can give them to another friend or ask for the book to be passed on (and to whom?). There are a few of us that exchange books regularly and I find this much more rewarding than being offered a pittance for good quality books.

One of the ploys that I usually find is that the person in the shop seems to have learned parrot fashion 'oh we don't have much call for that' or 'we just can't sell those' thus justifying the low price, which in many cases is just BS if you know your books. I understand that book shops need to make a profit like any other business and they will naturally try to make as much profit as possible. Having said that, I still buy books in yhe used bookshops, because regardless of their mark up I'm still getting them cheaper than new (and some are like new).

I just don't bother carting books around like some desperate soul who needs the money for a meal. :o

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Have only been in Chang Mai for a short while but yesterday was marked down as the day to visit as many book exchange shops as I could find. With a small bag full of good quality novels, inc authors Rankin, Robertson, Rendel ,Francis etc I was soon convinced that (a) There are far too many shops to be viable and (:D They are very reluctant to trade books preferring you to only buy. In fact in a couple of shops the staff's surly attitude ensured I wont be going back. Maybe I have been spoilt using Dasa Books, on Sukumvit, in Bangkok where all stock is computerised ,you can ring before you go if you need a specific title and with traded books you are given 70 baht off the purchase price of 150 baht-170 baht average. Yesterday I was offered, for books in excellent condition between 20 and 50 baht ,but the purchase price was 150-200 baht. For me the gap is fat to much and I would rather give them away to friends etc. Does anyone else share this view or am I being too critical. And is there a library in Cm that carries good quality novels ?

I faces the same problem in ChiangMai too. Those second hand bookstore are only offering 20 baht per book for buy back! :o

What a ripped-off! :D

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I know it doesn't help with getting money for your old books, but I always buy from the 99baht book shop on the opposite side of the road to pornping hotel, thay usually have a very good variety, at least that will save you on the buying side.

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Me and Mrs MB are book hoarders, we can't bring ourselves to sell them. Luckily we've got lots of space. We buy quite a lot of 2nd hand in CM and think that the value is generally very good. One thing to llok out for is books where the pages start to fall out after the first chapter. I buy more carefully these days.

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I own a second hand bookshop and have to deal with this every day.

I understand that people do not understand why they are being offered what they consider to be "low' prices for their books, but believe me, if they were worth more, someone would buy them for more.

The truth is that most people only sell the books that they don't want on their shelves and that we already have thousands of copies of and will never be able to sell for a normal price. I buy them very cheaply to sell as "bargain books" as this is the only way I can sell more than a few of them and most people sell them, because they just want to get rid of them and would throw them away otherwise.

I know that I pay quite well for books that are new by authors that sell well or are very popular (100-200 baht and up), but mostly all I am offered is older beach fiction that most people have read already and sells only very slowly - if at all - OR JUST PLAIN JUNK. I have to import most of the ones that people actually want and buy and importing them is expensive.

I have lots and lots of these beach books for under 100 baht (bargain books start at 10 baht) and also a lot of less popular modern literature and I buy most of them back for 50%. If that is what you want, just search the shelves because we have plenty of them

Believe me, I would be quite happy to give you a good price for books that I know I can sell for a decent price, but books go in and out of style and something that was popular 6 months ago, just isn't any more and very few customers understand any of that.

When people ask me what titles I will pay well for and I show them, they often get indignant and say that they always keep books like that. That is up to the customer, but then don't expect bookshops to pay you well for bringing in books that might really belong in your garbage. :o

Edited by Ulysses G.
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'Sandstone Art' date='2009-02-03 11:47:40' post='2506807']

I faces the same problem in ChiangMai too. Those second hand bookstore are only offering 20 baht per book for buy back! :o

What a ripped-off! :D

We buy back books that were purchased from us for 50% of the purchase price as long as they are in similar condition and within a reasonable time limit (so that they have not lost value by going from newly published to an "old" book). The only books that we offer 20 baht for are real junk, really beat up or authors that no one has ever heard of before.

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i brought some books from gecko books (the vampire of siam trilogy ) last year , went there to put a name to ug face but he was not there . the staff were pleasent and the books very well priced for me as a tourist,and as previously posted they offer to buy them back for 50% less . will definately go back next time and i am in no way connected . these people are only trying to make a living for themselves and staff , it's hard enough in these times of economic crisis without other ex pats making it harder surely.

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i brought some books from gecko books (the vampire of siam trilogy ) last year , went there to put a name to ug face but he was not there . the staff were pleasent and the books very well priced for me as a tourist,and as previously posted they offer to buy them back for 50% less . will definately go back next time and i am in no way connected . these people are only trying to make a living for themselves and staff , it's hard enough in these times of economic crisis without other ex pats making it harder surely.

I am sure that I am not the biggest useer for Gecko Books,but I usualy take 10-12 books bought from them every 2 weeks,and exchange them for another dozen or so.

For my tastes in reading I can usualy get books that I will enjoy and overall they cost me 1000-1200 baht each visit.

Ive not used any of the other bookstores so I cant compare Gecko with them...and until I can no longer get books that I have not read from Gecko I have no reason to change my ways.

I have no connection with Gecko books apart from being a customer....indeed I have no wish to get to know the owner since his tastes in food...ie Burgers etc...are certainly not mine :o

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'Sandstone Art' date='2009-02-03 11:47:40' post='2506807']

I faces the same problem in ChiangMai too. Those second hand bookstore are only offering 20 baht per book for buy back! :o

What a ripped-off! :D

We buy back books that were purchased from us for 50% of the purchase price as long as they are in similar condition and within a reasonable time limit (so that they have not lost value by going from newly published to an "old" book). The only books that we offer 20 baht for are real junk, really beat up or authors that no one has ever heard of before.

This is extremely fair, I wish more bookstores offered this deal.

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I buy a lot of used books here, and sell them again (unfortunately I can't afford a bigger place to store them, gotta save money to spend in Milton Bentley's place) I always get a decent price for them from the shop in Ratchavitee rd. (forgot the name, about 50 mtrs from the UN pub)

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I buy a lot of used books here, and sell them again (unfortunately I can't afford a bigger place to store them, gotta save money to spend in Milton Bentley's place) I always get a decent price for them from the shop in Ratchavitee rd. (forgot the name, about 50 mtrs from the UN pub)

think that's called 'on the road' isn't it? run by a very friendly english chap.

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I just don't bother carting books around like some desperate soul who needs the money for a meal. :o

My apology I think I messed up there. Well I am not some desperate soul but on an Australian Aged Pension ,with a declining dollar against the baht, I have to watch my living costs. I did not mention in my original post that I mentioned to each salesperson that I was now a resident and hopefully would be a repeat customer ,that met with no response maybe they have heard that far too often.

It was not my idea to go on a bashing exercise here but just to get the feeling of other folk. My books were not rubbish. All well known and high selllng Authors and in A1 condition. I still feel the gap between trade price mostly 50 baht against ,in some cases ,purchase price of 170-200 baht is far too high. Also no one has commented on my perception that there are far too many shops. With respect to the forums sponsor they seem to be the dominate player and maybe everone is getting squeezed. Thank you for your interest and if thats the status quo in CM I will just have to get used to it.

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I just don't bother carting books around like some desperate soul who needs the money for a meal. :o

My apology I think I messed up there. Well I am not some desperate soul but on an Australian Aged Pension ,with a declining dollar against the baht, I have to watch my living costs. I did not mention in my original post that I mentioned to each salesperson that I was now a resident and hopefully would be a repeat customer ,that met with no response maybe they have heard that far too often.

It was not my idea to go on a bashing exercise here but just to get the feeling of other folk. My books were not rubbish. All well known and high selllng Authors and in A1 condition. I still feel the gap between trade price mostly 50 baht against ,in some cases ,purchase price of 170-200 baht is far too high. Also no one has commented on my perception that there are far too many shops. With respect to the forums sponsor they seem to be the dominate player and maybe everone is getting squeezed. Thank you for your interest and if thats the status quo in CM I will just have to get used to it.

Doesn't look like they are a sponsor anymore so say what you like :D

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The book dealers are a business. They make you an offer. You take it or leave it. I don't see the point of complaining. Look at the bookshop, it contains thousands of books. How many are sold everyday, what percentage? A tiny percentage of the stock. The rest of the stock is dead money that sits there. Plus of course they have overhead, salaries, all the costs of doing business.

Also, if you want some idea of used book market, check the USED prices on books at amazon.com. A huge percent of them will be sold for ONE penny, that is one cent US currency plus shipping.

As far as local supply and demand, if the local dealers could not obtain the locally sourced stock they desire at the current buy prices they are offering, they would naturally raise their offering prices. The market is harsh. Your books aren't as special as you think.

Edited by Jingthing
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My books were not rubbish. All well known and high selllng Authors and in A1 condition.

I'm sorry, but the authors that you mention are a dime a dozen unless they are the latest titles in which case we would give you much more than the 70 baht you got from Dasa. That does not say anything negative about your taste in reading materials, but I am just swamped every day with people wanting to get rid this type of books, so I can either refuse them - as most shops do - or buy and sell them cheaply in my bargain section. If you rather not sell them for the price that we are willing to pay, I do not blame you in the least, but if I pay more, I am stuck with tons of books that I can never sell, which is not the point of running a business. I know that most other shops just reject them completely.

Edited by Ulysses G.
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The book dealers are a business. They make you an offer. You take it or leave it. I don't see the point of complaining. Look at the bookshop, it contains thousands of books. How many are sold everyday, what percentage? A tiny percentage of the stock. The rest of the stock is dead money that sits there. Plus of course they have overhead, salaries, all the costs of doing business.

Also, if you want some idea of used book market, check the USED prices on books at amazon.com. A huge percent of them will be sold for ONE penny, that is one cent US currency plus shipping.

As far as local supply and demand, if the local dealers could not obtain the locally sourced stock they desire at the current buy prices they are offering, they would naturally raise their offering prices. The market is harsh. Your books aren't as special as you think.

Thank you Jingthing. This is entirely correct from my point of view. :o

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When I read a paperback novel, it is read, so I am happy to trade it for another book and pay some money for that. Some exceptionally good books I will keep. The second hand book places are much cheaper than new and offer a great service, especially being able to find these books in a foreign country. I have used Gekko several times and have been happy, found something to read, they bought my old books and the staff were OK.

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I just don't bother carting books around like some desperate soul who needs the money for a meal. :D

My apology I think I messed up there. Well I am not some desperate soul but on an Australian Aged Pension ,with a declining dollar against the baht, I have to watch my living costs. I did not mention in my original post that I mentioned to each salesperson that I was now a resident and hopefully would be a repeat customer ,that met with no response maybe they have heard that far too often.

It was not my idea to go on a bashing exercise here but just to get the feeling of other folk. My books were not rubbish. All well known and high selllng Authors and in A1 condition. I still feel the gap between trade price mostly 50 baht against ,in some cases ,purchase price of 170-200 baht is far too high. Also no one has commented on my perception that there are far too many shops. With respect to the forums sponsor they seem to be the dominate player and maybe everone is getting squeezed. Thank you for your interest and if thats the status quo in CM I will just have to get used to it.

Doesn't look like they are a sponsor anymore so say what you like :D

Then why is their banner at the top of the page :o

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Chiang Mai has a great selection of used books stores , wish Pattaya could even come close.

Pretty standard 50% credit policy regarding the exchange on books purchased from each store (ever notice the big stamps inside) and yeah they normally offer peanuts when you outright sell them books.

The idea is to buy their own stock and used them as future exchange items

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As someone who has sold used books in the U.S. using Amazon.com, I'd like to address the observation about books being offered for $0.01 on that site. What buyers don't realize is that they have to pay for shipping. Sellers are given an "allowance" for shipping by Amazon.com and that allowance is a fixed amount -- it doesn't matter if the book is heavy or light (in weight, not literary value!) The ones that are offered for $0.01 are books that don't weigh very much and thus the seller makes their money from the shipping allowance, not the actual $0.01 "profit" from the sale.

I doubt you'll find many Amazon.com used book sellers willing to ship to Thailand and if you do, after you pay Amazon's shipping costs you'll realize the Chiang Mai used bookstores are a good bargain for titles you can find there.

As for me, I'm a bit disappointed that the books in Chiang Mai's used book shops tend to be what I call "airport novels". You know, the type you buy while waiting for a flight and leave in the hotel at your destination. Also, they tend to be books favored by men -- spy novels, lurid murder mysteries, and thrillers. I hate to admit it, but if a book's cover says it was selected for Oprah's book club, I give it a second look.

OK, there, I said it! I'm ducking for the inevitable attack. At least my husband and I sell, trade or give away every work of fiction we read (or decide it isn't worth finishing). We aren't hoarding anything. It's just my supply of Oprah-recommended fiction is running out.

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As for me, I'm a bit disappointed that the books in Chiang Mai's used book shops tend to be what I call "airport novels". You know, the type you buy while waiting for a flight and leave in the hotel at your destination. Also, they tend to be books favored by men -- spy novels, lurid murder mysteries, and thrillers. I hate to admit it, but if a book's cover says it was selected for Oprah's book club, I give it a second look.

I might have good news for you. Every Gecko Books store and the ones that are connected to us (Thapae Gate Books, Night Bazaar Books) have what we call a "modern literature" section with books that were popular a few years ago, but have cooled down now. They have often won book awards or are New York Times Notable Books and tend to be more interesting to women than men. Every title is 100 baht and from what I have seen, our competitors usually sell them for 200 baht or more. we get new ones almost every day and between all the stores, there is quite a big selection. We do mark these "no return", but most of the time we will buy them back if they are in good shape as most look close to new.

Edited by Ulysses G.
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Doesn't look like they are a sponsor anymore so say what you like :D

Then why is their banner at the top of the page :o

Maybe he can't read :D

If there was a great big bright yellow banner at the top of my page do you think I would of written the above? :D

My browser ( on mac, pc and phone ) doesn't show any sponsors for Chiang Mai apart from Lucky dogs in the main forum listings, hence the above statement!

Money well spent!

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