Persistence and Determination
Hello my fellow agents. The thought occurred to me that many of you may be wondering if I am still active in the field. Am I still scouring the shelves of the used book store? Am I locked in battle with those annoying flippers armed with scanning technology? Is it getting harder to find trade paperbacks and hardbacks to keep or flip?
In short, yes, yes, and yes.
I hit the stores at least three times a week. My favorite location is currently inundated with book flippers. I know they’re hustling just trying to make a buck. Still, when they come over to my territory, knowing nothing about the hobby and scan every book on the shelves, I can’t help but take it personally.
Sure, it’s a bit hypocritical. I flip most of what I find and I often use my phone to confirm prices. But, I’ve trained my eyes, honed my intuition, and spent time building my internal library of knowledge. I’ve done the work and I take pride in that.
The guy scanning books beside me yesterday had no idea that the hard to find Taskmaster Unthinkable TPB sold for a premium.
I watched him as he moved through each book on the shelf. I hoped that maybe the scanner would get it wrong. Alas, he scanned the book, looked at the screen, and placed it in his shopping cart.
Curses, foiled again.
The funny thing is I’ve seen him take books that I know he’ll only make $5 on at best. He can take all of those he wants. They’re not worth my time.
The scanners miss some books as well. Last month I watched the same guy scan and put back Showcase Presents Haunted Tank priced at $8. I picked it up and sold it that week for $39 plus shipping. So, I take joy in the knowledge that man can still beat machine.
I also enjoyed getting ahead of another guy with a scanner and snatching up a copy of DC vs Marvel TPB. Comic book fans love this collection of Marvel Versus DC #1-4 and Doctor Strangefate #1. I paid $6.50 and sold it for $43 plus shipping.
I have to admit, it’s getting harder out there. The book flippers seem to multiply weekly and now I hear there’s some guy out there giving away trade secrets on the internet!
Anyway, the thrill of the hunt keeps me motivated, as I’m sure it does you. We love searching the shelves and the long boxes. It is our domain.
Until next week, keep hunting. Never give up. The books are out there waiting to be found.
Trade Secret #14: “Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Calvin Coolidge. Good advice in all areas of life.