Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Re-selling library books: unethical?

Re-selling library books: unethical?
Thread Tools
macintologist
Professional Poster
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Smallish town in Ohio
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 05:09 PM
 
My local library is having a used book sale tomorrow and I plan on going there. Books will be 50 cents or $1 each. I plan on using the Amazon.com iPhone app to quickly scan ISBN numbers and see if any of the books are ridiculously expensive online used (out of print hardcovers, textbooks etc) and will sell them on Amazon Marketplace. Is it unethical for me to take advantage of the library in this way and make potentially obscene profits based on this work? Should I be donating the money back to the library fund or something?
( Last edited by macintologist; Dec 13, 2010 at 05:17 PM. )
     
LegendaryPinkOx
Senior User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: petting the refrigerator.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 05:16 PM
 
If they were happy with selling the books for ¢50-$1 in the first place, then I find no moral dilemma in it.
are you lightfooted?
     
turtle777
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 05:18 PM
 
Go for it. The library could do the same thing.

-t
     
Laminar
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 05:19 PM
 
I wouldn't worry about it. Do you have a plan for picking out potentially good books or do you plan on scanning all of them?
     
SpaceMonkey
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 05:20 PM
 
Agreed. I doubt you're going to find much though.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
macintologist  (op)
Professional Poster
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Smallish town in Ohio
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 05:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
I wouldn't worry about it. Do you have a plan for picking out potentially good books or do you plan on scanning all of them?
Hardcover textbooks usually are expensive online so I'll be targeting those. I only plan on spending 30 minutes tops scanning books for prices.
     
macintologist  (op)
Professional Poster
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Smallish town in Ohio
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 05:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Agreed. I doubt you're going to find much though.
When hardcover nonfiction books are out of print you'd be surprised how much they are worth online.
     
nonhuman
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Baltimore, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 05:59 PM
 
Get there early. There are people who do this for a living.
     
ort888
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Your Anus
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 06:01 PM
 
Not unethical. Probably also not worth your time.

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 06:31 PM
 
No, I don't think it's unethical. My local libraries have also given away books that cost $$ or even $$$. It would be unethical if you suggest your library to sell the books to you at a discount so you can sell them with a high profit margin

If you want to do your library some good and increase your savings on your karma account, you can donate some of the proceeds back.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
imitchellg5
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Washington + Colorado
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 07:19 PM
 
I think you're figuring that the books at that your library for sale will be books that people actually want.
     
alligator
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Minnesota
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 08:09 PM
 
If you had to post here and ask this question, isn't your conscience telling you something? Instead of the couple of bucks you'd actually make doing this, find something more productive to do for society. Volunteer your time or create something artistic instead.
     
macintologist  (op)
Professional Poster
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Smallish town in Ohio
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 09:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by alligator View Post
If you had to post here and ask this question, isn't your conscience telling you something? Instead of the couple of bucks you'd actually make doing this, find something more productive to do for society. Volunteer your time or create something artistic instead.
Actually the last time I did this at another used book sale I sold some on Amazon for 50 each. But it was a private book sale not a big deal, whereas these are library books paid for by tax dollars thats why I'm having a dilemma.
     
imitchellg5
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Washington + Colorado
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 13, 2010, 09:59 PM
 
Generally when libraries are selling books it's to make enough money to buy newer editions of the same book, or a better alternative. You're not hurting the library, you're helping.
     
GSixZero
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 12:21 AM
 

ImpulseResponse
     
iMOTOR
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: San Diego
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 04:07 AM
 
I go to a lot of library book sales, and there’s always about 3 or 4 people with bar code scanning palm pilots furiously scanning books. So you probably wont be the only one.
     
turtle777
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 07:24 AM
 
Pam Pilots ? Seriously ?

-t
     
turtle777
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 07:26 AM
 
The classic arbitrage game, now at your local Goodwill store.

-t
     
Shaddim
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: 46 & 2
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 07:35 AM
 
Not unethical, but probably not worth the trouble.
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
finboy
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Garden of Paradise Motel, Suite 3D
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 11:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Not unethical, but probably not worth the trouble.
The library is likely selling titles that people have donated to them, and THEY have the opportunity to check the values of these books just like you do. So, no, there's nothing wrong with reselling library cut-outs. In fact, if you don't buy them, they will likely end up in Goodwill or a dumpster.

I've found some good titles at the Goodwill/Salvation Army stores before (including the original three-volume bound Mac guide, mint, for $4.99) but there's a lot to go through, and you have to keep up with what they have on a regular basis. And I've seen "gangs" of regulars there, but they were buying clothes that way, piling the carts with new stuff and then going through it. Whatever.
     
d4nth3m4n
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Far above Cayuga's waters.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 02:12 PM
 
If you really are having trouble with this, take a portion (~25%) of your proceeds (if you have any) and donate it to the library.
     
nonhuman
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Baltimore, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 02:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Pam Pilots ? Seriously ?

-t
Yep, the necessary software and hardware is very cheap and by using a locally stored database of books and prices (updated regularly) it's significantly faster to look up the prices of books than having to rely on a wireless internet connection. If you're trying to actually make a living doing this, the time saved is worth it.
     
Jawbone54
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Louisiana
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 02:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by d4nth3m4n View Post
If you really are having trouble with this, take a portion (~25%) of your proceeds (if you have any) and donate it to the library.
Seconded, but only if you have trouble getting over your moral dilemma.
     
macintologist  (op)
Professional Poster
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Smallish town in Ohio
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 02:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Yep, the necessary software and hardware is very cheap and by using a locally stored database of books and prices (updated regularly) it's significantly faster to look up the prices of books than having to rely on a wireless internet connection. If you're trying to actually make a living doing this, the time saved is worth it.
Except a lot of books on Amazon retail at $25 but are literally worthless and being sold used for $0.01
     
finboy
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Garden of Paradise Motel, Suite 3D
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 03:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Pam Pilots ? Seriously ?

-t
One of our bookbuyers has an iPaq (or whatever the HP one is called), one has some proprietary thing (looks like a WalMart scanner) and one of them uses a Handspring with some kind of scanner in the Springboard slot. I used to have a bookbuyer in VA that was still using a Newton (in 2003).
     
CollinG3G4
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 04:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by macintologist View Post
Hardcover textbooks usually are expensive online so I'll be targeting those.
Are you kidding me? When the publisher releases a new edition, the value of the previous edition plummets overnight.
     
andi*pandi
Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: inside 128, north of 90
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2010, 04:21 PM
 
No worse than finding something nice at a yard sale. If you found a vintage baseball card or rare hummel figurine at a yard sale, and resold it, would you feel bad about stealing from the little old lady who was funding her retirement by selling her memories?

()
     
nonhuman
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Baltimore, MD
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 15, 2010, 12:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by macintologist View Post
Except a lot of books on Amazon retail at $25 but are literally worthless and being sold used for $0.01
Amazon's probably not the best way to do it.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:09 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,