iPhone App Barcode Price Compare
Is there an app for the iPhone that’s similar to RedLaser but allows you to scan the barcode and then…?
…compare prices between walmart, target, etc rather than what RedLaser does: online comparisons
That’s an interesting thought, but it strikes me as odd that some of these trends are fairly pointless in a statistical sense
Getting Great Book Deals From Public Libraries (Buy, Not Borrow) by James Southland
If you’re looking for a great deal on books, consider buying from the public library. You have a few options and this article examines what’s available.
Even if you get an Amazon Kindle or a Barnes & Noble Nook or a Sony E-Reader, etc., you can still get better deals (translate: less expensive) on books. It takes time and tenacity (as any truly good bargain shopping does), though.
One of the best resources available for books are public libraries. Before you say, “duh,” this isn’t referring to checking-out books, but to library book sales. There are a few types of library book sales.
If you are a visitor to your local library, you may notice a rolling cart with a couple of shelves of books. They’re often.50 to $2 and a posted sign will indicate interested parties can pay at the check-out desk or that it is “the honor system,” and offers a small locked box for buyers to slip in the coin for their purchases.
Some libraries have an on-going bookstore, which is actually a small room filled with books for sale. In some cases, like the mentioned in the previous paragraph, the room is just books and patrons simply pay the librarian at check out.
But there are some bookstores that function as an actual bookstore, most often run by the Friends of the Library organization. For more information, you can visit your local library website and look if they have a link to the FOL site, which can fill you in on what time the library’s book shop is open. Many of the FOL stores operate completely independently of the library and are open only when a volunteer is available. Librarians can get irritated by customer questions of when the FOL bookstore will be open, and will be sure to tell you that it is “volunteer-manned” and that the librarians have no idea what their schedule will be. Some of the FOL bookstores have posted hours, with a phone number to call-ahead to be sure it’s open when you visit.
The other library-related book sale are annual, bi-annual, quarterly, monthly or bi-monthly sales. These are well-advertised often flowing outdoor sales in which patrons can purchase books donated to the library, as well as ex-library books.
If you are looking for books to read and not to add to a collection, an ex-library book can be a fine option. They often run from.50 to $1. Generally hardbound or library-edition, these books will feature a mylar overlay, covering the book’s dust jacket (the paper book cover). Now that books are checked out electronically, using barcodes, ex-library books don’t feature pockets with signature cards or stamps with due dates. There may be older books that still have those, but if you’re just reading the book and then turning around and donating/recycling it, it should be fine.
As you might expect, ex-library books can be read to well-read, meaning that books have taxed spines, folded corners, smudges, etc. They’re handled.
But many of the big library book sales feature donated books, which can be in new to near-new condition. Those running the sales are probably volunteers, likely from FOL. Books are often priced as small or mass-market paperbacks (usually.50 to.95), trade or larger paperbacks (usually.50 to $1.50) and hardbounds (usually.50 for ex-library to $1 or $2 for donated books).
While most library sales sell books by the piece, there are those who sell by the bag (one paper bag for $10, for eg.) and still others, by the inch. You’ll notice that the pay-at tables have those old wooden rulers you used to have in elementary school, with prices marked for paper and for hardback books (example: $1 an inch for paperback, $1.50 an inch for hardbacks).
If you opt to attend one of the “big” parking lot/conference room, etc. sales, come prepared. Most sales proclaim they are “going green” and ask you to bring your own bags (bring ‘em anyway, even if they have bags/boxes). If the sale is outside and the weather is warm, wear sunscreen and/or a hat. You can also consider bringing in a wheeled shopping cart. They’re hard to maneuver around tight aisles, but if you leave it nearby, you’ll have an easy place to put the books you’ve chosen (do a “first run” and take whatever book you might be interested in; it’s not likely to be there when you come back). The collapsible cart is an easy way to get your purchases to your car or to bring on your walk home.
Things to be aware of: high-valued library locations (think: upper income neighborhoods) with infrequent sales are likely to draw dealers. Dealers have iPhones or SmartPhones with apps in which they can immediately scan the books’ bar codes and see if the book is valuable or not. They are also the ones who get to the sale just as it opens (for “first dibs”), are often un-bathed, are always aggressive and grab (often reaching over you without saying “excuse me”) big groups of books, that they subsequently put in boxes. About a half-hour into the sales’ opening, these ersatz dealers are crouched in a corner, going through their loot, choosing the best (ie potentially valuable) books and leaving the rest. It’s only then when they deem it safe to converse with their “competitors” compare booty. Do you watch “Storage Wars?” The dealers are a lot like the storage stalkers.
At any rate, these are terrific ways to get great deals. Don’t go in with expectations of checking off all the books on your list. You may only find one, or, in some cases, none. Even so, you are more than likely to find something clever and interesting, making your search worth the effort.
About the Author
Along with saving money when he goes shopping, James also saves money by growing his own vegetables. He uses a seed planter to plant all of his vegetable seeds, this saves him a lot of time each spring. Another favorite garden tool is the Rogue garden hoe. This american made hoe is made from recycled metal.