Signed Books - Followup Visit at North Raleigh Ministries

Following up on my post on Finding Signed Books, I thought I would share the outcome of a 3rd visit to a local thrift shop in Raleigh, NC….North Raleigh Ministries Thrift Store. Went to a dud of an estate sale so on the way home, wanted to see if maybe I could salvage the day and hit the store. I have been there a few times before and previously have come away with 12-18 books and probably 2 dozen on the first trip. They have about 10-12 bookshelves with 5 rows of books each (6’ shelves or so). Overall, the hunt took me probably about 25 minutes, skipping some of the religious areas and kids books. I was very selective on what I pulled off shelves and only passed on one book, Flame-Out by James Blackburn as I already have 2 copies and they are generally low value; I don’t need another but picked it up to see if it was signed…it was.

This store is in a pretty nice area of town with homes ranging from the $500k - $1m, and not far from downtown, so no surprise this get some good donations. In all, I bought 12 books for $22.41, I only looked up 2 or 3 to verify the signature, but didn’t look up any values. I estimate conservatively the sale price total around $150. Of all the books, they were all first editions (although one of them was a 26th printing…the Zappos book) and I did not spend any time even looking to see if they were First Editions. Most of them are in Very Good condition and maybe 2 or 3 will end up with a Good condition listing. One of the books just had an Autographed Edition sticker on it, which also means its most likely Flat Signed.

Below are some conservative estimated listing prices for the ones found:

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin, $10-$12

My Old Man and the Sea by David and Daniel Hays, $15-$18

Cry of Wounded Innocence by Lenward E. Thomas, $12-$15

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, $20-$25

Slow Walk in a Sad Rain by John P. McAfee, $10-$12 (no signed comps found)

Emily Gets Her Gun by Emily Miller, $10-$12

The Winecoff Fire by Sam Heys and Allan B Goodwin, $25-$30

Love Free or FDue by Sean Hannity, $8-$10 (there are tons of these out there signed)

A Cold an dLonely Place by Sara J. Henry, $10-$12

Peace Like A River by Leif Enger, $14-$17

The Floatplane Notebooks by Clyde Edgerton, $5-$7 (there are tons of these out there signed)

Dead Man Walking by Helen Prejean, $20-$25


Anyway, this gives you an idea of how you can be profitable with signed books solely from thrift stores. The challenge of course is that most will list sub-$20 and take a while to sell. That’s fine for me because I have so many of them, they steadily trickle in every week to supplement other sales.



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