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My own kind of foraging

July 1st, 2010 at 08:42 am

Reading Jeffrey's posts about foraging food has got me thinking about what natural foragers most of the folks on this list already are.

Here's my example:
Faculty at my university have a "free books" table in our department office. They're meant for department employees, not students. Many of them are slightly used textbooks, and sometimes they sit there for months. While ordering sample copies of textbooks and then selling them is clearly wrong, these are used texts and other books that folks just don't want anymore. So here's my foraging. I've been picking them up and listing them on Amazon and half.com. Is that bad? I pick up one or two--I never walk out with a huge stack. If they have no value on the reselling websites, I donate them to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or wherever I'm dropping things off.

10 Responses to “My own kind of foraging”

  1. Miz Pat Says:

    To me it sounds like you are doing a good thing, and you are not being greedy. After all, it takes time and trouble to put them up for sale. So I think you are doing something good.

    I purchase textbooks for my boss from time to time and recently a seller through Amazon sent me the wrong textbook. My boss liked it and we purchased that one too. During these transactions, I learned that the man selling the book through Amazon is a professor at a college and what he does is at the end of the semester, he takes all the textbooks THROWN IN THE TRASH by the students and sells them on Amazon or other lists.

    He is making used books available, and making money from it and I think its really wise and wonderful.

    Go for it!

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    Sounds fine to me.

    I sometimes pick items destined for the trash pile, and freecycle them. I just hate hate hate to see perfectly good things in the trash.

  3. dmontngrey Says:

    That's great! Win win all around. DH picked up a Dish DVR receiver in a free pile yesterday. Works fine as far as we can tell. An hour later one just like it sold on Ebay for 43.00 + 15.00 shipping!

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Holy wasted books, Batman! People throw away those expensive school books when everybody knows you can resell them? When there are students who desperately need a break on the new price? My son told me he and four --yes, 4-- other students shared the same textbook in their final semester before graduation.

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    That is terrible that students are throwing textbooks away! I get not caring much for your textbook (like maybe how I felt about my Statistics text in college ...) but that's like burning real cash! Yikes!

    I think what you're doing is very smart. You may be helping a poor student out somewhere.

  6. My English Castle Says:

    Each term I set up a list and let my students from the term before sell books to this term's students. That way they cut out the bookstore middleman. But I wouldn't be surprised if many get thrown away. It's that undeveloped frontal lobe thing....

  7. Jerry Says:

    Knowing what I pay for my textbooks, it leads me to want to beat these students (who are tossing textbooks in the trash!?!) about the head and shoulders. I think that these are kids whose parents are paying for everything so they have no insurance of ever learning responsibility or frugality. What an incredible waste! I am glad that professor is recycling and earning something for their foolishness, and I think that your re-sale of the used and unwanted books is a good thing.

  8. MonkeyMama Says:

    No kidding, Jerry. I sold each and everyone of my textbooks when I was done. I couldn't afford to just trash them, in college. Doh!

  9. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S. My books tended to cost about 50% of my tuition. (Tuition was small, but books were my BIGGEST college expense, besides tuition). Probably why I cringe reading some of this.

  10. Jan Says:

    I think thats a great idea! you are not being greedy, the books are there to be taken, and whoever buys them gets a bargain as well as a few dollars for you.

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