Regional 1/2 Price Books Post - A Guide/Rant Forum

high_chigh_c 1,384 Posts
edited December 2015 in Record Collecting
This is sad. This business owns me. I hit them up so frequently, the workers must pity me. But, from time to time they do actually produce. So come on TX and beyond, Let's get a best and worst vote.Me:Best - The Big Dude off NW Highway by my appartmentWorst - Tie: Irving, Bedford, any location In Austin
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  • This is sad. This business owns me. I hit them up so frequently, the workers must pity me. But, from time to time they do actually produce. So come on TX and beyond, Let's get a best and worst vote.

    Me:

    Best - The Big Dude off NW Highway by my appartment
    Worst - Tie: Irving, Bedford, any location In Austin

    You seem to know yr shit. Love that big 'un up in Dallas.

    Hate all the ones here in Austin.

  • The_Hook_UpThe_Hook_Up 8,184 Posts
    I like the the two Fort Worth ones. Of course I had friends working at both locations that would hold stuff buack that looked like soemthing I would like, so I was cheating. But the big one in Arlington produced well for me at times, feast or famine however.

  • DjArcadianDjArcadian 3,630 Posts
    The Berkeley store comes up once and a while but gets picked over rather quickly. It moved to Shattuck Ave. last year and I was talking to someone else digging for records there once. He said their old location wasn't as picked over before. The Concord, CA location is rather weak too although I rarely get out there anymore.

  • SwayzeSwayze 14,707 Posts
    Worst = all in houston. Straight trash almost %100 of the time.

  • high_chigh_c 1,384 Posts
    Worst = all in houston. Straight trash almost %100 of the time.

    see I agree... it's unbelievable how terrible they are. specially the north locations. utter depression. but, I belive I've heard tales of someone pulling Soul Brothers Inc 45s from one of the more central locations. So apparently it's possible to find heat... even if it is about every other leap year or so.

  • nrichnrich 934 Posts
    I usually don't do well at the big Half Price in Dallas. This is probably due to the fact that I get there after the 'clean out' shifts.
    Fort Worth stores are a little better, but I typically keep them tapped. I hear some of the outer metroplex locations are better.

  • hammertimehammertime 2,390 Posts
    i love me some Half Price Books, I've been bugging them to open some in Michigan for awhile now.


    I've found sick shit at the Kenwood and Northgate locations in Cincinnati...the Tri County location seems to always suck, and the last time I went to the Mason location it was brand new so they didn't have anything.


    Also I just got coupons for next week in the mail, but I can't use them! Heartbreaking.

  • RerogRerog 569 Posts
    i hit them as often as possible..i got some really good hip hop stuff at the bedford loc a couple weeks back, the Wautauga (?) store had some good Mongo Santamarias on Riverside for cheap. Got the Stone Killer OST at the Campbell store recently. Really...the crappy Arlington store and the Mesquite location are the only ones in the Dallas area I havent bought something from in the last month. Just hit the big one while High C is feeding the ducks.

  • In KC the HPB in Westport is super hot. After the death of several of our little homegrown alternative record shops, it's certainly in contention for one of the best record spots in KC. The indie rock kid who handles the record section is savvy enough to sensibly price most of the funk and soul LPs, but has only just started to realize that some 12" are worth more than 50 cents. Luckily that was well before those two OG Big Daddy Kane 12"s on Prizm found their way into my hands.

  • SwayzeSwayze 14,707 Posts
    Worst = all in houston. Straight trash almost %100 of the time.

    see I agree... it's unbelievable how terrible they are. specially the north locations. utter depression. but, I belive I've heard tales of someone pulling Soul Brothers Inc 45s from one of the more central locations. So apparently it's possible to find heat... even if it is about every other leap year or so.

    The problem is that there are the top two digger cats here in town that have "spies" in every location to pull the heat aside and give them first dibs. That's why any boogie/modern soul shit will still make it past them. The two guys that have half price books on lock are feeling boogie/modern soul shit.

  • high_chigh_c 1,384 Posts
    , the Wautauga

    it's acutally pronounced "Wautawesome" and I just got a blingin mint Root Down there; a copy that has almost NO ringwear.. I'm not shittin you.

  • RerogRerog 569 Posts
    You're shitting me not? Well I also got a Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory. I gotta buy all these classic rock records my dad would have given me if he had stuck around long enough... and Half Price will always be the spot to do that for a buck a pop. Im feeling this record and even some drums for the hiphop dude in us all.



  • jleejlee 1,539 Posts
    i was up on the austin ones usually every weekend. the only one that really ever did me good on a semi-consistent basis was the one near the University. I did come accross a decent punk rock stash in South Austin once, but towards the end of my stay I rarely came across anything worth a damn.

    my least favorit HPB moment was walking into the store with a fellow strutter, opening the door for dude (cuz i am nice like that) and having him snipe a de la "3 feet high" that was sitting out in the open for under $10 (till this day i am shocked the hippy HPB staff let that one on the floor). From there on out, my gentle southern manners flew out the window when diggin at HPB.



    I think dude jdeezy had a big come up at the HPB near Rice Campus a few years back. but i may be making that up.

  • RAJRAJ tenacious local 7,486 Posts
    Big Daddy Kane 12"s / De La "3 feet High" LPs???... y'all must be starving for hip hop in Texas.

    I have never in my life been to a HPB. Ch*d used to glamorize that place. There are several in Pittsburgh that I'll peep next time I'm out there.

    Or maybe has a run down?

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,235 Posts
    I've found decent stuff at the various HPB's in Austin...never at the central one though.

    I used to grab great stuff when I was in high school in Houston at the old Nasa Road One location (long gone).

    The location on the westside of San Antonio seems pretty well stocked.

  • RockadelicRockadelic Out Digging 13,993 Posts
    The 1/2 Prices in DFW are the best stores in the country as far as variety and turnover goes. They have gotten a little bit high with their prices but it's still mega-cheap compared to NY or L.A.

    There are 15 stores here within a 50 mile radius and I hit each of them at least twice a month. Like any collectible store the more you spend the better they treat you. After spending $17K at the chain in 2003 you best believe I get a call now and again about big collections or big records walking in.

    Each store seems to have their own personality based on who the Record Buyer is.

    The store in Frisco rarely turns up much but one day last year I walked in to find 40-50 Latin Funk LP's. The key is really to hit them on a regular basis and not let prices of $7.98 - $12.98 scare you off. I know of old school guys that just want spend that much on a record because they yearn for the old days of 50 cent and dollar records. Those days are long gone.

    The REAL good old days was when they had a warehouse on Mockingbird where they got new records in every day and once a month or so would have a 10 cent sale. The records I pulled from that store alone would make a damn good instant collection.

  • SwayzeSwayze 14,707 Posts

    I think dude jdeezy had a big come up at the HPB near Rice Campus a few years back. but i may be making that up.

    That would be the OLD Rice Campus HPB and yes, we all pulled big outta there. One of the few spots that C*ph** did not have completely locked down.

  • pointmanpointman 1,042 Posts
    over the years I have pulled some great houston raer out of half price. But I think the best way to put half price is the "feast or famine" theory. You can hit all of them up and leave empty and when it's empty jesus christ it's empty but then you find something on your 9th visit.

  • Don't sell anything there, though. You'll get about a quarter for every 20 records you trade in.

  • high_chigh_c 1,384 Posts
    Don't sell anything there, though. You'll get about a quarter for every 20 records you trade in.

    The good side to this though is that if you ever encounter anyone in the parking lot preparing to roll a collection to the buy counter, you can intercept them, guarantee them $20 above what ?? Price offers, and only have to shell out $24.50 in the end.

    I love overhearing would-be sellers as they become outraged at the offers they receive. ???Sir, I can offer you $1.25 today.??? ???What?! Are you serious? For all this???? Then the buyer will try to explain the rationale behind the offer which he completely pulls out of his ass. ???Well none of these titles really sell and this is a second edition and I???d end up donating most of this?????? They should hang a sign on the counter stating something like ???Prepare to be low-balled and offended.???

    Take that shit to Forever Young!

  • DjArcadianDjArcadian 3,630 Posts
    over the years I have pulled some great houston raer out of half price. But I think the best way to put half price is the "feast or famine" theory. You can hit all of them up and leave empty and when it's empty jesus christ it's empty but then you find something on your 9th visit.

    over the years I have pulled some great houston raer out of half price. But I think the best way to put half price is the "feast or famine" theory. You can hit all of them up and leave empty and when it's empty jesus christ it's empty but then you find something on your 9th visit.

    over the years I have pulled some great houston raer out of half price. But I think the best way to put half price is the "feast or famine" theory. You can hit all of them up and leave empty and when it's empty jesus christ it's empty but then you find something on your 9th visit.

    Co-sign! Luckily my companies office is moving toa new location two blocks away. I forsee myself doing scans at least twice a day. The Berkeley store has gotten pricey (read $10 to $15 jazz records) but it's still worth looking. Quality is always an issue but you can still find fairly fugly looking records that play fine. I wish they'd rotate their stock more often (even though they did a clearance recently). I'm glad they at least don't buy every Barbara Streisand record someone brings in.

  • TheMackTheMack 3,414 Posts
    Big Daddy Kane 12"s / De La "3 feet High" LPs???... y'all must be starving for hip hop in Texas.

    I have never in my life been to a HPB. Ch*d used to glamorize that place. There are several in Pittsburgh that I'll peep next time I'm out there.

    Or maybe has a run down?
    the ones out here SUCK nowdays. ive got soem stuff before, but never repeated scores. copped a bunch of raer OG blue notes and pretige joints, ricardo marrero, dennis coffey shit, ultimate force 12", thats bout it. that was probly a year ago. shit sucks now

  • hammertimehammertime 2,390 Posts

    Co-sign! Luckily my companies office is moving toa new location two blocks away. I forsee myself doing scans at least twice a day. The Berkeley store has gotten pricey (read $10 to $15 jazz records) but it's still worth looking. Quality is always an issue but you can still find fairly fugly looking records that play fine. I wish they'd rotate their stock more often (even though they did a clearance recently). I'm glad they at least don't buy every Barbara Streisand record someone brings in.


    i was under the impression they buy EVERYTHING anyone brings in.

  • DjArcadianDjArcadian 3,630 Posts

    Co-sign! Luckily my companies office is moving toa new location two blocks away. I forsee myself doing scans at least twice a day. The Berkeley store has gotten pricey (read $10 to $15 jazz records) but it's still worth looking. Quality is always an issue but you can still find fairly fugly looking records that play fine. I wish they'd rotate their stock more often (even though they did a clearance recently). I'm glad they at least don't buy every Barbara Streisand record someone brings in.


    i was under the impression they buy EVERYTHING anyone brings in.

    Who knows. I'd imagine there'd be a lot of more Neil Diamond records if that were true. Maybe they offer chump change for collections and just throw out what they know won't sell. I imagine they turn away some records.

  • hammertimehammertime 2,390 Posts
    Yeah they may very well do that because whenever I've been in there and overheard people selling shit the offers are always ridiculously low, but it's always an offer for EVERYTHING. This is one place I'm tempted to sit outside and try to look through what people are about to take in, mostly because I don't think there's much they would do about it if they caught me.

  • gravelheadwrapgravelheadwrap corn 948 Posts
    I hit the one up here at least once a week, it pays when I go at least twice a week. Its been pretty dry lately though.

    Anyone think theyve got some awkward pricing on occasion???

    I really like the store though, the records are usually in fairly decent quality at the one here.

  • hammertimehammertime 2,390 Posts
    yeah I've run into a couple that price stuff REALLY high, there's one in Indianapolis in particular I'm thinking of. They think anything old is super . But I've also flipped through some $30 Benny Goodman LPs to find a 48 cent Dee Dee Warwick album, so it's cool.

  • aleitaleit 1,915 Posts
    HPB Report

    best score------> i bought 5 books there last week.

    only score------> i bought 5 books there last week.

    analysis: buy and read books.

    gotta say that i truly do not enjoy looking for records by visiting the half price books chain. perhaps those feelings would change if i regularly found things at the branches in the austin or san antonio area, but just not my thing.

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,730 Posts
    Yeah, I was totally unimpressed when I visited the one in Berkeley. I guess, like anywhere, tenacious locals will find stuff, but after all the hype I was underwhelmed. My girlfriend said the books were decent though.

  • Deep_SangDeep_Sang 1,081 Posts
    I used to live about half a mile from an HP store back in SA and hit it up on a bi-weekly basis. Since I was there so frequently I could tell whether there was anything new by looking at the racks (and the good stuff was ALWAYS in the dollar bins). I got to know the guy who did the vinyl pricing, and he would often bring stuff out for pricing when I came in, so I got first pick of everything. All singles were $0.93 across the board. During this time (about a year and a half) I came up on a huge disco 12" collection, electro collection, hip hop collection, eighties singles collections and lots of assorted records. Moral: find a store or stores that don't have someone in the back picking through stuff before it hits the floor and hit it up regularly, odds are you're going to come up. The other stores in the city (and Austin) that I went to infrequently never had anything I wanted.
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