Buy Small!!!

I would like to encourage visitors to this page to “buy small”. By “buy small” I mean, buy from smaller sellers, whether that be on a large portal like eBay or Amazon, or at a small, locally owned and operated store. For this post, I will focus on the online experience, because that is what I do.

Three Reasons to Buy Small

1. Attentive, personalized, customer oriented service: In short, smaller online sellers have more to gain from making a single customer happy and more to lose from making a single customer sad. Even one bit of negative feedback (even left accidentally-it has happened to me!) or one return or one anything that is not wonderful in the customer’s eyes has the potential to not only impact the small seller’s income that day, but their ability to even sell on a particular website going forward. Stakes are high, and if you buy from a small seller you will notice the difference in how they take care of you.

2. Your purchase supports someone’s kids. This one is near and dear to my heart. Buy from the big folks and you are increasing shareholder value, feeding someone’s ego, but when you “buy small” you are literally making a huge difference in the lives not only of the seller but the seller’s family. Maybe that week the kids get to go to a movie instead of watching You Tube. Sounds silly, but it’s true.

3. You can’t always buy small, so buying small when you can helps balance the forces between big and small. Maybe this is easier to relate to for Star Wars fans or those who grew up in totalitarian states, but to me it’s a big deal.

How to Spot a Small Seller

1. They sell on a big website like Amazon or eBay but they aren’t Amazon or eBay.

2. They have a limited number of feedback ratings. The difference is easier to see on Amazon than eBay, but if a seller has like, 50,000 feedbacks they stopped being a small seller a long time ago. I’ve been selling on Amazon and eBay for a year, on Amazon I have just over 50 feedbacks and on eBay something around 500. Most people, especially on Amazon, don’t leave feedback, so it isn’t totally indicative of how many transactions a seller does, but you can weight the number of feedbacks into a buying equation by looking  at the different sellers that are selling that item.

When You Might Not Want to Buy From a Small Seller

1. If a small seller’s small number of feedbacks have a lot of negatives you might want to go with someone else, at least until that seller works the bugs out of their operation.

2. If a small seller’s price is way out of range for the condition/type of item, I would pass. I say “way out of range for condition/type of item”, because for an item described similarly I will almost always pay more from a small seller, because I know I am almost guaranteed better packaging, better service if something goes wrong, and receiving the item in stated condition of better. I’ve bought books from large sellers described as new that I would list no better than “good”. I have not had a similar experience with a small seller.

Thanks for listening!



With a THUD!!!

I do not do many book reviews on here (all the books I sell are awesome, honest!), but once in a while a book rings so true AND interesting I’ve got to say a few words. Thud Ridge by Colonel Jack Broughton is one of those books. Colonel Broughton was a fighter pilot in both Korea and Vietnam, flying over 200 combat missions, many of them as a fighter-bomber pilot, delivering more tonnage in a single mission than a World War II B-17 bomber.

This book discusses his experiences in the Vietnam War, and was written and published while the war was still going on, which gives the content, particularly the political content, that much more impact. Now this is not a book which focuses on the political, and given the Vietnam experience, it’s not the type of political content you might think. There’s nothing here that suggests the war itself was a good or bad war. Col. Broughton limits himself to editorializing on how the fighter-bomber jocks specifically were forced to fight the war. And the commentary is woven fairly well into the fabric of the book, which is really more about unveiling the raw experiences of the pilots for the audience than anything else.

Politics aside, it’s compelling stuff. He’s descriptive but not overly dramatic. One passage towards the end of the book serves as a good example:

There is no mistaking the sound and sensation of being hit. I have been tapped eleven times in my 216 fighter combat missions, and the sensation does not become any less thrilling with repetition. The sound is not as loud as you might imagine, yet it is very precise and definite.  I have searched for a good description and the best I can come up with is to take a quarter between your thumb and forefinger and hold it about four inches above a metal surface like a radiator, or even above a hardwood surface like a desk top. Now firmly, but not violently, rap the surface with the quarter. That’s the sound, and there is nothing quite like it.

There’s a great overview of the combat experience of the typical fighter-bomber pilot during Vietnam, with everything from bombing runs to dogfights to more mundane things like how the officer’s mess worked. Throughout, the impression I was left with was- here’s a guy who knows his stuff, isn’t messing around a bit, and would be a GREAT guy to have a beer with.

I’ve got two copies of this book currently.  One is listed for sale through our normal channels (try , and a personal copy. Not sure I’m ready to let the personal copy go.

Highly recommended!



Technique is Important!!!

At Third Person Books we love our customers! We love them even more when they tell us a little bit about why they are buying our books. A short while back I had the pleasure of selling a nice copy of La Technique to Ross Goldflam, the executive chef and proprietor of a new restaurant opening in Westwood, NJ. Chef Ross let me know the book was going to be displayed in the restaurant, aptly named Technique. How cool! A description of the restaurant follows. I would also recommend checking them out on Facebook @techniquerestaurantnj. The pictures look delicious! I know where I’m eating next time I’m in Westwood.

Technique is more than style; Technique is passion.

The heart of Technique is executive chef and proprietor Ross Goldflam, whose passion is crafting classic French cuisine with an American accent. Technique’s vision is simple: the menu is uncluttered; the experience is uplifting; the first bite is as good as the last. It’s the ideal spot for date night, an anniversary, birthday or just to celebrate the day. It’s about savoring and devoting yourself to flavors, surroundings and companions.

Chef Ross’s vision for bringing French cuisine to Westwood, New Jersey is for it to be a holistic experience. The ambience, the food and enjoying the moment come together at Technique like the perfectly balanced ingredients in coq au vin. If a component of the recipe is skipped, it fails to meet Chef Ross’s high standards, so takeout is off the menu.

French cuisine is something of a forgotten favorite that has been buried under cuisines du jour that Americans have been discovering. Chef Ross believes that a moment of rediscovery is upon us and that is what Technique is ready to deliver. The balance and craftsmanship that are the touchstone of French cuisine are what diners will taste; the whole of Technique is its experience and that experience will always be special.


Four reasons books make a great gift!!!

Gift giving season is nearly upon us. Some of the more proactive among us have already begun buying gifts. I happen to think books make a fantastic gift in nearly all circumstances. Following are four reasons why.

  1. Gives you the chance to show off your knowledge about the person

It’s one thing to buy someone something that was already on their wish list. Or a sweater. It’s another thing entirely to buy them a unique out of print book about fly tying because they love bass fishing and head out with their buddies any chance they get.

  1. Creates a physical connection between you, the book, and the recipient

Every time they hold that book about fly tying in their hands they are going to think about you. How cool is that?

  1. Relatively inexpensive

You can get some wonderful books that show off how much you know about the person and look great on the shelf for very little cash. Great example on our shelves right now: Jane Goodall: 40 Years at Gombe signed first edition in very good condition for 25.00.

  1. Easy to wrap!

Seriously, even I can wrap these things!

Bookseller or Matchmaker!?!

I love what I do. I love searching out the best books, preparing them to sell, listing them online (with pics!!!), communicating with customers about the books, selling them, preparing them for shipping, and then dropping them off at the post office.

Sometimes, like this week, it feels like more than just bookselling. More like matchmaking. When I sell a book like the first printing of The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant it feels more like bringing two important entities together- customer and book- than just making a sale.

Likewise, when Plutarch’s Lives goes out the door I am excited. It’s a book, it’s an idea, it’s a book containing an idea that has lived a history of its own, often a longer history than the customer buying the book. And then the book (and the idea) and the customer come together. And I facilitate that. It’s awesome.

A wonderful feeling. It’s why I do this. I love my books and I love my customers. Take care all!


Sell Us Your Books!!!

We want your books!!! We can come to you, make you an offer, box up your books, and take them away. No trying to find boxes, straining your back, none of the mess or the fuss often associated with slimming down your collection. We do ask that you have a significant number of books or books that might be of special interest to our customers. Most importantly, do not assume your books are not what we are looking for- give us a call instead.

We can generally make you an offer and write you a check on the spot.

We are also happy to partner with Estate Sale Managers, Professional Organizers, and others whose clients could benefit from having us remove some or ALL of their books without the hassle of packing them up and lugging them to a reseller or thrift store.

Call 847-445-8928 or email for more information.