Thursday, May 19, 2011

DMG Score

I stopped at Half-Price Books this afternoon, as is my occasional wont, and found a pretty clean copy of the original efreet-covered DMG. The binding was solid, not much wear, and most impressive of all, the pages were white, rather than the usual yellow or brown. Also, not a single pen or pencil mark throughout.

Note: not my actual copy

Now I've never been a big AD&D guy, but a lot of people list the AD&D DMG as their most treasured D&D book. I'd like to have a copy as well. The only issue was the sticker price of $20. These books are all over the place, and I think $20 is a bit steep. Furthermore, it had a Toys R Us price tag sticker on it from 1980-something listed at $10 and change!

Thus, I set out to make a deal. I went to the counter and asked the young man working there what he could do about the price. He looked at me like I was crazy, and said, "That's just the price, we don't change it." I asked to speak with the manager in a very casual non-confrontational way. He called her up and told her I wanted to "dispute the price." I clarified, saying that I was not disputing anything, and I was simply hoping to get a better deal on a widely-available book.

She went and looked up the sales data, and told me that based on the data she was confident she would have no problem getting $20 for it, but she was willing to give me $5 off anyways. I thought about it for a moment. I could certainly get a cheaper copy, but one this clean was probably going to be relatively rare. I agreed and am now the proud owner of a rather handsome copy of the original DMG.

The moral of the story: negotiation is a lost art here in the states. We often fall into the thinking that the sticker price is just the price and take it or leave it. You'd be surprised what you can do if you just ask, even at a retail chain. Give it a try some time!


  1. $15 is pretty much the price, with shipping, that you can get a clean copy off of ebay, for. If, you're willing to be patient for a week or two. :)

  2. Congrats on getting a clean copy and at a good price!

  3. I picked up a copy for $8 or $10 dollars at HPB. It was 'clean'.

  4. It certainly wasn't a steal, but a fair price. I was about to just leave, but I figured I'd at least ask to see if an agreeable deal could be reached.

    I have no idea how they go about pricing stuff at that store. I got a MMII for $7.50, but the FFs are usually $15. Condition seems to have little to do with it, as there was another copy of the DMG there that was completely shat upon for the same price. One of the full-page illustrations was colored with marker, rendering the other side of that page illegible.

    The best one though was the PHB that had command words for some player's magic items written in pen on the inside cover. This included such colorful phrases as "hairy balls" and another I can't recall at the moment.

    Good times.


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