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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cops shut down book buyback service, please show your support

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Cops shut down book buyback service, please show your support

Posted on 11 June 2010 by Adam Mueller (0)

This article, written by Stacy Litz on the Examiner, tells the tale of thugs with badges being used to smash competition.  Competition that when left to operate freely is the only market regulator needed.  Hopefully next time Stacy will have a camera with here.  Then we can all see how redic this officers claims are.
Here is her story below:
Philadelphians,
I currently work part time for a book buy back service called Belltower Books.  Yesterday, we set up a small table at the exclusive 33rd and Arch Street location on Drexel University’s campus, along with two other big name book buyback services. 

Belltower Books, unlike these companies, buys back all books, including old editions, paperbacks, and more.  The competition could not handle it and a manager from Penn Text came over to show his displeasure in our service, ranting about how he “does this for a living” and we are taking all the customers away from him.  Shortly after, the Drexel Police were called on us and we were told we needed a permit to sell on Drexel property.

So we moved to public property.  A location far up from the pristine 33rd and Arch and less targeted by students.  Losing business, we continued to buy back books until later, after being spotted by the competition again, the cops came and told us to leave once more, because we were partially on Drexel property.

Today arrived and I decided to try one more time and I set up the table on a sidewalk off Drexel’s campus, not blocking pedestrians and completely on public property.  A cop showed up, told me that I needed a permit and that I had to leave.  I asked him if he could show me this permit or if he even checked the other services for permits.  He just looked at me blankly as if it was a ridiculous question to ask for some proof.

These permit laws are meant to protect the customer — not the competing business.  I would say that Belltower Books is only helping the consumer and there are no moral problems, health hazards or issues related to that which should be regulated by law.  Greedy businesses who want to drive competition away are not the reason to create these permit laws.  After searching the Philadelphia government’s website, it seemed like these permits mainly applied to food services — not that I could even decipher what these permits mean and how to acquire one — or even if I need one in the first place.  Would the cops shut down a lemonade stand from operating on a public street?  Well, yes, but not typically.

So, what can you do to help us out, considering we were driven out of business?  Well, we want your books!  If you have any used text or non-text books that you’re looking to get rid of, please be in contact with us!  We will take them all off your hands!
  • Make an appointment on our website (enter zip code 19104) at http://belltowerbooks.com/
  • Call us at 267-750-8407
  • Email me at litz@drexel.edu to make an appointment with one of our buyers!
Please show your support!  We are no match for the police or the competition at this point, but we still need your help!
Adam Mueller is a former member of the Motorhome Diaries.com and founder of Cop Block.org. He's an advocate for a voluntary society, one where people are free to live their lives so long as they don't initiate force on others.

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