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Old Inventory: When You Can’t Give it Away, Then Give it Away

Yes, this is the third time we’ve run this piece, but because one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, or in this case, one store’s obsolete inventory could be pure gold to people half a world away on the mission field; here is repeat blog of our piece on Christian Salvage Mission…

Unless your discount room at the back of the store also has its own discount room even further back, you probably know that some really good books — often purely for cosmetic reasons — reach the end of the line in terms of saleability. For those without a clearance room, you probably have a minimum standard of book quality that certain titles — especially given the environmental push to avoid bleached paper and go with rapidly fading newsprint — can no longer live up to. 

Or maybe you’re still scratching your head wondering why a certain author failed to materialize as promised as the next big thing. (Or wishing you knew where that sales rep lived so you could just dump a box on his doorstep!)

Now I’m not talking about books like the curiosity piece like The End: Why Jesus Will Return By 2000; which really belongs in the recycling bin, but instead books that are actually acceptable in terms of content — possibly even on sale at the front of the store in newer editions — but either unacceptable in terms of appearance or just didn’t sell. Books that fit the definition of the term obsolete.

Christian Salvage MissionEnter Christian Salvage Mission. This organization takes books to places where they are needed, on the mission field where English-speaking workers, unable to bring their libraries with them — appreciate the infusion of fresh resource materials and devotional reading.

The organization packs container loads which are shipped using money from donations and money from AIR MILES donated by people who don’t wish to save them for their own use.

There are three ways you can get involved.

  1. If you believe in the power of Christian literature — and as a bookstore owner or employee you do — you probably have pet causes (such as Wycliffe Bible Translators) and you can add Christian Salvage Mission to the list of organizations worthy of your financial support.
  2. If you shop a lot at stores which offer AIR MILES, you can note the CSM number on a card in your wallet and have the cashier type it in each time you’re asked: 8007 960 3655
  3. If you have inventory — and this can include obsolete Sunday School curriculum or surplus copies of Our Daily Bread in addition to books, commentaries, devotionals, etc. — you can arrange to get them to a CSM representative by contacting them in Hamilton through their website or by e-mail; or if you’re reading this in the United States, two similar ministries exist. This site also clarifies the types of materials they are needing.
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