Monday, May 4, 2009

Buying Books for Juan Or at the MPH Distributor Warehouse Sale (28th April - 3rd May 2009)

On 30th April 2009, Mommy purposely took leave from work to go for the MPH Distributor Warehouse Sale which was held from 28th April to the 3rd May at Jalan Bersatu, Section 13/4, Petaling Jaya (same road as Colgate-Palmolive Malaysia). Actually, Mommy went to this sale previously which was held some time around October 2008 and found this sale worthwhile going if you are looking for children books. Unfortunately, Mommy didn’t blog about Mommy’s purchases in the previous sale because Mommy hadn’t started blogging yet.

Anyway, never mind about the past and let’s get on with current times. Mommy arrived there around 9.16 a.m., found a small ‘parking opportunity’ just right in front of MPH’s main gate. Mommy called it ‘parking opportunity’ because that spot was not meant to be an official parking lot. All parking lots at the side of the road were full. It’s just so happen Mommy’s car was small enough to be able to fit in there. So Mommy quickly got out of the car and headed straight to the Customer Service Counter because Mommy had an article write-up (from The Sun newspaper on 27th April) about this sale which can be exchanged for a free book. No purchase required but only limited to the first 15 people per day. Upon reaching there, there was already a couple asking for the free gift to which Mommy overheard the counter personnel telling them that the 15th person had just claimed the gift! Wow, looks like it was an average of 1 minute per free book given away! So Mommy didn’t bother asking anymore, left the counter and started browsing the books on sale.

There were many varieties of books, especially children books, and ranged from books published some 40 years ago (yes, Mommy bought one book published in 1970!) up to the present. Crowd-wise – it was not crowded and there were ample space for customers to browse the books. Most of the newer books were placed on make-shift tables or shelves whereas the older stock of books were in boxes placed on the floor. And it was in those boxes on the floor where you would find good deals – nevertheless the books were older (and dusty), but still presentable and usable. Those books placed on make-shift tables and shelves were more expensive in which the discount rate given didn’t quite befit warehouse sale prices. An example was a children hardcover book which Mommy saw sold in MPH Bookstores for RM6.90, but the price in the warehouse sale was RM6. Also, most books in this warehouse sale had gone up in prices compared to the previous one in October 2008. Examples were ‘Adventures of Tintin’ series sold at RM18 in previous sale, but now sold for RM20; a Collins English Language dictionary sold for RM8 previously now sold for RM10. Also, a number of books sold in this sale turned out to be more expensive than that sold in the MPH Stock Clearance Sale (held in March 2009 recently). Examples were a magnet hardcover children book sold at RM24 in this warehouse sale compared to the stock clearance one at RM20.90; a reusable sticker book sold for RM16 in this warehouse sale whereas the stock clearance one at RM13.95. Mommy wonders whether MPH Distributor and MPH Bookstores actually had an MoU between them to minimize their conflict of interest? However, the Usborne Young Reader books sold here were cheaper (RM7 each) than that in the MPH Stock Clearance (RM9+). Anyway, Mommy already bought the Usborne books for Juan Or in the last MPH Distributor warehouse sale for the same RM7.

These are the books that Mommy bought:

Dr. Spock’s parenting books – Dr. Spock’s The First Two Years (RM10), Dr. Spock on Parenting (RM15), and Dr. Spock’s the School Years (RM15).

Guarantee the Sex of Your Baby (RM15) – Mommy bought this book because sexing is Mommy’s research interest during Mommy’s postgraduate days.

Usborne Music Series: Learn to Play Guitar (RM21) – This book is written for older children and has concise explanations and nice illustrations on all-rounded aspects of guitar playing such as classical guitar, blues, folk guitar, rock, etc. To put it simply, this book has a little out of everything about guitar playing. That is why Mommy bought this book even though Mommy feels RM21 is quite expensive!

Cat in the Hat Early Reader Series (The Berenstain Bears) (RM10 each, hardcover) – Mommy found these ‘antique’ children books in one of the boxes on the floor. There were all that you see here in the photo and Mommy bought them all! The books were dusty and the hardcover looked dirty, but after wiping them with wet cloth, the books look new! Hooray! These books were published as old as 40 years ago. Mommy clearly remembered reading them during Mommy’s childhood days. By the way, in this sale, other newer Cat in the Hat books were sold for RM10 (soft cover) and RM21 (hardcover). So Mommy considers this purchase a more-or-less good deal.

Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Calling All Engines (Thomas and Friends), Lion King, Charlotte’s Web and Cat in the Hat’s Fish’s Tales (RM3 each) – Again, these nicely illustrated children’s book were found in some boxes on the floor. The Home on the Range has stickers included. Mommy considers this purchase as good deal!

Star Wars:Return of the Sith, Sesame Street: B is for Books!, Brother Bear (simpler version), Shrek the Third, Hiccup!, Monster Eyeballs (RM3 each), Time Magazine for Children:Bats! (RM5) – Mommy considers this purchase as good deal also! Sesame Street, Brother Bear, and Hiccup! are for very young readers while the rest are for ages 8-12. The Bats book is a little more expensive, but never mind considering the bat photos inside are very sharp, vivid and attractive.

Winnie the Pooh Collection of Stories (RM20 for the entire folder which contains 4 board storybooks) – This is also considered good deal because other much simpler baby board books were much more expensive than each board book here which costs RM5.

Disney’s School and Beyond (RM20), Disney’s Read-to-me Treasury (RM30), and Ready to Read Amusing Stories (RM18) – all these books are thick, in hardcover, price-wise is not very cheap, but Mommy still buys them anyway because of the large, attractive and colourful illustrations, plus large-print text which is good for young children. Mommy got these books from those make-shift tables.

(The Disney books have large, attractive and colourful illustrations with large-print text - good for young children!)

(Ready to Read Amusing Stories not only has large-print text and colourful illustrations, but also has 2 pages dedicated per story to emphasize new words learnt from each story.)

Jungle Book 2, Rugrats Go Wild and Cat in the Hat colouring books (RM2 each), and Robots: Ratchet Attacks reusable sticker book with scenary (RM1). Again, these are good buys. Mommy found these books from the boxes on the floor. As for the Robots sticker book, Mommy found another one which was exactly the same, but the price tag showed RM5! So of course, Mommy grabbed the RM1 one!

(3 colouring books at RM2 each and a reusable sticker book at RM1)

All in all, Mommy spent RM254 that day. Also, everyday, MPH gave out free goodie bags to the first 200 customers who spent at least RM200. So this is what the goodie bag contains: Mr. Midnight Notebook, Charlie and Lola Animal Set (What is that? Looks like some origami paper thingy plus 3 pieces of crayons and a marker pen to Mommy!), 3 bookmarks (one rectangle shape and 2 panda bear shape), a pair of sunglasses, some shiny-looking stickers bundled together with a compass, and a cartoony post-it notes.

(Goodie bag items)


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