Charity shops...content gold mine...EH????

30 replies
Hi Guys

I'm assuming you have these in the US? But in the UK, there are loads of charity shops where you can buy cheap books, clothes, DVDs etc. Anyway, if you look in the book section, you can always find really good books on the kind of stuff that make great content ideas for niches.

For example, there are always books on dieting, golf, fishing, making money and so on. The great thing is even though these books are often a few years old, most of the information in these types of books are evergreen. Also, as the text is most likely not online ( at least word for word), you could basically read a passage and re-write it in your own words, and there's your content, which was originally written and researched by an expert.

Anyway, hope that is useful. Failing that, just buy other random stuff for the hell of it, because it's cheap lol I just bought a set of 5 80s music CDs for 50p lol

Cheers
Phil
#charity #gold #mineeh #shopscontent
  • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
    Hey Phil! We have those kind of shops over here, but they come in two varieties: pawn shops and thrift stores. (Charity has a slightly negative connotation for us, depending on the circles it's used in.)

    They're also pretty good places for a budding eBay/Craiglist entrepreneur to pick up inventory as it is dirt cheap and can be resold quickly.

    -- j
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    • Profile picture of the author phil.wheatley
      Originally Posted by JaRyCu View Post

      Hey Phil! We have those kind of shops over here, but they come in two varieties: pawn shops and thrift stores. (Charity has a slightly negative connotation for us, depending on the circles it's used in.)

      -- j
      Ah, I see, I guess any shop or place that sells 2nd hand stuff is good. Car boot sales also probably.

      Cheers
      Phil
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      • Profile picture of the author fin
        You can't rewrite books.

        It's called STEALING.

        We aren't Scam artists, though I understand why people feel that way.
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        • Profile picture of the author phil.wheatley
          Originally Posted by fin View Post

          You can't rewrite books.

          It's called STEALING.

          We aren't Scam artists, though I understand why people feel that way.
          I think you've misunderstood what I'm saying. If you think about it, the information written in the book wasn't original either, he/she would have researched it from somewhere else, quite often at least. You would use the topic in the book to get the idea, to learn about that topic and then re-write it in your own words.

          Well, either way, take it or leave it
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  • Profile picture of the author wblake37
    great ideas!
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  • Profile picture of the author carrot
    I live in a small boutique suffolk costal town. Someone left a pair of jimmy choos at an oxfam! Oxfam are hot on this though, and sold them in their retro London store, but it made the news!
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnBrenner
    Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Faber
    It's is stealing if you copy it. If you completely rewrite it, it's called inspiration.
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    • Profile picture of the author phil.wheatley
      Originally Posted by Steve Faber View Post

      It's is stealing if you copy it. If you completely rewrite it, it's called inspiration.
      Thanks Steve, at least some people "Get it".
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      • Profile picture of the author PaulMcGregor
        Phil this is a GREAT idea. I'm a huge fan of Charity shops, my family laugh. I've been buying clothing from charity shops for a while now and selling online. Never thought about this idea, will defiantly implement it!
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    The content you write will be about as valuable as an out of print book.
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    • Profile picture of the author phil.wheatley
      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

      The content you write will be about as valuable as an out of print book.
      So, if the topic is on dating, you really think that will be massively different in 5 years time?
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      • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
        Originally Posted by phil.wheatley View Post

        So, if the topic is on dating, you really think that will be massively different in 5 years time?
        If the topic is dating, I will take ALL the advice I can get as I have massively flopped in that department.

        I know what Phil's saying here -- find books on topics that are not bound to change that much. For example, once you know how to plant a tomato or make a chicken coop, that's not going to change. Chicken coops today are still made with bailing wire, nails, and wood, just like they were decades ago.

        And Fin, I'm going to disagree with you here. Getting a book from a pawn shop is no different than getting one from a library or reading articles from Google news. You're doing the research before you start writing. Unless it's something you have implicitly done all the work on yourself (like building a car from scratch with no guides or help from anyone else), you are using borrowed knowledge and rewording it into something you think your audience can use.

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        • Profile picture of the author phil.wheatley
          Originally Posted by JaRyCu View Post

          If the topic is dating, I will take ALL the advice I can get as I have massively flopped in that department.

          I know what Phil's saying here -- find books on topics that are not bound to change that much. For example, once you know how to plant a tomato or make a chicken coop, that's not going to change. Chicken coops today are still made with bailing wire, nails, and wood, just like they were decades ago.

          And Fin, I'm going to disagree with you here. Getting a book from a pawn shop is no different than getting one from a library or reading articles from Google news. You're doing the research before you start writing. Unless it's something you have implicitly done all the work on yourself (like building a car from scratch with no guides or help from anyone else), you are using borrowed knowledge and rewording it into something you think your audience can use.

          -- j
          J, thank goodness there are people like you on this forum, restoring faith in the fact there ARE people who understand the concept you are trying to get across. People like you are the ones who take an 'idea' and then just run with it. Others just try and find a reason why it won't work, and normally prove themselves right.
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          • Profile picture of the author mosthost
            Originally Posted by phil.wheatley View Post

            J, thank goodness there are people like you on this forum, restoring faith in the fact there ARE people who understand the concept you are trying to get across. People like you are the ones who take an 'idea' and then just run with it. Others just try and find a reason why it won't work, and normally prove themselves right.
            I get what you're saying, Phil. And I don't see anything wrong with it. Let's face facts: most information is hardly what anyone can call 'unique.' If you're thinking of it, chances are someone has already written it down before.

            As the old saying goes, if you copy from one source you're a plagiarist but if you copy from many you're a researcher

            Still, you have to try and add a little something to the mix. Maybe rewrite the articles based on a tangential point or something.

            Then you can spin those derivative articles and link back to your new pages, etc etc. Break out the Dragon Naturally Speaking and write some off the top posts. etc.

            After all, 99.9% of all web content really is pretty weak.

            I think your method can result in unlimited articles if done consistently.
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            • Profile picture of the author phil.wheatley
              Originally Posted by mosthost View Post


              After all, 99.9% of all web content really is pretty weak.

              I think your method can result in unlimited articles if done consistently.
              Yeah, you're right, so much of the information out there is plain fluff, it doesn't really solve the problem they are trying to address. This is normally what happens when people want to pay $5 for an article, you normally get something that is dribble, like "lots of people are trying to lose weight these days"...stuff like that.

              Sometimes, I just like to use books to get an idea about what to write, but as you said, it still requires some research and need to put your own spin on it...not to be confused with spinning the article of course lol

              Cheers
              Phil
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            • Profile picture of the author Tangycontent
              Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

              After all, 99.9% of all web content really is pretty weak.

              I think your method can result in unlimited articles if done consistently.
              His method... did you mean "research"? I also got a kick out of your claim that 99.9% of web content is "pretty weak". Now of course you haven't personally seen 1/100,000th of 1% of all web content, so I'll assume you mean "all web content that I read is really pretty weak."

              In which case: I would suggest you start reading more informative stuff online!

              Anyway, OP: sounds like you had fun at the thrift shop. Congrats
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              • Profile picture of the author phil.wheatley
                Originally Posted by Tangycontent View Post

                His method... did you mean "research"? I also got a kick out of your claim that 99.9% of web content is "pretty weak". Now of course you haven't personally seen 1/100,000th of 1% of all web content, so I'll assume you mean "all web content that I read is really pretty weak."

                In which case: I would suggest you start reading more informative stuff online!

                Anyway, OP: sounds like you had fun at the thrift shop. Congrats
                haha, yeah, I'm a sucker for buying stuff just because it is so cheap, I have to stop myself walking in there otherwise I walk out with a load of (musty smelling) stuff lol. p.s Your avatar is funny as hell!
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      • Profile picture of the author theimdude
        Originally Posted by phil.wheatley View Post

        So, if the topic is on dating, you really think that will be massively different in 5 years time?
        Very good reply thanks for the info as I am no good at writing and will be doing some shopping soon. We call them community shops or charity shops here and a few of them have some real old books that might even be public domain. Time to dust off my dragon and get it working for me
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  • Profile picture of the author Dinospider
    Banned
    Those charity shops as you've said are great for content, but i reckon you could easily find some hidden golden niches as well.

    Imagine how many untapped niches you could find in these old books. There must be thousands that could be found.

    Think i'm off to charity shop tomorrow morning. In fact the library might also be worth a check!
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  • Profile picture of the author kingleo101
    Great post,thanks for sharing
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    • Profile picture of the author cashp0wer
      We have a few thrift stores in my area but I've never even visited one of them. My wife probably has though. Interesting idea, however. I do understand you are not actually copying the book but using it for inspiration. No problem there!
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      • Profile picture of the author fin
        @JaRyCu

        You can disagree with me all you want, but if this doesn't sound like stealing:

        you could basically read a passage and re-write it in your own words, and there's your content, which was originally written and researched by an expert.

        I don't know what does. Maybe the OP just worded it wrong, because obviously there's nothing wrong with taking ideas from a book.

        Can you imagine if everyone just went through a book, paragraph by paragraph and wrote it in their own words, lol.
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        • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
          Originally Posted by fin View Post

          @JaRyCu

          You can disagree with me all you want, but if this doesn't sound like stealing:

          you could basically read a passage and re-write it in your own words, and there's your content, which was originally written and researched by an expert.

          I don't know what does. Maybe the OP just worded it wrong, because obviously there's nothing wrong with taking ideas from a book.

          Can you imagine if everyone just went through a book, paragraph by paragraph and wrote it in their own words, lol.
          You're right Fin. 100% right actually with this explanation. When I read it, my brain went the other way with it (as you can tell from my post) and I assumed he meant what I wanted it to mean, not the way that you took it. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when the overall tone of the OP was to help others.

          I see where you took it differently, though. That'll teach me to assume something, huh? LOL

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          • Profile picture of the author fin
            Originally Posted by JaRyCu View Post

            You're right Fin. 100% right actually with this explanation. When I read it, my brain went the other way with it (as you can tell from my post) and I assumed he meant what I wanted it to mean, not the way that you took it. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when the overall tone of the OP was to help others.

            I see where you took it differently, though. That'll teach me to assume something, huh? LOL

            -- j
            Yeah, I reckon the OP wasn't meaning to copy a book exactly as written, but I just wanted to bring it up because it sounded like that.

            Lots of people probably don't know this isn't allowed if you change the words.

            Can you imagine someone wanting to make a name for themselves in their niche and people realize the information is just the same as what they've read in a book last week.

            They probably wouldn't get far in the niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author michaeljcheney
    Phil - props for this one, love to hear of new wacky methods for niche-selection and content-creation. Yes I can definitely see how this works and gets out of the Google searching trap that a lot of people fall into. Good stuff.
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    • I love UK charity shops. I bought a ton of stuff at a shop in Hammersmith some years ago, including a full set of Indian Tree china. Probably pretty plebeian goods if you live there, but exotic to me.

      The thing about the UK and books is that there are very different non-fiction books from what you'll find in the U.S. I go crazy buying books when I go over there because there's no import duty on books.

      Where I think the OP got into a bit of trouble was that he started out suggesting a charity shop is a "content gold mine." That definitely does not sound like research to me; that sounds like repurposing a book as content for your own site. If you were just talking about research, an ordinary library would be just as much of a "gold mine", no?

      There's always been a fine line between research and plagiarism, which is why it pays to be very clear about what you're suggesting.

      fLufF
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  • Profile picture of the author dudeontheweb
    Originally Posted by Chris Kent View Post

    Charity shops are great but if all you want to do is rewrite content why not go to a library instead? More books and free to borrow too.
    Because I have found books at the thrift store and yard sales that you would never see at the library. I bought Don Lapre's making money system at a yard sale for a buck years ago.

    So I say use both.
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  • Profile picture of the author textbroker
    I think thrift/charity stores are a content goldmine, but not just by picking up books for pennies. There are usually some strange things that can inspire the next take on a common theme. Maybe that 1970s Mickey Mouse shirt leads to a post on updating your brand to reflect your company. Or the old rotary telephone inspires a post on the basics of communication. Don't limit yourself to books!
    We have a Goodwill store opening across the street from our office soon, so I'll have inspiration right next door.
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