McKay Used Books… Entertainment Wonderment Emporium or Vicious Media Cannibal?
When most people think of Mckay Used Books, their thoughts are fond ones. Thoughts of taking one’s unwanted items and exchanging them for a handful of personal treasures. Whether you leave with armfuls of books, some dvds, or a couple of video games you couldn’t afford to buy at retail; generally you leave happier than when you left. However no one ever stops to think where all those hidden gems come from. “I found the collector’s edition of Lamb!” “Who would trade in Bioshock and Fallout 3?!?”
Today I bring you a behind the scenes look into the true nature of the beast called McKay’s.
My first trip to McKay’s was in the Summer of 2009. I was innocent then. I just took in some old text books, a few movies I’d replaced with Collector’s editions, and a couple games I hadn’t played in months. After accumulating over $100 in store credit I left with 6 dvds I’d been looking for forever as well as 4 amazing movie posters. I was on cloud nine. What I didn’t know, however, is that I had walked into a trap. McKay had my scent, and it’s a ruthless hunter.
I think I may have started at the wrong point. Way back in 2004 I graduated high school, and burnt out on the go to school for 40 hours and study for another 30 routine, I went almost immediately into the work force. I found a job working the night shift at Lowe’s. 9p.m. to 6a.m. Monday through Friday. This schedule ran counter to most opportunities to spend my hard earned cash in person. That’s when I joined Columbia House. This was back when you were still rewarded for being a member. Every other week brand new movies were buy one get one free and you earned 2-4 points per dvd. Every 20 was another free movie. Shipping was a low 99 cents per disc and no tax was charged. I had always had a passion for the cinema and with those rates, by dvd collection grew. Quickly my 48 dvd shelf was left obsolete and before long, not even my 150 count shelf could contain it. I took pride in that collection (which was easily on par with that of Danny Butterman’s in Hot Fuzz. ) At the time of my first visit to McKay’s my collection was at roughly 400 disks. I had my own exclusive Blockbuster (I even charged certain relatives rental/late fees to insure I got my discs back in proper condition in a timely manner.). Never did I imagine the horror that was to come. By this time Columbia House had gone from a nice way to buy DVD’s at roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of retail to a ponzi scheme. $3 shipping per disk, jacked up prices, (increasingly so on bonus cash transactions) and sales tax for the full retail price of everything. My collection started to slow it’s growth. I was forced to turn to Ebay, hoping for legitimate copies of my purchases. It took a full 28 months for my collection to reach it’s pinnacle at 585 discs. This was after a dead summer in which only 3 movies were added to the collection. McKay’s had my scent and it wanted blood. Pulling off the greatest Blitzkrieg scene since the 2nd World War, McKay’s struck cutting my prized collection in half. 585 was taken to 253 overnight. I awoke with gaping holes where timeless classics and personal favorites had previously been. At first I was dumbstruck. I hoped against reason running to my roommate to see if he had borrowed them to make a DVD castle or some other multimedia monument. No such luck, when I returned to my room, I noticed that my dvd’s weren’t the only thing that had been disturbed. My wallet lay open with freshly printed check for $183.47 and a little yellow slip reading McKay Yellow Trade 295.69. McKay had been intimidated by the growing size of a competitor. The deed had been done. I went to confront the scoundrel, but was defeated again. I went to try to fix a wrong, but was weak. A selection of Christopher Moore Novel’s, and a handful of 360 games, and a couple of box set’s distracted me. I realized only after I was walking through the doors that I had been duped. I tried to return, but the doors had been sealed behind me.
I thought that it was over then, but I was a fool. I began working on my collection again, this time going for style over substance. Hoping that I could remain unnoticed. However that was not to be. The monster known as McKay has struck again, claiming another 23 DVDs. Well, 35 to be precise, but some sets were involved. If you take away the 12 additional discs included in those sets away from 35, you get 23…
McKay’s refuses to leave my DVD collection alone. A collection that once covered 5 shelfs, now barely covers two, and I’ll I have to show for it is around 10 books, several video games and blue rays and around $300 in cash. I fear the monster won’t rest until I have no DVDs left and few shelves full of Blue Rays.