The current issue of Martha Stewart Living includes a six-page feature on reading and independent bookstores, titled “Hit the Books! Our Reading List for 2017.”
As the news media has been reporting, some big box stores are closing some of their retail store fronts in non lucrative traffics areas these days.
What the unknown is that over time these big names had been gradually building their online storefront communities. Some of them had even started to combined their online sites with third party marketplace sellers.
This strategy has slowly building more new website traffic conversions to these big box retailers. One observation in the booksellers community is that part of the product mix of these big box brands web storefronts includes books which over the years was one of biggest internet e-commerce success grandfathered by the eBay and Amazon pioneers.
As books is entirely a new arena for these brands which in the past were in appliances, technology, housewares and clothing to name a few, these online selling marketplaces have not been fully invaded by the so called cheap discounters and dropshippers from Amazon and the traditional books online marketplaces. For how long it will be like these remains a question of time. This was the same scenario years back when independent booksellers started bailing out of Amazon and EBay to then specialized books website marketplaces.
As any bookseller knows. today these so called book special marketplaces are now following the footsteps of mighty Amazon. Not only are the so called valued Quality of books pricing and sellers are diminishing, these sites have deviated on their focus on helping Independant bookstores grow to the tune of fees, fees, charges and commissions. Some have amassed so much money by having selling fees and commissions tiers depending on how books you list and sell.
So as these big box retailers capture market share in books and having independent online sellers as partners our wish is that they don’t follow the footsteps on how book selling marketplaces are being run today. It’s fair to say these big box stores have established their brands of quality and customer service. Hopefully they don’t destroy their reputation by making sure they indeed study the facts and scenarios in bookselling today.
As we continue our vision of Affordable books, affordable with value, quality, and customer service is the main focus versus cheapest price in the planet.
As in any retail storefronts, book buyers can be impulse driven or I need it now.
When a long awaited book comes out in the market depending on the marketplace and buyer demographics, the book could be an instant bestseller or inventory for a bookseller.
The reality of the low priced controlled Amazon wholesale drop shippers instantly controls the bestsellers reign due to the instant market need.
So depending on the supply and demand, it can be days or a week when a book instantly becomes a New York Times bestseller and like the stock market the different book selling platform marketplaces develops each of their tier discount promos to capture the buyers chaos to buy the most wanted book.
Then there’s a time wholesalers inventory becomes low waiting for the publisher to re-order or at some point and time the publisher announces its out of stock.
When this happens, the low priced driven Market changes to now buyers to do their google search driven need as to where can I buy the book?
The on hand inventory of independent bookstores now goes into play to the extent that buyers are no longer low priced but needs driven.
Until the publisher reprints and replenishments comes, for a while the real value for the books market price stabilizes. Of course. When the wholesale low price drop shippers from the Amazon world gets control of the inventory and cheap pricing then the markets again changes.
So for us at ADLE International we try to be consistent. Although we always think of our vision of Affordability, we still priced our books with the market value intended for the book industry as a pledging independent bookstore to maintain profitability and at the same give recognition of the book content and real value.
The pricing tiers for us does not necessary mean cheapest as quality and prompt delivery with reliability speaks who we are to our customers.
From the feedback ratings then to today’s mobile one click ordering, one thing that remains is fast, quality and reliability in delivery on online book orders.
Although the common big marketplaces like Amazon and the like still heavily uses Seller ratings, consumers nowadays focus more on credibility and price competitiveness. It’s not so much on whose the cheapest but what my social media friends thinks of a bookseller says one of our regular book buyers.
I guess all these save pins and news feeds has played a big effect on social media influencing buying habits.
And looking at the big picture, all the online advertising affects the mighty Google Website searches, ranking and optimization.
The more booksellers are connected and in touch with online buyers, the more possibilities you have on getting those books sold online.
Over the years it has been a challenge especially from old time traditional booksellers to buy into the idea of a close relationship with the online world. So if your still part of these non believers I’d say good riddance as we further go deeper to online space technology and selling.
It’s not up to advertising but more on online credibility as nowadays the intricate online web can make or break a bookselling business.
As a book buyer, the question for you to remember is when do get that book are you happy on the whole experience or was it just one sale as long as you get the cheapest price out there?
Hence, we leave both booksellers and buyers the idea of will I buy from this business again as the experience was great?
Having that experience working with political figures way back then as a young emerging entrepreneur gives me a very strong perspective of how politics is where ever in the a free world.
The main difference nowadays as I ran through this high school girls coming from a walk out protest was today’s mobile technology and social media. As I listen on these girls they were steaming through the ABC and NBC news feeds looking at their friends and re-confirming why they had to walked out of school today and joined this all over the SF Bay Area protest
I’ve seen both sides of so called electoral systems both in the free world USA as well as corrupt countries if the third world where manipulation goes hand in hand with money and intimidation
Pre Election and through out a presidential campaign both sides launch their platforms their ads their efforts and their teams or back then foot soldiers and today through social media’s syndication which also played a big role for the election of outgoing President Barack Obama
There were so many underlying factors nowadays against Hillary that the social media syndications gave a lot of confusing outcomes though the fact of winning the popular vote.
I do know the fact the defeated Vice Presidential candidates still has a future to learn as I’ve seen several who in time became President. The reality is that as history writes a defeated Presidential candidate most of the time graduates from the political scene.
In the case of Hillary as she goes this path History will write her very long service and hopefully in time give her own statute not just as the first woman candidate but one who had triumph on the past political positions she had
Past women political figures like Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Corazon Aquino are just some who also went through the path as what Hillary stated in her concession “fight for what is right”
The healing from defeat takes a long time to process yet it is reality. Going through the Facebook feeds on signing a petition for the electors in Dec. 19 is good way to voice however as I’ve seen it through years when an elected President is elected, it is done
However, we never know if somehow this miracle turns around the results again is will be history
For now what we should do is unite in the process and make sure what’s helping us doesn’t get undone and that no new proclamation goes through destroying the dream of what America is about.
Watching this morning Gay Pride Parade that started at the Embarcadero in San Francisco towards the Civic Center City Hall festivities, from the floats, booths and the atmosphere although merry but deeply focusing for the awakening needs that a few weeks ago caused the Orlando Florida tragedy.
As SF Pride celebrated it also express its love in the victims of the tragedy having their names and pictures on the parade contingent.
This year as always has the Bay Area political crowd in the names of Edwin Lee, Nancy Pelosi, Mark Leno, Kamala Harris and the rest. Hillary for President contingent was welcomed and applauded in the predominantly democratic San Fran.
From Virgin America. Kaiser Permanente and the tons of community and non profit organizations in the LGBTQ and Hiv care services sing, dance and celebrated another year if same sex marriage, equality and human rights in the United States.
A few days ago the big question was how SF Pride 2016 will remember the Orlando tragedy as there was really no official word being still fresh in memory and the news media.
As America prepares for its presidential elections this November when the Uk just elected to get out of the European Union. It’s Prime Minister resigning in the midst of another stock market shake up, one can just remember the ideals embodied in this festivities while looking at the issues needed to be prioritized when Barack Obama officially steps down in January 2017.
Hence our own vision initiatives of mentoring and affordability even to limited earners. Although with this focus comes the premise that which online independent bookseller can compete with the mighty Amazon drop shippers who sell books lower than what we buy it from the publishers.
Well yes it’s free enterprise especially when some these mighty ones are not even from here but the United Kingdom.
I guess I should then continue to read my chosen bestseller today, “Before the Fall”
Specializing in rare books, out-of-print books, new and used books, cheap textbooks, cheapest books online and other hard-to-find books.
Listening through Shaun Harper keynote at the Hilton San Francisco on the 29th Annual Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education opens various topics on Muticulturalism and beyond. As a recognized educator like Shaun, he touches on a lot of issues towards student success and struggles. Various session topics touch on different marginalized communities, international students even touching on Obama’s Dream Act on Immigration.
It’s also good to note on the abundance of research grants still out there
From activism, discrimination into becoming especially sensitive faculty to student needs reflects on the issues that might need to be addressed by the next incoming US President
From the Independent Business Org’s reviews and surveys for 2015 it looks like the future is very promising yet as any small independent business lies the challenges.
With the recent numbers of low unemployment paving the way for hiring comes still the lack of funding to sustain operations. Coupled with that is the tough competition online specifically on online book selling where the big online giants eats you up alive by selling lower than what publishers or distributors sell new books for example.
Sometimes, one may wonder how can they do that but the word “BIG” comes with the saying meaning they have the promotional expense funding to utilize so who cares. What’s really funny is with the so called giants comes the big consignors also dropping down prices favoring the atmosphere and if they can sell even new books for $0.01 they will.
I recently had a town hall discussion on our small shop and I raised the question as any independent bookseller would. “If your shopping online e.g. books and your browsing on description and price what do you normally look for and what’s important?”
The brave souls then responded, “We’ve even consider buying acceptable book conditions as long as they are the cheapest price in there” So as gracious as I want to feel, what can I say as for all these years our “Affordable” wasn’t cheap as cheap but “quality” comes with it.
So my take on this as we prepare for Book Expo America through the American Booksellers Association initiatives on May 2016 at McCormick Place in Chicago is it’s time to re-express what book selling and book lovers is about. Quality, experience, joy and great service should still be jointly capitulated on our initiatives and expressions and continue to educate the retail and online consumer what it’s all about.
After all 3 out of 10 online cheapest price sales comes with either the return or negative feedback and guess what? Today even feedback are no longer are deterrent as the culprits invade the cheapest price market on book selling.