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?
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.
The future has began with the digital technology age today. From video-cams, landlines, instant messaging and reading, the internet has transformed a new way of life.
With online virtual communities and social networking, one does not need to travel thousands of miles to meet and learn about society and culture.
Expressing emotions and ideas are ways to create a real sense of healing especially when humans go through difficult times in their lives. Understanding human ordeals is hard especially if we have never experienced the same hardships and situations.
It is no longer assumptions towards realities and analyzing trends but listening to people. On the other end, the listener has to have the compassion and sentiment to elicit a more positibe attitude.
This is not just about the business aspects of creating niche but also sharing personal experiences over life. The key is simply accepting what is present and then move on towards a new beginning. This is the real message depicted on the ideology behind why we have constantly promoted the online virtual community.
It started back in 1999’s stock market collapse, the rise of the dot.com empire’s and yet we were nobodies.
Came 2001 right after 9/11 then 2004 when two major online business empires almost ruled the world online to include advertising.
Enter 2006, good riddance to more pro-small business models like Google, Yahoo, Windows, Live.com, My-space and Facebook including our book notables like Abebooks, Alibris.com, Biblion.co.uk, Choosebooks, Valorebooks, A1 books, Tom Folio.com and the ABA (American Booksellers Association) when venture capitalists in Silicon Valley where the king of the jungles influenced by the big shot major online players.
Yet, 2007 came start of the great recession after 1931 and a gradual change in the socio-political climate of the world in terms of technology and business. Fall of 2008 made history having the 1st online high tech 44th President of the United States, a darling of the poor, a new robin hood in technological times and realization that even micro enterprise start-ups have the potential to someday experience the lives the king’s and emperors of silicon valley.
Today, 2009 brings a new generation of emerging online business models ala the dot.com period where emerging start-ups which was snob by venture capitalists before came to rule the world.
As we had continously emphasize our mission of affordability to the limited income earners, our social networks, and the people who have the kind generous hearts of supporting us at http://www.affordable-booksonline.com all we can say is a big hug of thank you’s. Be it in terms of search engine rankings with Google’s book partner programs, yahoo’s small business team or Amazon’s virtual generosities, to you all we say thank you so much for being there during this phase as we shall forever remember all this good gestures.
As http://www.adleinternational.com and http://www.alex-esguerra.com emerges truly as a new social network for affordability in terms of fighting for low income earners, be it in terms of advertising or seed capital now is the time to invest when the door opens as it will closed being a privately held company.
Everyday, I survive and thank God for each day as I low income living disabled individual in America today. Sometimes, I try to think how many like me are out there. There are times I really consider myself being upgraded to having a bed at night and shelter distinguishing me from being homeless in America.
Yet every single day, I struggle to survive which some people don’t understand। It is really interesting because I don’t work and simply cannot। yet did try but it is a struggle।
This is why my business and blogs are always talking about affordability to limited income earners because I am an example of being one। I believe the best way of think survival is first the basic and even with the basic needs you have to prioritize।
Thus, this is the very essence of our business model at http://www.adleinternational.com or ADLE International as known through our brick and mortar stores।