Thursday, May 05, 2011
Yes, it is inevitable that you will get ridiculous lowball offers for $2.50 on a $200 book.
Yes, the majority of offers you get will be for around 50% of your online retail price.
On the other hand, I have found that using Ebay's "Best Offer" function has resulted in a quite a few sales at reasonable prices (around 10-15% off, or around the equivalent of Free Shipping).
The most obvious benefit of using "Best Offer" is the ability to re-evaluate the pricing of listings that have been on your shelf for over a year. For example, just a minute ago I received an offer of $24 for an item that I had listed at $49.95 (see Linda Stark's slim art catalogue above, entitled Runaway Love). At first glance, this would appear to result in my automatic declining of the offer, or at least a substantially higher counteroffer, but a quick search via Bookfinder and Amazon revealed that there were a multitude of other copies available in similar condition for around $25. So would I be happy to sell my copy at $24 today- a book that I listed in January of 2008 with a sales ranking of 6 Million? You betcha.
This is actually the same reason that I don't enable Automatic Declining or Acceptance of offers, which is an option.
Does anyone else use "Best Offer"? Is there a bit of haggle in you? Or are you categorically opposed to the cheapening of your inventory?
Posted by Kristian Strom at 2:22 PM
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
I just received an email from Alibris announcing that they are unveiling a Book Rental Program, where sellers can offer books for a 130 day period at a fraction of the listing price- they suggested around 60%. This would only apply on listings over $30.
Now I am all for increasing my sales volume by just about any means necessary, especially when it is through a venue where I am already selling books, but further inspection of this new program leads me to believe this may be much more of a hassle than it is worth. In other words, time is money, and it looks like all the time spent processing whatever rental orders I may get, uploading the tracking info, processing the return, accounting for damage, relisting the item, etc. may be a bit of a hassle. Also, it is worth noting that any rental orders must be fulfilled within 24 hours without being cancelled. I'm always trying to fulfill orders as quickly as possible, but I could see one or two busy weekends resulting in a hit to my order fulfillment percentage.
The early consensus among other booksellers who have already chimed in is that they are less than excited about the prospect of this program as well. Can anyone out there convince me otherwise? Perhaps it is worth a trial run, only because I can't knock it until I've tried it.
Details on the program can be found here.
Posted by Kristian Strom at 4:59 PM