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- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: Amazon.com
- From: "Richard L. Hardesty" <papabear@PTINET.NET>
- Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 22:01:46 -0800
- In-Reply-To: <199801120341.TAA18004@ptinet.net>
- Message-Id: <199801120458.UAA19330@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
At 09:41 PM 1/11/98 -0600, Darlene Sybert wrote:
>Let's face it, if the local bookstore were willing to sell books
>for 30% off and order a wide variety of books for us as eagerly,
>Amazon would not have had a market to begin with. The small local
>book seller had no concern for my financial problems before Amazon;
>I have no concern for his financial problems now...
I might point out that if the local bookstore sold books at 30% off, he'd
be out of business in short order. The usual trade discount to the small
store is 40%, occasionally 50%, and that doesn't leave much room for
profit. When I was managing one of the "little" stores, if a book was a
short-discount item (20% or less), it was automatically a special order
item and was ordered strictly for service to the customer, not profit, as
there was none. When you consider that a really efficient new-book store
can expect about a 7% profit on gross sales, you can perhaps understand
that the inability to offer a 30% discount on standard stock has nothing to
do with an uncaring attitude on the part of a bookseller, but with the
deisre to stay in business. These discounts are figured before shipping
charges are added in. . . .
The big guys (like Amazon & the chains) can negotiate for greater discounts
based on large quantity buying power. A small independent (i. e. "mom &
pop") bookseller does not have an easy time of it, I can assure you.
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute.
Richard L. Hardesty