y Observations from Biblio and Barnes & Noble - Selling on Alternate Venues (Page 1 of 2)









by Reesa Turner

#129, 3 November 2008


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So many venues, so little time. Life gets in the way of research, and dedication to the task. Listing scads of books can become mind numbing. It takes a concise mind to follow the formula, and a steady demeanor to plug away at it day after day. Not the easiest proposition for lazy me, with my wandering imagination, and desire to throw the lot out and be done with bookselling altogether. Indian Summer never fails to bring about my lackadaisical nature. As one of my professors once mentioned to me many years ago: "I may be first off the blocks on any given day, but my experience has been that of struggling to reach the finish line."

Loss of discretionary income was not something I was too worried about when I decided to try a new start, and get rid of the albatross of unwanted expense in my low-functioning eBay stores. Not having that bill to pay was a relief, but my other venues were not creating much cash flow either. Surprisingly, just when I begin to think all is lost, a breakthrough presents itself. My husband gets a very nice raise, and a huge book order comes in the next day. Thankfully I don't have to pay to maintain presence at most other venues. The one exception to this rule is my inventory on Biblio.

The Little Venue that Could

Signing up to sell on Biblio.com was probably the best move I've made over the years. Of course, I gravitated to Biblio's free-to-list policy, chose them over every one of the bigger fixed-price listing sites because of it. Biblio is one of the few sites out there that allow the seller to set his own shipping price and does not take a portion of that shipping price for their own cut. If only this were the norm for all selling sites. You will also be given a small refund each billing cycle if you maintain a high percentage of order fulfillment each month. Biblio welcomes you to use your own merchant account for credit card processing, or they can provide that service for a fee.

There have been many positive changes over the years at Biblio, and they strive to allow a seller his independence over the long haul. When they implemented an optional monthly fee structured platform, I began to look more closely at sales revenues vs. fees incurred, and the handy comparison tool provided by the site convinced me that my level of sales warranted a change in fee choices. The differences in fee structure: Option A: Pay no monthly fee and you are charged 15% on sales (plus any credit card fees you may incur thru Biblio's processing). Option B: Pay a monthly fee (calculated on the basis of your inventory size) and pay 7.5% commission on sales.

At one point I had listed several thousand books to the site but found that more common books are not generally sought at Biblio, and have since culled the bulk of that lesser inventory. How do I know those titles weren't generally sought? I merely took a look at my site-provided bookseller dashboard/book report to determine which titles in my inventory were getting the most hits.

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Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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