Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Downturn in Online Bookselling

Several online booksellers are dumping their series books on eBay in larger book lots and for low prices. I have now counted three booksellers who are doing this. One seller states that he is downsizing his inventory.

SUNNY BOY Carolyn Wells DOROTHY WHITEHILL 6 in DJ Item #120330979156

The above bookseller, robt_williams, is someone with whom I have had transactions going back to 1997 on both eBay and the Advanced Book Exchange.

Here is another:

Lot of 8 ROVER BOYS by Arthur M. Winfield in DJ Item #290274436857

The above seller, bookstalker2, is Dave Edwards of the Book Safari, www.seriesbooks.com. He does list a bunch of his books in lots on eBay somewhat frequently. It appears, though, that he is listing more books now than usual. Also, I notice that, as of this writing, his website was last updated with new inventory on October 19, nearly one month ago. This is not normal for him.

Here is the third:

Nine Nancy Drew Books by Carolyn Keene in Dust Jackets Item #330284726989

Frogtown lists a lot of books on eBay, but I do not normally see him offering multiple book lots of Nancy Drew books in dust jackets.

All three booksellers are people who sell on other venues in addition to eBay. I have a feeling that sales have been so poor lately that it has been necessary for them to list larger lots of series books at low prices in order to improve their cash flow.

I have saved want lists on the Advanced Book Exchange, and I have noticed that far fewer books have been listed in the last few months than previously. Not only are people not buying, they are also not selling. I am buying very little because I cannot find much worth buying. For the most part, I am not selling because I do not feel that it is worth it at the moment.

I just received a 10% off coupon for the Advanced Book Exchange in my email. I don't think I'm going to be able to use it. I was not able to use my eBay 10% off coupon a few weeks ago. What good are coupons when I can't find items to purchase during the valid dates?

Even more annoying, eBay has now given me a 10% off coupon that is good in only the electronics category. I am going to be purchasing some electronics in the coming weeks, but I only purchase electronics from retailers such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Amazon. EBay is too risky for electronics, so my coupon is no good.

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