Monday, 6 July 2009

Shop activity in Ramsgate from the 5p book up and some thoughts on competing with internet booksellers.

With the recession biting more severely by the week one of the more active sections in my bookshop is the recession section where all of the paperbacks are 5p and all of the hardbacks 10p, the very low prices in this section cause some rather unusual reactions from some customers.

When I first started in secondhand bookselling most secondhand bookshops had a section something like this and most customers used them without comment.

I have just been up Ramsgate High Street where the old Woolworth shop is due to reopen as a 99p shop tomorrow and all things considered Ramsgate doesn’t seem to be faring too badly at the moment.

Interesting as Woolworth’s started out as a shop where everything was 6d 2½p in new money and in value probably fairly similar to 99p today, things seem to have come full circle.

Very cheap prices are not always what they seem particularly online.

Most popular paperbacks are available secondhand on Amazon priced a 1p, this is because of the fixed price postage charge of £2.75 that Amazon has for secondhand books that third parties sell through their site, as it costs the seller about £1 to post an average paperback if they sell it for 1p they receive £2.76 less the cost of listing on Amazon leaving them with about £1.50 so there is still a profit to be made from the sale.

This also means that about the cheapest you can buy a paperback online is £2.76 in the bookshop I overcome this competition by pricing most popular paperbacks at £2.50 or less. The same usually applies with Ebay where the staring bid and postage usually come to at least £2.50.

It also has the advantage that any title that is always in short supply I can price above the Amazon price to improve the range and quality of the shop stock.

Walking back along King Street with the camera I took some pictures of some of the shops that have opened recently click here for them I did a post about this recently and am surprised that it is still going on.

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