Friday, February 25, 2011

There is too much "stuff."

Had someone call me and ask about a Mark Zuckerberg comic.

I told him we don't carry "celebrity" comics, that I thought they were a gimmick, and he hung up.

Afterward, I realized that I'd probably sounded insulting. I hadn't meant to -- there are a bunch of these comics, and I've just decided to forego them because I don't think they result in actual reading, which is my focus. But....I have no aversion to selling things.

Next time, I'll just say, "No, but I can order it for you..."

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Linda and I were at some friends house to play Carcassonne ( for the first time. ) Afterward, I was talking to their two adorable young girls, and mentioned an interest in their books.

They started hauling them out and telling me ALL about them.

"Wait! Wait!" I exclaimed. "Bring me a pencil and paper!" The scurried off to fill my command, and then, as I wrote titles down, they enthusiastically told me the stories.

Shar told me that she fills up a bag at the library every visit.

So when I say that kids don't read, I realize I'm probably wrong. I know that each of the books they handed me probably cost something like 20 bucks, and at the pace they were reading, library or used is probably a more viable option.

Something to remember.

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I go into our competitor, The Open Book, to buy books all the time. I don't have credit, so I finally figured out that that was kind of stupid, so I loaded up a bag with about nine books from The Bookmark, and took them over.

They accepted about 3 of them for trade, even though I'd made an effort to try to pick books that weren't as common and they might want.

"We have duplicates of these," she said. "Sometimes there is just too much stuff."

"Yeah, I think Linda is finding that out, too."

So my credit came to something like 10.00, instead a potential 30.00 or something.

So the Bookmark's strategy, in the same situation, would been to offer the 30.00, and then hope they spend it, but in picking books from the Open Book, I realized that there was a downside that I'd never thought of.

When a person has more credit, it's more likely they will always be spending the "half" price. Whereas, if a person has limited credit, and their purchases go over, they'll be more likely to spend the full price on the overages.

Or....do they mostly put them back?

Anyway, something I had never thought about before. By actually using the process, I learned something.

I still think it's better to take as many books in as possible, but I think Linda had shifted to trying to make sure that every customer is offered some credit, taking as much as possible, but not taking in entire libraries....

Taking in quantities has given us, I think, a pretty good selection of books. Being more selective, but willing to buy books, has given the Open Book a good selection of books, as well. It's just a different strategy -- and since we were a start up, not so long ago, that makes sense. Neither is right or wrong.

If I ever have a more modest sized bookstore -- my goal for when I'm older -- I'll probably have to limit intake pretty drastically. But for the Bookmark, being inclusive has been one of it's reasons for success.

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Gee. I'm being very understanding today.

2 comments:

Jeff said...

It is funny to think that even with 2 bookstores, you still visit a third one (a competitor no less) to look at more books...

Duncan McGeary said...

Like I said, there is a lot of stuff.

Enough good books to fill 10 bookstores...