Buying Books Part II
Continuing the theme I started in a previous post concerning book buyers being Hunters and/or Gatherers, I wanted to formally posit John’s Law of Buying Books:
John’s Law of Buying Books: The price of a book is directly proportional to the selection offered by the bookstore that sells it.
In other words, bookstores with larger selections usually have a higher price. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are great on selection, but many books offer little or no discount. Overstock stores (like bookcloseouts.com or overstock.com) offer excellent prices (50% – 80% off retail) but offer a much narrower selection.
This is not a hard and fast rule, mind you. There are exceptions. To which I might augment the Law with the Corollary of Tiers, which states:
Corollary of Tiers: Bookstores usually fit into one of these levels:
- Best bargains: Overstock stores (bookcloseouts.com or overstock.com)
- Good bargains: Used bookstores (usually 50% of cover price)
- Little or no bargain: Big-Name Stores (B&N, Amazon)
- Overpriced: Book Collector stores
You’ll note that the better prices are usually offered by stores with less selection thus adhering to the Law of Buying Books.
These rules are bad news for Hunters but good news for Gatherers. Hunters, seeking the one title for which they are a-jonesin’, will do better at Amazon or the local brick-and-mortar retailer. Gatherers, browsing the shelves without a clear target, will do better at the overstock and used stores.
Filed under: Books
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