The phenomena that is Black Friday and the follow-up Cyber Monday, what do they mean to you? For me as a bookseller they mean very little. We were offering 20% discount over this period, yet nobody took advantage of these offers, so who does gain? Of course Black Friday events have proved popular both on-line and on the High Street, but who benefits? Do retailers use these occasions as loss leaders or are products marked-up so high that they can afford to slash the price and still make a
It would appear that electrical goods do very well. Computers, TV’s and other media devices, white goods and furniture, to name but a few seem to lead the field as prime targets for Black Friday. Books on the other-hand not so much so, it would seem..
Some retailers view Black Friday as the lead up to Christmas, from Black Friday onwards the cash tills start ringing and ringing.
Is it a con?
Some research seems to suggest that many items offered at allegedly huge discounts have actually been on offer in the same stores at cheaper prices at other times of the year, so yes the evidence seems to say that it is. Retailers have jumped on this band-wagon and promise cheaper than ever prices, but are they really? Research once again suggests that prices in July are often cheaper than they are for Black Friday.
I’ve been selling books online for about 10 years or so, whilst you may think this is a pretty mundane sort of job it has had its interesting days and it does mean that my days are my own to fill. A typical day will comprise of the following activities.
Listing books – I sell on a variety of different sites such as Amazon, ABE Books and Biblio, to name but a few. So when I list a new book it is usually uploaded to at least four different sites.
Collecting books from my lock-up – I have a lock-up containing around 50,000 books which are stored on shelves and in boxes all labelled in order to find a book.
Wrapping and shipping books – All books sold are wrapped in bubble envelopes and sent to their destinations within a couple of days of receiving the order.
Additionally I will spend some time answering customers queries, researching books and collecting new batches of books.
One of the biggest headaches I find is that of inventory management and culling old stock. Both of these have led me to problems, resulting in receiving orders that I can’t process because the book has been previously sold, or moved to a different location without me making a proper record of it. I am currently carrying out a stock-take to try and rectify some of these problems. It also gives me the opportunity to reprice some books that have been held in stock for a very long time.
As you can see this is all quite time consuming and sometimes challenging, but also rewarding, especially when I pick up a rare or unusual book for only a few pence.
I will try and add to my blog at least once a week, telling you about different books that I have come across and even point you to some bargains on my new website.
Please feel free to comment on any of my posts!