Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Distant Relations

In our warehouse in McKeesport, here in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, about an hour's drive from Pittsburgh International Airport, Book Country Clearing House stocks between 10 and 12 million books in a 300,000+ square foot warehouse. 

This is a sight to behold and can't be appreciated without coming here and walking every aisle on both floors. And buyers do exactly that. I have harangued my customers and prospects for years about buying bargain books. Many do buy, though I (of course!) think they should buy way more. Some prospects say they are not for them, they're not worth the trouble. 

Really? I had a customer last week who traveled from Nigeria to visit out little warehouse. Buyers come from Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, England, Austria, Canada, Australia, India... I should also mention they come from New York, Seattle, Portland (both), Omaha, and Los Angeles. I'm just rattling off the ones I can think of off the top of my head, there are way more. These buyers are not vacationing. They are not on a bookseller's holiday. This is hard work. They work for hours and days in very cold or very hot conditions, on their feet for hours at a time.

The conversations I have with some of them can be enlightening. One, who owns 3 bookstores somewhere in the USA, said he started buying bargain about twenty years ago, but did not put them in all three stores. He gradually added them and now, in the third store, he sees a 20% sales increase because of bargain.

So if you are a buyer thinking of dabbling in remainders and wonder if it's worth the trouble, all I can say is yes, but don't dabble. Dive in head first. There are so many booksellers spending so much time, resources, and effort to do this, and they are not doing it for fun. They rely on bargain as one of the pillars supporting their business.

The best part is, you don't have to visit our warehouse to buy from us. We have way more customers who buy from our lists every day. I'll walk you through the process if you need help, but it's so easy and your customers and bottom line will thank you.

Sorry to cut this short, but I must go to the airport to pick up a customer.

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