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The Oak Knoll Repricing Saga

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  • Oak Knoll
    The Oak Knoll Repricing Saga The Internet has had a dramatic effect on the prices and availability of antiquarian books. This is great news for the consumer
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 15, 2011
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      The Oak Knoll Repricing Saga

      The Internet has had a dramatic effect on the prices and availability of
      antiquarian books. This is great news for the consumer but has required some
      serious thinking by all of us "old-timers" in the business (I started
      selling books about books in 1976).

      What happens when you consistently sell David Randall's Dukedom Large Enough
      for $45 for a number of years (fine in dust jacket) but then go on-line
      today and find it being sold for $18 by other booksellers?

      This scenario was starting to happen often enough that I decided to sit down
      one night (November 2009) next to a shelf of my books and analyze how my
      prices compared to those of other dealers. This process was accompanied by a
      bottle of wine, of course, to ease my work. I took each book off the shelf
      and compared it to the search result for that book using Vialibri.net (the
      best of the out-of-print search engines, in my opinion). I made sure I was
      comparing "apples to apples" by eliminating POD (print on demand) copies and
      making sure that the edition and condition were as close as possible. My
      test case showed that my copy was infrequently the lowest priced copy on the
      web, more often higher in price than a comparable copy, and sometimes was
      lost in a vast number of $1 to $5 copies of the same book.

      I have always made a point of making sure that I price my books fairly, as
      long-time customer relationships are very important to me. I want my
      customers to know that when they see a book that I list, they can feel
      confident that a search for that book in the inventory of other dealers will
      show that Oak Knoll knows their business and understands the principles of
      supply and demand. Because this is my specialty, throughout the years I have
      seen more copies of books about books than any other dealer, making me, in a
      way, the arbitrator of the prices. I know what books sell well consistently
      and what books don't, and I have priced material accordingly.

      However, my analysis showed me that I needed to lower my prices for the
      majority of our books. But what would my customers think? How would they
      react to seeing books that they had purchased from me over the last year or
      so listed at a lower (sometimes significantly) price? Would they understand
      the dynamics of the new Internet market?

      My first plan was to have a series of sales of material in the $75 to $100
      range. I started posting sales on the Internet that offered a 60% discount
      on the group of books chosen. The sales did well, as everyone likes a sale.
      However, when I really looked at what was selling and what wasn't, I found
      that the arbitrary discount being offered was much too much in some cases,
      much too little in some cases, and about right in a few cases. Back to my
      shelves I went (with another bottle of wine), and I spent a few days doing a
      thorough analysis of the books. As much as I dreaded the conclusion, it was
      obvious that I had to do a complete physical inventory and price analysis OF
      EVERY SINGLE BOOK IN MY INVENTORY (then currently about 24,000). It was an
      ugly thought, as it would take a huge amount of time to complete the
      process.

      We can now fast-forward 13 months to today, when the task is done! Every one
      of the books has been taken off the shelf, looked up using Vialibri.net, and
      had the price adjusted or re-affirmed. A side effect of this process of
      examining each book in the physical inventory was the dozens of interesting
      books we discovered that had become lost over the years. We also used the
      opportunity to make sure we took an image of the book for the website, as
      images give the customer additional confidence in the quality of the book.

      What was the result?

      14% went to $5. This section is the fastest selling section of the re-priced
      books

      58% decreased in retail price with the average price decreasing by 51%

      25% stayed the same

      3% increased in retail price

      We now have about 22,000 books for sale as many of the re-priced books have
      already sold. I'm confident that I can now announce to the world that
      shopping at Oak Knoll Books can be done with confidence in our darn good
      competitive prices.

      Now go to our web site and see what I mean!

      http://www.oakknoll.com/

      Best wishes

      Bob Fleck

      Ps I have not had one person email me about all the prices changes. I think
      the consumer understands the massive change in book-selling caused by the
      Internet.





      _____

      No virus found in this message.
      Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
      Version: 10.0.1204 / Virus Database: 1435/3445 - Release Date: 02/15/11





      Oak Knoll Books
      310 Delaware Street New Castle DE 19720
      P: 302.328.7232 - F: 302.328.7274 - E: <mailto:oakknoll@...>
      oakknoll@...



      <http://twitter.com/oakknollbooks> http://twitter.com/oakknollbooks

      <http://www.facebook.com/oakknollbooks> www.facebook.com/oakknollbooks

      <http://www.oakknoll.com/> http://www.oakknoll.com/


      Member Antiquarian Bookseller's Association of America (ABAA)
      <http://www.abaa.org/> http://www.abaa.org/
      International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)
      <http://www.ilab-lila.com/> http://www.ilab-lila.com/
      Buy with confidence of consumer protection when you buy from an ILAB
      bookseller





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • abkmoyo
      ... Dear Bob, thank you for this very interesting information! I took time to browse through you online-bookshop and was really impressed. All these beutiful
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 16, 2011
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        --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, "Oak Knoll" <oakknoll@...> wrote:
        >
        > The Oak Knoll Repricing Saga
        >
        > The Internet has had a dramatic effect on the prices and availability of
        > antiquarian books. This is great news for the consumer but has required some
        > serious thinking by all of us "old-timers" in the business (I started
        > selling books about books in 1976).
        >
        > What happens when you consistently sell David Randall's Dukedom Large Enough
        > for $45 for a number of years (fine in dust jacket) but then go on-line
        > today and find it being sold for $18 by other booksellers?
        >
        > This scenario was starting to happen often enough that I decided to sit down
        > one night (November 2009) next to a shelf of my books and analyze how my
        > prices compared to those of other dealers. This process was accompanied by a
        > bottle of wine, of course, to ease my work. I took each book off the shelf
        > and compared it to the search result for that book using Vialibri.net (the
        > best of the out-of-print search engines, in my opinion). I made sure I was
        > comparing "apples to apples" by eliminating POD (print on demand) copies and
        > making sure that the edition and condition were as close as possible. My
        > test case showed that my copy was infrequently the lowest priced copy on the
        > web, more often higher in price than a comparable copy, and sometimes was
        > lost in a vast number of $1 to $5 copies of the same book.
        >
        > I have always made a point of making sure that I price my books fairly, as
        > long-time customer relationships are very important to me. I want my
        > customers to know that when they see a book that I list, they can feel
        > confident that a search for that book in the inventory of other dealers will
        > show that Oak Knoll knows their business and understands the principles of
        > supply and demand. Because this is my specialty, throughout the years I have
        > seen more copies of books about books than any other dealer, making me, in a
        > way, the arbitrator of the prices. I know what books sell well consistently
        > and what books don't, and I have priced material accordingly.
        >
        > However, my analysis showed me that I needed to lower my prices for the
        > majority of our books. But what would my customers think? How would they
        > react to seeing books that they had purchased from me over the last year or
        > so listed at a lower (sometimes significantly) price? Would they understand
        > the dynamics of the new Internet market?
        >
        > My first plan was to have a series of sales of material in the $75 to $100
        > range. I started posting sales on the Internet that offered a 60% discount
        > on the group of books chosen. The sales did well, as everyone likes a sale.
        > However, when I really looked at what was selling and what wasn't, I found
        > that the arbitrary discount being offered was much too much in some cases,
        > much too little in some cases, and about right in a few cases. Back to my
        > shelves I went (with another bottle of wine), and I spent a few days doing a
        > thorough analysis of the books. As much as I dreaded the conclusion, it was
        > obvious that I had to do a complete physical inventory and price analysis OF
        > EVERY SINGLE BOOK IN MY INVENTORY (then currently about 24,000). It was an
        > ugly thought, as it would take a huge amount of time to complete the
        > process.
        >
        > We can now fast-forward 13 months to today, when the task is done! Every one
        > of the books has been taken off the shelf, looked up using Vialibri.net, and
        > had the price adjusted or re-affirmed. A side effect of this process of
        > examining each book in the physical inventory was the dozens of interesting
        > books we discovered that had become lost over the years. We also used the
        > opportunity to make sure we took an image of the book for the website, as
        > images give the customer additional confidence in the quality of the book.
        >
        > What was the result?
        >
        > 14% went to $5. This section is the fastest selling section of the re-priced
        > books
        >
        > 58% decreased in retail price with the average price decreasing by 51%
        >
        > 25% stayed the same
        >
        > 3% increased in retail price
        >
        > We now have about 22,000 books for sale as many of the re-priced books have
        > already sold. I'm confident that I can now announce to the world that
        > shopping at Oak Knoll Books can be done with confidence in our darn good
        > competitive prices.
        >
        > Now go to our web site and see what I mean!
        >
        > http://www.oakknoll.com/
        >
        > Best wishes
        >
        > Bob Fleck
        >
        > Ps I have not had one person email me about all the prices changes. I think
        > the consumer understands the massive change in book-selling caused by the
        > Internet.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > _____
        >
        > No virus found in this message.
        > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
        > Version: 10.0.1204 / Virus Database: 1435/3445 - Release Date: 02/15/11
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Oak Knoll Books
        > 310 Delaware Street New Castle DE 19720
        > P: 302.328.7232 - F: 302.328.7274 - E: <mailto:oakknoll@...>
        > oakknoll@...
        >
        >
        >
        > <http://twitter.com/oakknollbooks> http://twitter.com/oakknollbooks
        >
        > <http://www.facebook.com/oakknollbooks> www.facebook.com/oakknollbooks
        >
        > <http://www.oakknoll.com/> http://www.oakknoll.com/
        >
        >
        > Member Antiquarian Bookseller's Association of America (ABAA)
        > <http://www.abaa.org/> http://www.abaa.org/
        > International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB)
        > <http://www.ilab-lila.com/> http://www.ilab-lila.com/
        > Buy with confidence of consumer protection when you buy from an ILAB
        > bookseller
        >
        >
        >
        Dear Bob, thank you for this very interesting information! I took time to browse through you online-bookshop and was really impressed. All these beutiful books with excellent descriptions! I am happy, because you made me realise that the book about bookbinding by Paul Adams which I inherited from my great-grandfather is realy valuable. I will handle it with more respect now. Barbara
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