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Re: The Oak Knoll Repricing Saga

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  • 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 1 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.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > _____
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      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Oak Knoll Books
      > 310 Delaware Street New Castle DE 19720
      > P: 302.328.7232 - F: 302.328.7274 - E: <mailto:oakknoll@...>
      > oakknoll@...
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      >
      > Member Antiquarian Bookseller's Association of America (ABAA)
      > <http://www.abaa.org/> http://www.abaa.org/
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      > 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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