Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why Amazon Storefronts?

From time to time we get asked why we sell on Amazon? The underlying assumption in this question is that we're pulling out the 'best of the best' books to sell on Amazon and the only books left at the semi-annual book sale will be second rate.

Well, if you've ever BEEN to one of our Semi-Annual book sales, you know that latter sentiment is just not true. There are many, many books available at the booksale. The high QUANTITY is still evident even after we've culled for QUALITY.  The QUALITY of the books (condition, variety, currency) we offer is something we take pride in. It begins with our awesome sorters during the intake process who are ruthless about getting rid of books that are substandard in some way (foxing, moldy, broken spine, stinky). The books are carefully packed in a way to ensure that they come out of the box as nice as they went in. When you see them, they have been checked once more as they're put out, and they're reasonably priced to move. And they DO move!
The books we offer on Amazon are those that, during a sale, would be in the display case for sale or in the Specials Room. They are all priced above $5. At the sale, they would be overlooked due to the quantity and quality of books offered. Some of them are "hot" right now, but might not be by the time the sale rolls around. In many cases, they are niche books that appeal to a particular slice of the market, one which we do not see in large numbers coming to the sale. Our Amazon offerings sell all over the U.S. And while we do have patrons who travel to come to the sale, the majority of our customers are from right here around Reston. There are a number of books that we offer on Amazon that, as the sale draws near, we withdraw and offer locally so that our local, loyal patrons get to see them at the sale as well. If they don't sell, they might go back to Amazon after the sale. It is amazing to see how many do sell right after a location change. And since the point of the effort our many, many volunteers make is to SELL the books to raise money for our library, it is gratifying to see the effort rewarded. And since we have a fiduciary responsibility to our 501(c)(3) charter, we try to creatively use every means of sale available to us.

So is it worth coming to the sale or should you just wait at home for us to put something you want up on Amazon? It is always worth attending the sale. Many people come each day for some period of time and leave with more books each visit. The majority of the books during the sale are $1.50 hardback, $1.00 trade paperback, and .50 small paperbacks. Oh yeah, it's definitely worth it.

So we'll see you the evening of April 23 for Friends Night at 6-8:30, and each day after that. (Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-4:30, Sunday 12-3:30). Bring your checkbook or cash. We don't take credit cards and the ATM that's located in the library isn't always reliable.

Here are some special books that we have for sale on Amazon today.

British History for Dummies (2007), 
$11.50 Amazon1

Cases in Bioethics: Selections From the Hastings Center Report (3rd Ed.) Paperback, $25.00  Amazon1


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