Friday, September 19, 2008

Attack of the Megalisters

Mick Sussman's NYT essay Attack of the Megalisters explains strategies used book stores are using to inventory and price books. Very interesting!
The new strategy involves a selective embrace of e-commerce, focused mainly on a category of book that scarcely existed before the Internet — books you might call “rare but not collectible.” These are books sought after not as artifacts or for resale value, but for their content — often concerning subjects with appeal to fervent communities of interest. If you absolutely have to have Joseph C. Lisiewski’s “Kabbalistic Handbook for the Practicing Magician” right away, what else can you do but shell out the $149.50...

1 comment:

Voz Earl said...

I've noticed that it's often a waste of time to check multiple online databases of used books since they all seem to be tapped into the same networks and often return the same hits from the same member sellers. In the 90s I spent a lot of time combing used book stores looking for hidden gems but now that they are all hooked into the internet with a worldwide customer base, they generally want top dollar for even the most esoteric material. I prefer to spend a weekend or two scanning a library copy into a PDF file than to pay $$$ for a book that is otherwise going to rot in inventory for years while they wait for a desperate buyer.