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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Stack 'Em High, Watch 'Em Fly

One of the great parts about being an exclusively online seller is not having to worry about storefront displays, book placements, and as this column from the Telegraph points out... piles (not to mention rent, heat, and lights). Back when I was 12, we sold books at fairs around the region. As our weekend, cottage enterprise grew, we got bolder and ordered more and more stock at higher quanities. When we got to each show, we had to decide how to showcase these books. We soon learned the power of mass quanities. When we put one book out, modestly, among others or showcased it alone in a stand, people barely stopped to look. When we stacked a few titles 10 high people came from across the room to check it out. It seems many consumers, subconsciously, seem to associate quanity with lower prices and better selection. Little did we know that "our" theory was already being played out on a much larger scale in urban centers across the country. Indeed, the megasellers would eventually make it to us, and when they did, we found they employed this type of strategy with great success... No I don't miss this strategizing. Yet after almost 15 years, it seems it cannot be avoided. Hence, these are the thoughts running through my head as I begin preparing for my first trade show... I can be glad we will only be doing a few of these a year. Here's to the internet.