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Friday, August 05, 2005

B&N Disappointment, Hope

Alibris sellers were pretty happy with their new-found monopoly on Barnes and Noble used book sales. Little did they know they'd be without B&N for two weeks this month. Any way you cut it, it is a rough time to go down. Back-to-school sales are revving up and, after the summer doldrums, sellers definitely need every opportunity to sell books. Despite this temporary set back, the Alibris faithful have to be cautiously optimistic about the potential for increased sales through B&N. We're talking NEW customers which means ADDITIONAL sales. Many people have argued that the only change for booksellers will be a swing in the market share for affiliate sites. This overlooks a key fact: B&N serves thousands of faithful customers and now these faithful represent a new customer base for online booksellers. The potential is there for a big increase. We're not talking about an immediate impact, but if B&N remains committed to this project it could be a huge boon for Alibris sellers.