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7 Myths of Bargain Books

November 14, 2023

Bargain books are a great way to add value and variety to your store, but some wholesale book buyers may have doubts or challenges that stop them from buying bargain books or creating a discount book section in their store. This blog will explore seven of the most common myths or misconceptions about bargain books and address some of the worries a new buyer might have. We understand that many of our readers already appreciate the value and benefit that bargain books bring to their business, but we hope you will still find this article useful.

Myth 1: Bargain books do not support authors.

The misconception that bargain books fail to support authors is rooted in the belief that they don’t provide royalties. While it’s true that bargain books do not supply royalties to authors, this argument holds validity. However, it is essential to recognize that bargain books can still significantly support authors, albeit in a different manner. This is particularly relevant for emerging authors seeking to establish themselves in an industry increasingly dominated by bestsellers.

For authors with substantial book contracts and established success, the impact of bargain book sales may be marginal. However, for lesser-known authors striving to make a mark, the accessibility of their work through bargain books presents an opportunity. Enticed by the affordability and willingness to take a chance, readers might discover an unfamiliar author. Should they develop a fondness for the book, they will likely transition to purchasing subsequent releases at a front-list price, thereby bolstering the author’s overall support and recognition.

Myth 2: Front-list sales will be cannibalized.

When contemplating the addition of a bargain book section, bookstore owners often worry about it detracting from front-list sales. However, the experiences of numerous successful book retailers worldwide suggest otherwise. Contrary to the concern, incorporating bargain books enhances front-list offerings by attracting customers and motivating them to make additional purchases. High prices may limit customers to buying only one or two new books at full price. Yet, strategically placing enticing bargain books, especially near the checkout, can generate additional sales. Consider the scenario where a book category, like cookbooks, is losing popularity due to the prevalence of online recipes. Customers may hesitate to spend $30 or $40 on a cookbook, leading to doubts about allocating more store space. Nevertheless, a value cookbook at a discounted price could still capture their interest.

Myth 3: Selection is limited.

With hundreds of new arrivals added to our website daily and more than 50 categories available, there is always something for every organization type – big or small! We add over half a million books to our inventory each week to keep your organization’s reading materials fresh and engaging. Whether you’re a retailer, educator, or nonprofit organization, our vast network of connections with every major publisher in North America gives us a diverse selection of over 35,000 titles for you to choose from. If you haven’t checked out or, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

Myth 4: Bargain book quality is compromised.

At Book Depot, our inventory is comprised of excess inventory from publishers, all of which are unread and guaranteed to be in good condition. Typically, most books bear a discreet mark, such as a small line or dot on the page edges, indicating their discounted status in the market. This marking prevents the books from being returned to the publisher for additional credit, resulting in substantial customer savings. While some books may not carry this mark, it’s a standard feature for the majority.

Since our stock consists of publishers’ excess and returns, a few titles may exhibit minor shelf wear and retail stickers. Before shipping, we inspect books for damage, ensuring you receive products free from cover rips or tears. Our remarkably low damage claim percentage, less than 0.07%, underscores the high quality of our offerings.

Myth 5: Bargain books are dated.

Indeed, bargain books are not new releases, as publishers intentionally allow them to age before introducing them to the secondary market. Nevertheless, publishers have substantially reduced this timeframe, enabling these books to reach retailers sooner and maintain relevance. While there will always be some portion of dated inventory in the mix, there exists a substantial amount of relatively recent products that cater to the interests of your customers.

Myth 6: There is little profit in bargain books.

The profitability of bargain books is often underestimated. In essence, there exists a significant profit margin within the realm of bargain books. Despite being low-cost, they yield substantial returns. Strategic purchasing allows for swift turnover, fostering enthusiasm in your store for exceptional deals and potentially doubling or even tripling your investment. Long-time customers of Book Depot have consistently executed this approach, noting that while new book sales often break even, bargain books emerge as the primary source of profits. Considering the minimal investment required, why not explore this lucrative avenue?

Myth 7: Half the order is not filled.

Regarding order fulfillment, we are focused on the commitments made by Book Depot rather than dwelling on past experiences with other wholesalers. This issue often surfaces among booksellers who have previously ventured into purchasing bargain books with other companies. Without adequate inventory controls, there’s a risk of overselling popular books, leading to customer dissatisfaction. Unlike publishers who can effortlessly print more copies, our approach involves managing finite inventory responsibly. We’ve diligently implemented systems that provide accurate real-time visibility into our available stock. When an order is placed, the allocated quantities are promptly deducted from our inventory, ensuring a precise and reliable fulfillment process. Our website dynamically reflects available quantities, and we diligently monitor our fill rate, reinforcing our commitment to accurate order processing.


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