Thursday, September 29, 2005

Buying used books on line

The Book Industry Study Group calculated the size of the used book market and the results are published today in Seattle Times as well as - The Growing Market For Slightly Used Books: "While the market's size is still modest -- about $600 million, or 2.8% of the $21 billion that readers spent on consumer books in 2004 -- it is growing at 25% annually. Jeff Hayes, group director for InfoTrends Research Group, suggests that it could reach $2.25 billion in U.S. sales by 2010, or 9.4% of a projected $23.9 billion in consumer book sales."

Some of my thoughts:
  1. Textbooks already work this way and publishers have adapted by insisting on more frequent updates. The market for the 14th edition of a popular Calculus textbook disappears when the 15th edition comes out.

  2. It's a matter of time before the same thing happens to lots of other businesses. Why buy a new anything if you can buy a slightly-used version for less money.

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