December 18 – December 25, 2008 Edition Powell’s Books
Expands Used
Book Efforts

Portland, ORE (Authorlink News, December 18, 2008)–Powell’s Books has gone into the used book business is a bigger way than ever. The company’s website is pitching customers to send or bring their used books to Powell’s for cash or credit.

A seller inputs the ISBN number of the book he/she wishes to sell and the bookseller’s automatic system comes back with a bid for what it is willing to pay or credit to a person’s account. They’re even offering to pay for the shipping if the person chooses to send the books rather than bring them to a store location.

According to Powell’s web site, they buy books they feel they can resell, offering approximately 25% (in cash) of the price the company expects to realize for the books, or 30% in store credit (to be redeemed in Powell’s stores or online). The price they offer is based upon desirability, market value, in-print price, condition, and Powell’s current stock levels. The company only pays cash if the person brings the book to a store. A book Powell’s buys online will earn store credit only.

Authorlink Editor’s Note: The problem with the growing number of online used book outlets is that used book sales rob both the author and the publisher, who receive nothing for the sale of a used book through third party vendors. The used book seller is making money on the so-called "shipping cost" of the book. We don’t blame Powell’s because everyone is doing it. The question is: when is the publishing industry going to get wise and try to intervene?