Sunday, September 19, 2004

Used Bookstores

Of course, the Internet has been a boon to used bookstores. How could anyone have thought otherwise? The Internet massively reduces the costs of searching for used books, making it possible for you to access the inventories of bookstores all over the country, rather than those in your geographic area. When a huge transaction cost is reduced to nearly zero, it should be no surprise that this enables more transactions. No longer do you have to spend countless hours searching for that out-of-print Hardy Boys book -- three dozen copies are available in seconds. (It is still unparalleled fun to go to bookstores in person, mind you, both for the experience and for the serendipitous findings.)


Blogger Elaine said...

Used bookstores are also using the Internet in their shops. For example, my favorite used bookstore has about 80,000 titles: Far too many titles for their workers to keep track of. If I go into the shop with the title of a book, but not an author, they can easily look up the title on, give me the author's name, and I can merrily hunt for it in the stacks (which are organized by subject and author's name).

The Internet has also improved their ability to buy books that will sell. If, during "book buying" someone comes in with a book that they are unfamiliar with, they can research it on one of the used book sites and determine whether there is any demand for the book.

9:38 AM  

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