If your online book sales are slow this summer, consider making these changes

By Sharon Fussell, August 18, 2016

Uni books_opt

You may find that orders slow down at this time of year, and there are various reasons why this is so, including:

– Many buyers are on their holidays
– Hot weather puts buyers off from spending too long at desktop computers
– Children are off school and parents are busy ‘entertaining’ (or should that be containing?) them

Whatever the reason may be, I have heard from many of you that orders have slowed down considerably.

But what can be done to combat these slower order periods?

One way is to ensure you are selling the titles or genre that buyers are looking for at this time of year.

The kind of books I find sell well at this time of the year, and often only at this time of year, are reference books and study books.

I have seen it many times how some study books will sell like mad over the summer break and then stop until the corresponding period the next year. Sometimes this does not make sense, but there it is.

In focusing on study or reference books your sales should improve or remain consistent.

Let’s take a closer look at some more specifics… who is your customer and what do they require?

– University students and those doing college courses, both returning and new
– People enrolled in evening classes

So look for books that cover the likes of…

– Language learning
– Cookery
– Hobbies such as pottery
– How to write essays
– How to improve essays
– A Level retake subjects

There are a heap of study books but to assist you I recommend that you
look up your local colleges online and see what courses they have to offer. This might enable you to target exactly the type of books buyers will be looking for.

This also applies to universities. Do they publish their reading lists online? If so, search carefully at car boot sales and charity shops for likely options to fulfil demand.

Be careful when choosing study or reference books in a used condition as they may contain highlighting and notes annotated on the pages.

If this is the case, be sure to list these books as ‘Acceptable’ and mention the defects – otherwise customers may demand refund and returns.

Likewise, if you have study books that do not have any inner markings and are clean, list as ‘Very Good’ and actually mention in the comment box that the books are clean from inner markings. That way you may be able to sell your copy for a premium price.

There are plenty of car boot sales at this time of year and can be a very source for students try to claw back a few bob for books they no longer require.

Don’t forget to haggle if pricing is a little high – and always remember you need to take into account factors like postage costs.


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