Who Doesn’t Like a Bargain!

December 2005
by Jan Nathan, Executive Director, PMA

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In an effort to reach out and
meet more PMA members, we have been having our board meetings in different
regions of the country, along with mini–university programs for the
people in those regions. In Florida last February, we had a great meeting with
the folks of the Florida Publishing Association. In Seattle last month, we met
with Book Publishers Northwest. We were able to offer assistance to 78 people
there, and it was great to get to know them from both a business and a social

While in Seattle, I was reading The Seattle Times
and came across an ad that struck a nerve. The ad was selling some electronic
stock, but I looked at this full-page ad and wondered why booksellers have
never considered doing something like this.

The ad read, “65% Off All Slightly
Scratched or Dented Stock.” I thought, What a brilliant idea! Why wouldn’t
something like this work in our bookselling industry? Everyone likes a bargain.
No one would really mind if a book’s cover was slightly scratched and/or there
was a bent corner inside when they got the book at a 65 percent discount. That
65 percent discount is all that matters. Will this prevent returns? Probably
not. But will it decrease the number of returns? Perhaps. And would both
retailers and publishers end up making more money? Undoubtedly.

While I know

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