Is Now the Time for No-Returns?

November 2008
by Contributions

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Is Now the Time for No-Returns?

Since the practice of allowing returns was inaugurated decades ago, publishers have seen, to their sorrow, how costly it is in purely financial terms. More recently, publishers and others in our industry have focused on the environmental costs.

With technology in various forms available to help booksellers rationalize orders and respond to demand, perhaps the book business can finally return to no-returns. In any event, IBPA members are experimenting with that alternative and related policies. See below, plus “Returns: Saying No and Coping Otherwise” (September) and “Returns: Tactics for Addressing a Persistent Problem” (October).

—Judith Appelbaum

Flexible Rules

Our most successful book is a book on spices. We have sold more than 10,000 copies without promoting it in bookstores, and without any returns.

Only one of our three books has been sold directly to the bookstore market. We indicate in the literature we send all stores that we do not accept returns. Still, we do take books back if a bookstore asks us to, since we don’t want any hard feelings and we can easily resell them. This has worked fairly well, alt…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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