« Based on the Novel by... | Main | Blount Gets Blunt About Shopping at Indie Bookstores »

December 01, 2008



I have also heard that sellers like Amazon can get an even larger discount from the publisher since they can buy in such large quantities. Is that true?

I agree that there is a difference between price and cost. Thank you for your thoughts about buying from and supporting local independant business.

Elizabeth Burton

And if bricks-and-mortar stores could get the same discount as a wholesaler but would have to give up returns, would that help?


I love Village, and I understand that B'ham is a small town and all of our retail selections are thinner than in larger cities (except maybe for gigantic chains like WalMart, but having only been to the one in bellingham twice, I can't compare it to other WalMarts in larger areas). Our Barnes and Nobel, Macy's, and Sears are all pretty tiny compared to other stores. The "new" Village is open and inviting, but it seems really understocked and uninteresting. I know, I know, you'll order anything, which is great, but I've never understood why the in-store selection is so small. Combining the new and used seems to have made it even worse rather than better. I've never understood why the science and philosophy sections are so small, not the mention GLBT. I used to shop at Village all the time, and still usually do when I'm looking for something new, but I usually end up at Henderson's (for the selection and the fact that I can spend hours in there browsing) or buying books directly from smaller publisher sites (more money for the authors). Village used to be funky, now it's just sort of quaint and slightly elite. Bamboo floors and sweeping staircases are great, but I want more selection!

Village Books

Jenn, Elizabeth & SG,

Thanks for your comments.

Jenn - Amazon may get higher discounts and other promotional considerations. That was certainly true of big box bookstores a few years back but that playing field has, supposedly, been leveled a bit.

Elizabeth - A higher discount to take on the risk of not being able to return is a subject worthy of discussion. However, even wholesalers can return books to publishers so that discount must not be high enough for them to be willing to risk that either. There is no doubt that the current returns system is not healthy so we, and other booksellers, welcome a conversation.

SG - I'm sorry you're disappointed in our selection. Henderson's definitely sets a high standard. The cost of used inventory, however, is much less than new and the dollars it takes to stock a store our size is considerable. The fact is that we have far more books, new and used, since we expanded four years ago. It may not appear to be so but, we expanded from 7500 to 10000 square feet of selling space so the space is more open. What we hope we provide is true "selection," meaning we have sorted through a large variety of books to present those that we hope meet many of our customers needs. Space and dollars do limit what we can stock. It's important that we are able to turn over our inventory on a regular basis. Section sizes are based on the historic demand for those sections. We are always trying to improve the store so, your comments are taken very seriously.

Thank you all!


Bellingham Real Estate

So when is the next buy local week? I should have got into the action.

The comments to this entry are closed.