Of Sold Words and Books

So [Joicy] was asking over Twitter why was it that the Big Bad Wolf Sale could afford to sell books at RM8 while MPH and other retailers sell their books for RM39.90. The simple reason would be this:

The Big Bad Wolf Sale sells their books at weight price. I can’t remember where I heard this from, but I do remember that it was mentioned that BBWS only pays for the cost of shipping the books, which is the reason why they can afford to sell the books so cheaply.

MPH, Kinokuniya and other book retailers on the other hand, don’t just pay for shipping. They pay for the books, the right to sell the books, marketing, overhead etc. Books sold at these places also have a marked-up margin; booksellers are allowed to make a margin profit of only 30% of the price of the books they sell. This was set by the Booksellers Association of Malaysia (I think, I can’t remember the name now).

Another advantage that BBWS has over normal book retailers is that they buy fewer titles but in ridiculously large quantities. Most book retailers sell more titles but in smaller quantities. Unlike BBWS which stocks older, maybe out of date titles, retailers also stock newer titles, books of which are usually priced much higher.

I hope this helps clarifies a few things. It’s not very clear but um… best I can do right now.

3 Responses

  1. joycescapade November 14, 2010 / 4:04 PM

    Hmmm. If that’s the case, I wonder will MPH’s business be affected a lot? Not care I care but they shd know that there are people like me who don’t splurge on books.

    In fact, I’d wait patiently till book sales to get books rather than buy them earlier (more expensive). Makes sense?

    • Naoko Kensaku November 15, 2010 / 7:59 PM

      Yes, it does.

      Me I’d prefer to buy my books as and when I can get them. From what I understand, when books are sold through places like BBWS, the authors don’t get any money from the sale. So if I find a book that I like, I’ll buy. If not then I wait.

      Not sure about that, but from what I heard, a lot of the book retailers will be boycotting the distributors who ship to BBWS. No idea who they are though, and no idea if it is effective.

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