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Blowouts and Markdowns

August 29, 2018

On a past business trip that had our CEO and I visiting booksellers in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, and India, one thing was consistent; those who carried bargain books and offered exceptional prices proclaimed they had an increased bottom line and higher foot traffic in their stores. Well, the same goes for the rest of the world—including North America.

Book buyers are vastly different in what they seek to read and interestingly, they also differ in what they are willing to pay for their books. Some don’t mind paying the full retail price for the latest release from their favorite authors, expensive hardcovers for their home libraries, or even large coffee table books to display in their home. Whether the book is a new release or published a few years ago, the key is to ensure it is priced right!

Getting the right price is no easy task, especially when your inventory consists of approximately 70,000 unique titles with hundreds of new ones arriving daily. This is why we have dedicated staff who review our inventory daily to ensure each title is correctly priced based on many different factors.


Ridiculously Low Costs

I’d like to draw your attention to the purpose of this blog, which is to shine a spotlight on two sections we created within our inventory, aptly named Blowouts and Markdowns. These two sections house a selection of hand-picked titles, refreshed on a regular basis, that have been drastically reduced in price. The prices have been slashed to such ridiculously low costs that the sections are certainly worthy of a browse from time to time.

In order for me to help you better understand how a title ends up being marked down and/or flagged as a blowout, I’d like to reference an earlier blog written about the life cycle of a bargain book, in which we detail the typical path of a book’s life from the point it is first published all the way through to its transition into a bargain book that finds its way onto our shelves. If we apply the same theory to what happens upon the book’s arrival at our warehouse through to its final days on our shelves, you’ll understand that the right price becomes even more important as the title shifts from new to old; hence the need for Book Depot to revise its pricing of most titles on an ongoing basis.


Benefits of Buying Low-Cost Books

Now let’s go back to my “ridiculously low costs” comment and discuss the benefits that this type of pricing offers booksellers. With many of the titles in these sections carrying net costs of less than $1, it’s very easy to double, triple, or even quadruple your money all while providing the right price and encouraging buyers to commit to a purchase. If you decide to pass along the savings by keeping your prices below $5 and combine that with proper signage or specific merchandising areas in your store, chances are good you’ll create a destination for the bargain shoppers who come and go through your store. You may even notice an increase in basket size with those customers who come in to buy that new release from their favorite author and then grab one or two bargain books during their visit they just couldn’t resist.

It’s common to see booksellers display their markdowns and blowouts on tabletops or just outside their front doors on the sidewalk with signs identifying their amazingly low cost. Some create specific sections in their store, while others simply enjoy the extra margin and treat them like any other title by placing them in their inline sections. Though, typically most are happy to pass along the savings to their valued customers.

Recently we started drawing attention to these sections through our weekly email newsletters, and we will continue to do so on a regular basis. For those of you who are not currently signed up for our e-newsletter, you can sign up here! For those of you who would prefer a reminder in the form of a monthly customized list, please contact our customer service team and we’ll be more than happy to schedule it for you.


What are you waiting for?

Begin shopping the markdowns and blowouts right away and make your selections before they’re gone!


Shop our Blowouts here

Browse our Markdowns here


Dave Wiggins

Sales Director

Book Depot


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