Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Amazon problems

Books are so much cheaper at Amazon! Order today, get them tomorrow! You need never leave the house again! With Amazon for postal goods and a Tesco on every corner the consumer is king - these colossal firms really like us! Over at Housmans ( you can find many reasons never to use Amazon. But wait... just suppose you have been tempted to buy our best seller - Maps - from Amazon (though no doubt feeling guilty about it). You might begin to think "Where's my stuff?". Out of stock is where it is. Not too great having your best seller being out of stock at Amazon for at least a couple of weeks now. Are we boycotting supplying them? Nope. Like everyone else we confess to being hypocrites - we sometimes buy second hand books via Amazon (how else can we find them?) or ABE (owned by Amazon). We encourage mail order customers from overseas to use Book Depository to save on postage (Book Depository is owned by Amazon). We buy toner from Amazon (as nobody in Nottingham stocks the toner we use). But since Amazon began the powers that be in this firm thought if we pretend that Amazon as a bookseller doesn't exist it will go away. We don't supply them direct. If Amazon wants our books it will have to use a wholesaler. Actually there are practical reasons for that - Amazon takes 60% discount for starters (so that's why books are cheap). Direct supply means keeping all our titles in Nottingham - our trade warehouse is in London - and doing a lot more packing. If you saw our tiny office you'd realise why that was not welcome. But the system is not working. Not for the first time the wholesaler Amazon uses is being very slow to supply them. There's a hold up in the wholesaler's goods-in department - could it be that Christmas has arrived unexpectedly again? At the Alliance of Radical Booksellers there was quite a debate on Amazon - with some publisher members saying that Amazon is their main shop window now. Certainly we get the impression that more and more of our books are being sold by Amazon. So, we will be moving to direct supply. We expect availability of our titles to improve markedly. In the meantime, our apologies for our best seller and other goods being out of stock at Amazon. But we do offer 20% discount on ALL our books ordered direct to us, by cheque, with the books being posted out the same day. Or support your local indie.

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