AbeBooks.com today launched a brand new online marketplace for used, rare and out-of-print books. It’s called Gojaba.com and it targets emerging markets for online used bookselling, which means places away from North America and Western Europe where most of our buyers and sellers are located. Sweden and Russia are the first two emerging markets to be served, and Brazil will be the third sometime later this year.
Gojaba.com is a no-frills, low-cost online marketplace for used books. You can see it’s very different to AbeBooks.com with virtually no site content – just book listings. We’re going to connect buyers with sellers and keep things very simple
Why Russia and Sweden? Both nations are ‘book countries’ and they have a tradition of publishing but also a rare book culture sustained by dealers and collectors. Online used bookselling exists in both nations but simply doesn’t happen on the ultra-competitive basis seen in North America where AbeBooks competes with a number of large well-funded and experienced rivals.
The beauty of Gojaba.com is that this website has been built to handle multiple alphabets, including Russia’s Cyrillic and also Mandarin, and many others too. To use a piece of Internet retailing jargon, Gojaba is scalable – that means we can easily roll out the site into new markets with vastly different alphabets and currencies without incurring heavy costs.
The Yellow Pages operates on a regional level and successfully connects consumers and businesses – Gojaba.com will do the same on the Internet.
In case you are wondering where the name comes from, we staged a company-wide contest and an employee in our Canadian headquarters came up with the word. We wanted a word not related to ‘book’ so it could be introduced to as many countries and languages as possible. We wanted a word that could be remembered easily and that wasn’t offensive, and that, of course, was available as an Internet domain. Gojaba is a fictional word. We hope it’s going to become very meaningful to booksellers and book-buyers in Sweden and Russia.