For release: May 13, 2004
ABEBOOKS SHOWCASES RECENT FINDINGS: USED BOOK SALES ARE SOARING
The worlds largest online marketplace for books exemplifies
a profound cultural shift in how people think about used books
(Victoria, BC, CANADA, May 13, 2004) In response to three
recent studies on the new and used book market, AbeBooks confirms
that online sales for used books are reaching new, never-before-seen
heights. In fact, the company reports growth far beyond this weeks
The three studies released this week and last, present findings
on the state of the US book market and were conducted by Ipsos-Reid
BookTrendsSM, the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), and Book Hunter
Each study concludes that used books are taking market share
from new book markets. However, Hannes Blum, CEO and president
of online used book marketplace AbeBooks, suggests that each study
has underestimated the potential of the used book market.
These studies show a very important trend, explains
Blum. Weve seen it coming: last year the number of used books sold on AbeBooks.com
rose to heights well-beyond what the current studies are showing.
Selection and price are the key drivers for online used books
sales. Whether youre an avid reader, a student, or a serious
collectoreveryone likes to find a treasure and a bargain.
The Ipsos Insight study (April 29) shows the number of used books
bought by consumers between April and December 2003 increased
5% over the same period the year before, while demand for new
books fell by 2%. The BISG study, Book Industry Trends 2004
(May 14) identifies used books as the biggest factor affecting
the new book market. The Book Hunter Press Study A Portrait
of the U.S. Used Book Market (May 10) confirms AbeBooks
position as leader in the field by showing that 79% of all online
used book sellers list their books on AbeBooks.com (followed by
Amazon and Barnes & Noble).
Even in the area of gift booksapproximately 14% of all
books boughtAbeBooks notes that used books are now seen
as a unique gift option.
Were seeing a cultural shift, explains marketing
director Lisa Stevens. People dont feel that used
is a dirty word anymore. Over 78% of buyers on AbeBooks.com say
theyd be thrilled to receive a used book as a gift.
Two areas of rising demand for used books are childrens books
and textbooks. Adults are purchasing the books they read as children
to give to their own children. Since over 95% of all books ever
published are now out of print, the main source for these books
is with used, rare and out-of-print book sellers online. Sales
of used textbooks are soaring now that students can visit one
site to search the books of 12,000 small sellers on AbeBooks.com
Related findings from the studies mentioned:
1. Overall, the used book market accounted for 14% of general
trade book sales, gaining one full share point since 2002.* AbeBooks
predicts additional growth in the used book market for 2004, fuelled
by increasing international acceptance of shopping for books online.
2. Annual consumer expenditures for books will reach $44 billion
by 2008** AbeBooks has discovered that demand for used books remains
largely unaffected by economic downturns and may in fact, be enhanced
3. The Internet has brought hundreds of thousands of new books
buyers to the used book market***The number of unique monthly
visitors to AbeBooks.com has grown beyond 4 million, with growth
in book buyers from outside of North America.
Excerpts from *Ipsos BookTrendsSM © Ipsos Reid, USA,
**BISC TRENDS 2004, ***Portrait of the US Used Book Market, ©
Book Hunter Press.
AbeBooks is the world's largest online marketplace for books.
AbeBooks makes it simple and safe to find and buy-or list and
sell-new, used, rare, and out-of-print books online. Bookbuyers
love the variety of over 50 million books offered by more than
12,000 independent booksellers. Booksellers love AbeBooks for
providing the tools to help them succeed online. AbeBooks offers
a range of services including dedicated support, HomeBase inventory
management software, options for selling via strategic partners
(Amazon, Barnes & Noble), and four international sites (AbeBooks.com,
AbeBooks.co.uk, AbeBooks.de, AbeBooks.fr). AbeBooks is a private
company based in Victoria, BC Canada, with offices in Düsseldorf,
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Richard Davies, PR & Publicity Mgr., AbeBooks.com