That and the demise of Borders in the UK are a warning that the big bookstores are dying as they are squeezed both by ebooks and the economies of scale possessed by online retailers.
Back in 2007 I did a very simple analysis that showed it was often cheaper to buy books new in Australia than second hand from overseas. Well that was then, this is now.
I have now rerun the study, with the following results:
- buying new from a discounted overseas seller can be cheaper than the local RRP
- having books shipped from Amazon in the US is only slightly more expensive than ordering them for mail order delivery from Borders in Australia
- Abebooks is cheaper for second hand, principally due to Amazon's marketplace shipping fees. Amazon marketplace books often have a lower sticker price and higher shipping
- Bookdepository in the UK remains the cheapest for new books from overseas
Doing this moves the long tail online, and into e-books, which could be dangerous as I have the suspicion that the long tail buy more books overall, and once they start buying online they stay online ....
Still havn't seen anyone offering a print on demand service for e-books yet, but Borders did offer to sell me Penguin classic electronic editions for around $12 a pop, which is competitive with second hand shipped internationally...