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The IOBA Standard is the journal of the Independent Online Booksellers Association and covers the book world, with a special focus on the online used, out-of-print, and collectible bookselling markets.


An Open Letter To The Select Committee On Security And Consitutional Affairs, Parliament Of The Repu

Dear Committee Members,

This is in regard to the proposed Second-Hand Goods Bill [B2-2008] and the effect it would have on independent booksellers in South Africa. The Independent Online Booksellers Association is an international trade association composed of professional booksellers, and we share the deep concern of our South African colleagues over this bill.

While we recognize the importance of this proposed legislation in combating illicit trade in precious metals, stolen car parts, and items of that nature, we trust the committee will recognize that used bookstores should not be lumped into the same category. Without exemption for the second-hand book trade, the required procedures would make compliance virtually impossible due to the very nature of our noble profession, and many booksellers would be faced with the difficult choice of ignoring the law or going out of business.

Thanks for your consideration, and best wishes in your deliberations.


Shawn Purcell, President

and the Board of Directors of the Independent Online Booksellers Association


A 9/3/2008 Email Response from Paul Mills of the Southern African Book Dealers Association

Many thanks for this message of support – it is much appreciated by the committee and members of SABDA. We will add it to our submission.

I am in Parliament again tomorrow morning to listen to the committee discuss our submission. As I understand it we can only listen at this stage but cannot comment although there is a possibility that we may be asked questions.

We think we have a good chance of having books removed from the Bill.

I will keep you informed.

All the best,

Paul Mills

Clarke’s Africana and Rare Books ABA-ILAB, SABDA, IOBA


From the 9/11/2008 Issue of Sheppard’s Confidential

South Africa: SABDA and Secondhand Goods Bill

Good news from South Africa. Cape Times has reported this week that the government is dropping all ‘books’, not just those over R100, from this legislation. As we reported in previous editions, a huge effort was mounted by the SABDA, on behalf of all the whole book trade, to win this point. This shows that trade organisations can be very effective and why members of the book trade should join an association at the earliest opportunity.

Geoff Klass of Collectors Treasury told Sheppard’s Confidential, ‘I described the attempt to include second-hand books as being the equivalent of using a sledgehammer to squash an ant. This did cause a ripple of laughter in the otherwise rather staid and humourless Parliamentary Committee!. We are one of the most over-regulated societies, and any concession on the part of Government is a welcome step towards restoring sanity and balance in the process of administering the law.’

Owner of Clarke’s Africana & Rare Books and member of SABDA, Paul Mills, said the removal of books from the list was a “triumph”. SABDA had been “positively received” at the last meeting, he said. ‘It had been a collaborative effort by SABDA on behalf of the entire trade.’




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