Spring 2002 (Vol. III, No. 1) Table of Contents
- Note from the Editor
- Joe Spoor of BookQuarters
- Tom Biro – Bibliology Limited
- Paul Anderson – Books & Collectibles
- Jeff Moore – UsedBookCentral
- Jan & Roger O’Connor and Lynn DeWeese-Parkinson – Bibliodirect
- 2002 Los Angeles Book Fair
- IOBA and Firsts: a match made in Book Heaven
- December 2001 : IOBA Seminar Report from Attendees
- IOBA Q & A Column
- Day in the Life: The Wall of Unavailability
- The Grand Pooh-Bah: An Interview with Lynn deWeese-Parkinson
- Sam Gottlieb, author of “Overbooked in Arizona”
- 2002 IOBA Election results
From: Jeff Moore
Database Name: Usedbookcentral.com
Datatabase URL: http://www.usedbookcentral.com
Editor: What is your purpose in starting an online book database (i.e., to help online booksellers, to get a database that does what you think a book database should do, because it’s a good business to be in, all of the above, none of the above, or ????).
A: Usedbookcentral’s goal is to fill the void that was created when Bibliofind (God rest its soul) was absorbed into Amazon. We wish to continue what was a very popular format, a simple and secure platform to connect the book buyer and bookseller together. Keep It Simple, Secure.
Editor: Is this a long-term commitment on your part? Where do you see yourself and your database in three years? 5 years?
A: Yes, this is a long term commitment. We will create a strong bookselling community that wishes to have more control over their listings and transactions. We are here for the long commitment. We know that it will take time to establish ourselves in the market. In five years Usedbookcentral hopes to be number 2 or 3 for preferred bookselling databases.
Editor: What lister book database inventory programs do you/will you support?
A: Usedbookcentral is proud to say that it can accept all files generated by known database inventory programs available in the field (i.e., Homebase, Bookmate, File Manager and etc.). In addition, we can support any file generated in a delimitated format. We write a bridge program for each and every dealer to ensure that their listings are imported correctly.
Editor: What are your upload procedures? Deletion procedures? Are “wants” listings available? For sale matches? Are any additions/changes planned?
A: Our procedures are easy, simply log into the site and navigate to the upload page. Once there, one will see the browse box to capture the file and the submit button. Choose what the file was created for; to be added, deleted or purged and replaced, then hit the submit button. Usedbookcentral is currently revamping the wishlist (wants) feature to make it a bit more effective. It will be available to both the dealer and buyer. The dealer will be able to upload their file for their wishlist.
Editor: What customer service (for both sellers and buyers) do you/will you have?
A: For both buyer and seller, Usedbookcentral offers an 800 number and personal service. All email is addressed and taken care of in a timely manner.
Editor: Will you/do you have any quality (i.e., descriptions, shipping, and/or customer service) standards for your listers? If so, what will be/are the consequences of violating those standards?
A: Usedbookcentral has very few standards that our listers need to follow, except that we expect reputable and fair business practices and will not hesitate to close an account that does not practice this.
Editor: What are your technical arrangements (in non-technical language, please) to ensure reliability of service? Future growth? Additional services?
A: Usedbookcentral uses state of the art equipment and will continually upgrade as necessary, which it has done three times since being launched last May. We currently use very powerful database software that allows for quick and efficient searches. We have recently added a new server in anticipation of increased traffic and usage. With a new server, Usedbookcentral will be able to expand to 10 million titles and 1,000 dealers without any noticeable decrease in performance.
Editor: Will you/do you have the capability of taking credit card info for orders? If so, what can you tell us about the safety procedures you have or will have in place to ensure the security of such info?
A: Yes, Usedbookcentral does have 128 bit encryption for the security of the information. All of our order and account numbers are randomly generated as to increase security measures.
Editor: Do you ever plan to process credit card orders through your database (rather than simply passing on the info to the lister) and, if so, will the lister or buyer bear the processing cost, and how long will it take to get payment to the lister?
A: We do not have any plans for this at this time.
Editor: Do you have any plans for programs associated with your database which would involve anything other than direct contact between seller and buyer?
A: No. Usedbookcentral was founded on the major premise of NOT inserting itself in any way between the buyer and the seller.
Editor: Do you have or do you plan to have an “all word search” capability?
A: Yes, Usedbookcentral is proud of our all field search capabilities. When a buyer enters in a word into the keyword field and clicks on the search button, the system searches through all the fields of the record, including title, ISBN, author, description, binding and any other field supplied by the seller.
Editor: What search capabilities does your database have now? What is planned for the future?
A: Usedbookcentral has separate search fields for; Author, Title, Price, Edition, and Signed, and is working on a filter for binding at this time. We also have a dealer search box that can be transplanted onto a dealer’s web page for searches of their inventory only.
Editor: On what will you base your listing fees? What fees do you have now or plan to have?
A: We have a flat listing fee with no commission.
This is the fee schedule being used by Usedbookcentral:
Less than 2,000 Records, With Online Database Management (Restricted uploads after initial) $65.00 for six months or $100.00 for a year
up to 25,000 $52.50 for initial three Months, then $17.50 a month
25,001 to 50,000 $75.00 for initial three Months, then $25.00 a month
50,001 to 100,000 $112.50 for initial three Months, then $37.50 a month
Editor: Do you plan to have or now have your database searched by Addall or Bookfinder or any other mega-search site?
A: Yes, Usedbookcentral does subscribe to Bookfinder currently and has considered Addall, but have not chosen them due to their fee policy and schedule.
Editor: How do you plan to advertise your database (both to draw listers and buyers)?
A: Usedbookcentral is using a more grass roots marketing approach. We list with all the search engines and are choosing select direct market periodicals to advertise in.
Editor: What background or experience do you or other people involved with your database have that relates to the online book or online book database business?
A: Two of the principals own and operate a 4,000 sq. ft. retail bookstore, which has a direct Internet business and uploads to several major online platforms. They have been selling online for seven years and have been booksellers for more than eleven years. They have been on many services and have an excellent grasp of what booksellers are looking for in a service. The other two principals have been in programming, database, and web systems for more than fifteen years.
Editor: Do you or are you planning to have professional management, bookseller management, or????
A: Usedbookcentral currently has a professional management staff. All of the principals have management experience in either the bookselling business or online business.
Editor: What markets (geographical and/or demographic) are you aiming at?
A: People who read, love and use books in this great world of ours. We have an active currency converter that converts any foreign currency to a U.S. dollar equivalent.
Editor: What services/features does your database have that you feel sets you apart and/or will ensure the success of your database?
A: Keep It Simple, Secure. Usedbookcentral is here to connect the book buyer and the bookseller, then step out of the way. We’re most proud of our all field (keyword) search system, and of our ability to grow and modify the system to accommodate the listers and buyers.
Editor: Please tell us anything you’d like about yourself or your database, and thank you for participating.
A: We’d like to thank IOBA for the opportunity to explain who and what Usedbookcentral is.
Check out the Independent Online Booksellers Association Website