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BizReport : Research archives : July 30, 2007

Online booksellers benefit from Boomer generation

Used books are big business. Marketers and online retailers looking for more readers need only look into the boomer generation to find both according to a recent study from Their poll revealed that so-called Silver Surfers buy used books online but are also interested in creating their own online bookstores.

by Kristina Knight

More than 8,000 US booksellers sell through the AbeBooks interface.

Hannes Blum, CEO of said, “We’re seeing a commitment to put more used books for sale online – sellers already offer over 100 million books through AbeBooks so that could expand to 120 million by the end of 2008, which is great news for people who love buying used, rare and hard-to-find books.”

The study revealed that most of the booksellers working through AbeBooks left a white-collar job - teaching, sales and even some library work - to create their online store. Primarily time is spent actually cataloging inventory. Researchers also found that 21% plan to launch an e-commerce site in the near future, 25% plan to increase their book volume by 10% to 25% this year and about 60% operate only online.

Bravely offering much more than simply the current best-sellers, these used book hubs appeal to those looking for specific older, used and out of print titles. This also means their consumer base is willing to spend a bit more per title than those shopping at brick-and-mortar superstores.

In addition to selling books, the demographic of these booksellers are also voraciously reading books. Despite spending copious amounts of time running their online stores, they are reading between three and five books every week.

Tags: e-commerce, e-tailing, online retail

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