News

Waterstone's rolls out secondhand bookstore

Waterstone's has become the latest online bookseller to begin selling secondhand books with the launch of Waterstone's Marketplace. The chain has also unveiled an online DVD store, and a "tickets" shop described as "an exciting way to buy tickets for hundreds of great events nationwide".

Waterstone's has launched a standalone Marketplace site in conjunction with Alibris, the giant online bookshop that sells used and rare books via a network of independent bookellers. In addition, individual book searches on the Waterstone's site now show secondhand copies, which are available to buy via a marketplace link.

Waterstone's said the development meant it could offer "access to tens of millions of items stocked by independent sellers from 45 countries around the world". Featured shops on the marketplace site include, Bailey Hill Book Shop, Castle Cary, Somerset; Literary Cat Books and Prints, Wales; Cromer Books; and Spinetinglers, Ballygowan.

Academic bookseller Blackwell signed a similar deal with Alibris in February last year. Borders made the same deal in September thus year. Waterstone's will also be competing with Amazon and Play.com, which both offer secondhand books.

Alibris offers its affiliates a baseline 5% commission which can increase to 7.5% dependent upon sales. Any purchase made within 30 days of initial clickthough, will also pay out a commission.

Waterstone's tickets offers "exclusive tickets offers on The Rat Pack Live from Las Vegas, Oliver!, A Christmas Carol, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Legally Blonde - The Musical and The Shawshank Redemption". Meanwhile, Waterstone's DVD store is selling DVDs from "as little as £3.99".

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One of the first really pro-active moves by the current Waterstone's senior management having "inherited" a very laggardly approach to the web. In the mid 1990's Waterstone's "wants" adverts in the weekly TheBookdealer magazine were essential reading for many in the oop trade. The then Waterstone's management could have ensured their ongoing dominance in the trade, but by 2001 the 'oop' search unit was closed and HMV got in bed with Amazon for their own website (This was all long before Gerry Johnson's reign)

An important move and much needed, if a little late . In the history of Waterstones the big [massive] strategic error was to give their web site trading development to Amazon . Since regaining control this is a big step forward and I think will prove encouraging for customers,and at a time where Borders are about to replicate the original Waterstone's web development error.

Crap for author royalties, mind.

agree with blah blah; thought this when Amazon started selling second hand books ; Waterstones can set up a second hand - therefore author-royalty free - shop under another name like anyone else but mixing the two seems bad for authors to me as people who might have been happy to get a new book so easily see they can get one cheaper if 2nd hand

HMV Group got rid off most of its loss-making elements in the run up to its flotation. HMV Germany closed, Waterstone's Online closed as did other elements. The move to Amazon was to maintain some sort of online presence while the directors made the most of their lucrative share deals. I don't think anyone at HMV or Waterstone's thought it was a good idea except for those who were in line for big payouts from a smooth floatation.

Clive, Julian and Ray all in agreement ... destined to be a failure then. Looks remarkably like abebooks, couldn't possibly be some sort of affiliation could it ?

Borders are replicating Woolworths.

In response to JULIAN RIVERS "Borders are about to replicate the original Waterstone's web development error" - I shouldnt worry about Borders replicating anything.....not sure they have a website to develop any errors with!!

I can see it now

Something I approve of for once...

Tickets? Waterstones need to concentrate of what they do -sell books. They can't comptete with Walmart etc to 'do everything'. Its pointless to diversify like this - focus on the core business, selling books, and do it well, or i fear WS will be emulating Woolworths too - by going out of business.

New Moon: In store,

This really is priceless ! Waterstones... I don't know who/what you are anymore.

Perhaps Clive, Julian and I can spend Christmas together...Bertie - you can come too...stretching things a little further, why don't The Bookseller invite posters to their Xmas party...just a thought. It's an early start here...off to Ruislip...see you on the M25....x

Abe has purchased in recent years by Amazon, another reason why Waterstone's should end their earlier affiliation. If Waterstone's had been pro-active earlier they could have purchased Abebooks before they were purchased, in a reverse takeover, by German venture capitalists in September 2001 (they were later sold to Amazon).

Waterstone's now intent on putting independent second hand bookshops out of business too...Huzzah!

55 Abbey Brook Close,
chancet wood
sheffield s8
7UQ

Very bad for writers and publishers unless Waterstones implements a method to pay royalties for each book sold this way. If not and this trend continues we can soon say good bye to good books. Why is it that so many people think that writers can be trampled upon and ignored? Is there anybody at Waterstones who will be happy to work and not get paid for it? If not then I should hope they will put the interest of the writers and publishers foremost in their mind. Are they?

Well said Ben Cambell. I despair on behalf of authors.

One of the first really pro-active moves by the current Waterstone's senior management having "inherited" a very laggardly approach to the web. In the mid 1990's Waterstone's "wants" adverts in the weekly TheBookdealer magazine were essential reading for many in the oop trade. The then Waterstone's management could have ensured their ongoing dominance in the trade, but by 2001 the 'oop' search unit was closed and HMV got in bed with Amazon for their own website (This was all long before Gerry Johnson's reign)

An important move and much needed, if a little late . In the history of Waterstones the big [massive] strategic error was to give their web site trading development to Amazon . Since regaining control this is a big step forward and I think will prove encouraging for customers,and at a time where Borders are about to replicate the original Waterstone's web development error.

Crap for author royalties, mind.

agree with blah blah; thought this when Amazon started selling second hand books ; Waterstones can set up a second hand - therefore author-royalty free - shop under another name like anyone else but mixing the two seems bad for authors to me as people who might have been happy to get a new book so easily see they can get one cheaper if 2nd hand

HMV Group got rid off most of its loss-making elements in the run up to its flotation. HMV Germany closed, Waterstone's Online closed as did other elements. The move to Amazon was to maintain some sort of online presence while the directors made the most of their lucrative share deals. I don't think anyone at HMV or Waterstone's thought it was a good idea except for those who were in line for big payouts from a smooth floatation.

Something I approve of for once...

I can see it now

In response to JULIAN RIVERS "Borders are about to replicate the original Waterstone's web development error" - I shouldnt worry about Borders replicating anything.....not sure they have a website to develop any errors with!!

Borders are replicating Woolworths.

Clive, Julian and Ray all in agreement ... destined to be a failure then. Looks remarkably like abebooks, couldn't possibly be some sort of affiliation could it ?

Abe has purchased in recent years by Amazon, another reason why Waterstone's should end their earlier affiliation. If Waterstone's had been pro-active earlier they could have purchased Abebooks before they were purchased, in a reverse takeover, by German venture capitalists in September 2001 (they were later sold to Amazon).

Perhaps Clive, Julian and I can spend Christmas together...Bertie - you can come too...stretching things a little further, why don't The Bookseller invite posters to their Xmas party...just a thought. It's an early start here...off to Ruislip...see you on the M25....x

This really is priceless ! Waterstones... I don't know who/what you are anymore.

New Moon: In store,

Tickets? Waterstones need to concentrate of what they do -sell books. They can't comptete with Walmart etc to 'do everything'. Its pointless to diversify like this - focus on the core business, selling books, and do it well, or i fear WS will be emulating Woolworths too - by going out of business.

Waterstone's now intent on putting independent second hand bookshops out of business too...Huzzah!

55 Abbey Brook Close,
chancet wood
sheffield s8
7UQ

Very bad for writers and publishers unless Waterstones implements a method to pay royalties for each book sold this way. If not and this trend continues we can soon say good bye to good books. Why is it that so many people think that writers can be trampled upon and ignored? Is there anybody at Waterstones who will be happy to work and not get paid for it? If not then I should hope they will put the interest of the writers and publishers foremost in their mind. Are they?

Well said Ben Cambell. I despair on behalf of authors.