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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Library Chinese Children Books

I was at the ALA - American Library Association Conference and Exhibition and there were four or five vendors selling Chinese Children books. Some of the booths looked pretty bored with no visitors. It was interesting seeing all the vendors selling to libraries with a huge range of products, only some of them selling books. From library moving services to furniture to of course books. The challenge with the library market is you ship the books, and then you get paid in 30 to 60 days. It seems that 60 days is a lot more typical. What is nice about consumer is you get paid right away. There can also be a long lead time with the Library market for Chinese Children books and others, where you are at a trade show, then 6 months later you get an order. Hopefully you still have in stock what they saw six month ago.

An interesting problem a vendor spoke of was getting orders, and then not being able to get the items to fulfill it, since everybody is cutting back on inventory. What I do with ChildBook is when I run out of inventory it is usually (unless I know it's coming in any day or I make a mistake in counting inventory) automatically taken off ChildBook. This is good (less apologizing to customers), and bad (customers can't see items I may be getting back in inventory. I like the less apologizing needed :-) Not to mention how challenging back-orders are.

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