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The Diary of a Bookseller

Shaun Bythell

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Found a book called Gay Agony by the unlikely-sounding author H.A. Manhood, as I was going through the theology books brought in by a retired minister.

A (jewellery) dealer explained what he bought at auctions - used to buy inoffensive stuff that would have mass appeal, but in fact didn't sell well. Now buys anything that evokes a strong emotional reaction. "Whether I absolutely adore it or utterly hate it, I can guarantee I'll get a good price for it."

Monsoon website for selling second-hand books, is set up to match Amazon's lowest price. Occasionally, to steal a bargain, people will put up fake listings of an expensive book they want to buy, but with ridiculously cheap price. Then wait for price-matching algorthm to kick in to drop price of their targeted book.

Print On Demand has changed values of old books. If search for a rare book on etc, displays numerous cheap copies of books that do not exist until someone orders them. So very little demand for genuine old books.

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