Asheville, NC (PRWEB) April 10, 2009
Over the past few weeks, leading used book marketplace Biblio.com has noted a sharp uptick in sales from an unexpected source: textbooks. While, historically speaking, the back-to-school seasons in fall and spring have driven consistent spikes in used textbook sales, the increase in sales during March and April appears to be a new phenomena.
Textbook sales have been up over 50% from the prior year for the period spanning March 21 to April 3, according to Biblio.com CEO, Brendan Sherar. "In the past, we have hardly been able to discern any measurable fluctuation in textbook sales this time of year. This recent uptick is very apparent and we predict it will be briefer than the 'major' textbook seasons. But any incremental revenue gain is of course welcome to any company in this economic climate."
Sherar speculates that the recent trend in textbook sales might be attributable to several factors. He points to recent reports of an increase in enrollment at colleges and universities, particularly community colleges, which are often on quarter systems rather than semester systems. Quarters typically start in March and October - in the middle of the traditional semester.
Stephen Bakes, Biblio.com's Director of Bookseller Relations has an additional hypothesis: "People are increasingly making careful decisions about spending in a tough economy, and the savings to be had from used textbooks over new textbooks may be more appealing than in years past."
Internet textbook sales have risen rapidly over the past 5 years, as more students seek to reduce the burdensome costs of school, and textbooks in particular. The average cost of textbooks per school year for a student approaches $1000. By purchasing textbooks online rather than in their college bookstore, student often realize savings of $600 or more.
Biblio.com is one of the three largest used book marketplaces in the world, with a network of over 5500 independent bookstores offering more than 50 million used books, textbooks, and out-of-print books for sale. Self-financed and locally owned, despite the recession, Biblio.com continues to maintain a strong commitment to a "triple bottom line," meaning that it attempts to place equal emphasis on social and environment responsibility as it does to profits. Through the non-profit foundation BiblioWorks, Biblio.com has helped to build 7 community libraries in rural South America since 2004.