What Doesn’t Kill You Only Makes You Stronger
As an online bookseller on Amazon, I’d grown used to perusing the local thrift shops at my leisure; my area was not exactly a hotbed of booksellers. Of course, there were many Ebay sellers who sometimes grabbed obviously expensive books, but until recently, my smartphone and I had our way with the locally available “inventory.”
Until late last year …
A competitor showed up, complete with fancy phone and a scouting service. And she was buying “my” books. I was flabbergasted, and, after some thought, more than a little worried. After all, I was a small seller, comparably, and got a good portion of my inventory from the local thrift shops. To share the wealth, so to speak, would greatly reduce my wealth.
I was not a happy scouter … until I remembered an incident when I first started selling online.
I was in a thrift store, looking at the books, saw a set of six Left Behind books, and grabbed them. A gentleman who also was looking at the books asked me if I was a reader or a dealer. Feigning innocence, I said reader, and asked him what he meant by “dealer.” He went on to explain to me about book selling, Amazon, etc., information that I already knew. I innocently asked him how much he made selling books. While I don’t remember the exact amount he told me, I remember being astounded, and, to be honest, somewhat skeptical. But, I decided at that point, that if good money was to be made selling books, I was going to get a piece of the proverbial pie. After several months of heavy book scouting at that location and others, I realized that I had never seen that gentleman again.
Did my entry into the marketplace force him out of the online book business? I don’t know. However, with the situation now somewhat reversed, I could either meekly accept the increased competition, and lower income, or I could use this perceived adversity to kick my business up a notch.
I chose the latter, and haven’t looked back.
Next time, we’ll talk about scoping out your competition.