Better World Books Launches Site in UK
By Ina Steiner
Online bookseller Better World Books launched its site in the UK offering free shipping and over 1 million new and used books for purchase, soon to expand to 8 million. The bookseller's strategy of marketing itself as a "socially responsible" company and reaching out to literacy organizations has helped it grow by making it easier to obtain inventory from libraries, universities and nonprofits and has helped it gain visibility in the media.
Better World Books, which has operated in the U.S. since 2003, said it has generated over $8.5 million for global literacy causes through its online book sales and calls itself a "for-profit social enterprise." A portion of its used-book revenues goes to the organization that contributed the book, as well as to one of the non-profit literacy partners affiliated with Better World Books.
Better World Books UK works closely with several UK and Ireland-based literacy organizations, including the National Literacy Trust, READ International, Room to Read, and the National Adult Literacy Agency, and is an associate member of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges.
Better World Books is controversial among rival online booksellers, who say the company gives the impression of being a non-profit. The company had to defend itself when online marketplace Alibris announced a partnership with the company last year.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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