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01 January 2010 @ 08:57 am
Sending back Mass Market contents in the new RPL  
Hello everyone,

One of the new supervisors in my store showed me an email where our store is being told to send back the entire contents of mass market books in the new Big Bomb RPL.

I only skimmed the email but here is what I remember (please correct me if I am wrong)

#1  We are to pull and strip the Mass Markets like normal.

#2  The covers will be sent away in a one box (like normal) but the rest of the book should be sent back in separate boxes. 

My questions,

Why are they wanting us to do this?  Do they think we are giving away the rest of the books? 

Did our agreements with the publishers change?  If so, why are we bothering with stripping the covers if the rest of the book is being sent back also?

Are all stores being required to do this?  Or just certain zones?

(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
Loss Prevention.
With all the stores closing, it would be too easy for someone (unemployed bookseller) to take boxes and boxes of striped cover books to the flea market and make some cash. Everyone who finds a strip cover book for fifty cents will not buy it for full price.
I would say that once all the stores are closed they will go back to the old way.
I would love to see how much (this will save them from lost sales) vs (cost of shipping and storage).
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
Give me a break. Your interpretation of this is rubbish. Copies of books WITH covers go for less than 50 cents at flea markets regularly! Once the stores are closed, there won't be any more cover-stripping, duh, the STORES WILL BE CLOSED.

Anyone else have an answer?
maggiedr on January 1st, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
This must have something to do with the blog on Huffington Post that "exposed" the news to the general public about bookstore's practice of stripping books. Ron Marshall made some public statement to the effect that Border's would cease their current practice but this sounds even stupider than what we were doing.

I really have no idea, just speculating on what was said in previous threads about this blog: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erik-ose/why-wont-borders-donate-t_b_389060.html

bordersall on January 1st, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC)
this is why
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 04:51 am (UTC)
You are correct. The sole reason for this is the article that was in HuffPo. I can tell you that 100%. Surrounded by geniuses we are in Michigan.
bookish123 on January 2nd, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
Maybe every Borders should ship all their RPL'd MM's to Ariana Huffington's house. Since she seems to have some ingenious plan on what to do with them....
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
1. she didn't write the article
2. she didn't start the practice of "stripping" books
3. I know you must be joking.
4. we work for the only morons on the whole planet that would overreact to a Huffpost
(Anonymous) on January 3rd, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
Anyone else notice that the pictured dumpster items were not strip titles? They were probably jacked up with spilled coffee or had broken spines. I would like to point out that nobody wants to read a "nonvirgin" book, even if it is donated (most may say otherwise, but you know it's true).

...course, I wouldn't rule out unpurchased NR items, but that's another kettle of fish.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)
It sounds like it has to do with the article on the Huffington Post blog about Borders dumpstering books from all the BSR stores that will be closing. They were targeting Borders but everyone in the industry follows the same practice with MM books. I bet they've decided to cave to the pressure ...you know when BSR VP Pat Wynn posts comments in reaction they are seriously worried about the accusation. Personally, I don't like the way this was forced on us but if AA is going to find a way to recycle the books maybe it's just as well.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
Ten to one, they're dumpstering them at the warehouse where no one will see it.
bordersall on January 1st, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
I agree. Either that or they give them to a company to 'recycle'.
(Anonymous) on January 3rd, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
I bet they'll burn them. Just wait for word to get out about it and everyone in the company will be labeled a Nazi. >:(
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
"Ron Marshall made some public statement to the effect that Border's would cease their current practice"

Was this on Bookmark? Does anyone have a link? I was aware of the Huffington post and the Facebook page on the subject, but if Borders has made an official statement I'd be very interested in reading it.
dusty_yeffsky on January 2nd, 2010 11:08 pm (UTC)
A week or so back our manager said Marshall revealed this new plan for strips in a conference call.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
I don't have an issue with this if the stripped books are going to be recycled (although I've been told over the years that they can't because of all the glue on the spines).

If they are just doing it to avoid media scrutiny, then it will be a COLOSSAL fucking waste of payroll time and fed-x shipping costs that could be better used elsewhere.

AA best justifiy this with some sound logic, or it'll be just another brick in the Borders wall of dipshit, boneheaded decisions.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
Oh Please!
We are now in a new year, and they have to prove to Ackerman that they are destroying the company with new "COLOSSAL fucking waste of payroll time" ideas.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh Please!
So there are still people out there calling him Ackerman? You don't happen to be the guy who got all pissy when I previously correctly spelled Ackman's name do you?
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh Please!
No, I just happen to be a guy who can't be bothered to remember the jerk's name when I'm hip deep in a death-rattle Christmas.
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
To tell you the truth, it won't be a waste of payroll because my store has started to do that already. Not because we give a shit whether they are recycled or not, but because Borders has the recycling taken only twice a week!! So there's no longer any way we can dispose of all the stripped mags AND MMs at the same time. For the past few months we've had to box either/or in order to wait to recycle them.

This company is just an utter piece of shit. Nothing can be easy, stress-free, or competent.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Heard a rumor...
I heard a rumor, I can't confirm or deny it, but I was told by someone who knows that Ron is planning on renaming "Fiction" to "Frozen Foods"
(Anonymous) on January 3rd, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
Re: Heard a rumor...
Even grocery stores strip magazines.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
If they're worth that little, we should just give them away, covers and all.
bordersall on January 1st, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
The covers are worth what we paid for the book. If we even paid for it yet.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
Stripped MMs
I think that what I fear the most is finding out there is going to be some douchebag in a DC somewhere matching up covers to books to ensure that the rules are being followed. This is obviously a sop to the HuffPost blog entry and I really hate that. The incurred expense in payroll and shipping could easily fund hiring another Nash Finch refugee. Damn the luck!
bordersall on January 1st, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Stripped MMs
I seriously doubt they will compare the remains to the stripped covers. Even with the level of farce we see daily this would be unlikely.
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Stripped MMs
My fear was meant as irony..or jest and not to be taken seriously. But, would you really be shocked to discover they find a way a new reason to write people up over this?
fountainmann on January 1st, 2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
Jacksplat, Since you have an account on LJ you can follow group postings and track each entry, that way when you log in to your inbox all the new posts are lined up in order of posting-time across threads. You can skim over the crap (like the vapid dig at czar's which made no valid point and probably parroted Beck, Rush, or O'Reilly) and read what interests you. The post referring to the plan to counter the complaints about book destruction by ceasing the dumpstering of strips was a few weeks ago though.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
How about donating them to a hospital good PR and a tax write off.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
Man, are you from AA or something? When donating books to a hospital, the first thing that comes to mind is "good PR and a tax write off." It's like our never-ending book drives. I bet in AA the first thing on their mind when book drives are mentioned is "sales and profit." I'm sure they don't care whether the books actually go to charities or are dumpstered. It's all the same to them.
(Anonymous) on January 3rd, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
You can't get a tax write off on something that's technically destroyed.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
What if I don't?
What if, in the interest of time coupled with the fact that we have a dumpster with a locking lid, I say "fuck it, I don't have time for this shit!" and dumpster them anyway? Will we get in trouble?
jacksplat1 on January 2nd, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
Re: What if I don't?
If I was in a key holding position still, this is exactly what I would do.
(Anonymous) on January 3rd, 2010 12:32 am (UTC)
Re: What if I don't?
I'm seriously considering just dumpstering them anyway. I looked at the RPL today. Packing up and shipping 600 stripped books makes absolutely no sense, if it's still the covers that gets us the credit.
(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
i see why the company has had to cave, it's unfortunate that the whole argument is flawed. these are books nobody wants, especially not nonprofits. has anyone ever tried to donate mass markets? THEY ARE REFUSED! they don't want them, especially not en masse. they are worthless at that point, unfortunately. the only way this "waste" will ever be resolved is when books are printed on-demand in store.
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
The whole thing is ridiculous. All AA had to do was point out the fact that B&N does the same thing. It's an industry standard to strip and destroy mass markets. What are they going to with the stripped bks in AA? Maybe recycle them for a couple of weeks and then after that?
weaselusrex on January 2nd, 2010 12:16 am (UTC)
I'm curious why the focus is on the closing Waldenbooks stock when this is an industry standard and has been pretty much forever.

This is a practice that should be stopped in general. Donations are good, although I'm not sure the local school would benefit from last year's historical romance. Jails would be an awesome target for donations.

Making sure they get pulped for new product (even if it's crap Paperchase journals) would be a better solution than dumpstering.
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
All this is just another indication that the book business, as we now know it, will become extinct very soon. Hate to say it, but it's going to happen.
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 05:26 am (UTC)
They're probably focusing on the Waldenbooks stores because they are doing so many en masse. When my store closed, we stripped THOUSANDS of books in a few days.
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
Um, believe it or not, the jail is a no go, the glue can be melted down and used to make a knife ("shiv"). Tearing the front cover off the book exposes the binding and the screws can't tell one book from another without it or tell if the complete binding is intact.
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC)
this is crazy
That article acts like when a book is stripped, it is the last copy and the book is gone forever. Huh?
Publishers reprint these titles constantly, many times just to change the cover art! Companies have been doing this forever. So, who cares?
I would also like to know why Marshall panics when he gets many emails and phone calls about something this stupid,but ignores us,he really should be addressing the real problems the company has.
I am at a BSR and we are told that we have only two weeks to finish our big bomb RPL. No more hours..and no explanation from our DM what to do about "no strips". Our Dm just says, get it done...and as for the strips, all we get is a "I don't know".
My response to the article about stripping would have been: "do you have any idea how many trees were cut down to publish your beloved books"? What I mean is, if this person is a REAL tree hugger, then this hippy should be more interested in that fact.
Marshall should have done to her what he does to us...ignore her.
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
Re: this is crazy
Does anyone know why BSR stores have been told to not strip ANYTHING- mm's, mags, even the monthly romances? My theory is we have used up our return credit with publishers & were waiting for the New Year to deluge them with more. I can tell you they're really starting to stack up in our (immaculate, perfectly executed) stockroom.
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
Re: this is crazy
There may be some logic in there somewhere with respect to waiting until the new year. I also wonder if there is not a plan to xfer those MMs back to the DCs for redistribution to the remaining stores. Who the fuck knows what those asshats are up to!
(Anonymous) on January 2nd, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
You can be assured with the discounts we are giving at BSR at this point, there won't be that many mm's left to strip, send back full cover or anything. We are even getting rid of that trash paperchase product you sent us. We don't want the stripped books anyway so they are foolish if that is the reason they want them back in the RC. It's all we can do to ring the sales on two lousy registers, much less spend time stealing.
(Anonymous) on January 4th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
stripped mm's & mags
the poster who said that the huffpo article was focusing on closing waldenbooks stores sure had it right. there's no way he didn't know about all the other bookstores doing the same thing. but did you look at the fb page lately? mary davis wrote and said there actually is a group of people from borders and elsewhere trying to figure out how to not dumpster books...
yup, print-on-demand is definitely the way to go for all tree-huggers, but recycling is second-best. and, the whole deal about the glue is absolute shit. there are book recyclers out there, just not many. but plenty near the the dc's, so hopefully that's the plan.
and, suck it up, people - don't keep dumpstering them. if you ask me, borders is making the best out of some bad press. let's hope they can figure this one out...