Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Bible Sale - Reflections

So what do people buy when all Bibles are 50% off? I'm always interested to see the results of our annual Bible sale. This year there weren't any real new Bibles that people were breaking down the doors to get (there were some releases but none that had quite the buzz of something like when the ESV Study Bible was released). We started our sale with an inventory of 2450 Bibles. 1502 of those are different in some way (different binding, color, indexed, etc.). I can safely say that we have the best selection of Bibles in West Michigan. We included our Spanish Bibles, audio Bibles and foreign language Bibles.

Our sale was over two days--Friday and Saturday, Dec 11th and 12th. Because of snow our Friday business was slower than we would have liked but Saturday was great.

Over the two days we sold 360 Bibles. Here's some stats that may interest you:

Best selling study Bibles - Life Application Study Bible (in three translations - NIV/NLT/NKJV) second place goes to the NIV Study Bible and tied at a distant third was the ESV Study Bible and The Quest Study Bible. The Life Application Study Bible almost doubled the sales of the NIV Study Bible and was four times as much as the ESV Study Bible and The Quest Study Bible.

Sales by translations - NIV - 40%; ESV 13%; NLT 10%; KJV 8%; Message 7%; NKJV 7%, and TNIV 5%. All others were less than 5%.

What surprised me? We didn't sell any of the Lutheran Study Bible. Last year's big winner, The Chronological Study Bible, only sold four copies. Guess everyone got their copy last year. I would have never guessed that the Life Application Study Bible would have been so strong. Makes me glad that I beefed up inventory on them. We did sell out of the Bible Across America. Should have got more of those. I would have guessed that more ESV Study Bibles would have sold. What surprised me here most was that I sold out of the hardcover while sitting on some very nice leather editions. Even at 50% off people went with the hardcover. Signs of the economy is my only guess.

Overall, we were very happy with the sale and we had some very happy customers.


Scripture Zealot said...

I like hardcover but I know I'm not in the majority. Also, I view theESVSB as a reference work so I wouldn't want it in leather anyway.

Interesting stats. Midwest seems to be NIV dominant.

Louis said...

Thanks for the comment. I've never minded a hardcover myself. Most of my study Bibles are hardcover. For every day use I use either a thinline or reference edition. They are bonded leather although I've got a couple of genuine leather editions but I rarely use them.

Andrew R said...

Your sales may (or may not) be indicative of how most people give and/or read Bibles.

Presumably, lots of folks bought Bibles at your sale to give as gifts during the holidays. If this is the case, Life Application Bibles may make the most sense to give as a gift. Especially if the recipient is new to Bible reading, or is reading the Bible with a need for immediate application to their life.

Or, folks bought the Application Bibles for themselves, which could point to how lots of people (myself included sometimes) approach the Bible: we want application right now, verses or instructions we can hang on to and live out immediately (regardless of whether or not the verses we're reading are written for this purpose).

I'm not trying to say any of this is necessarily good or bad. Just an observation based on your sales.

Thanks for the info, it was interesting!

Scripture Zealot said...

2nd paragraph was true for me inthe past. In fact I think I bought one for my wife. I would make different choices now.