Secondbind used to be a popular website for Canadians to sell their used books and textbooks. Similar to book seeker, the idea was that you could visit the site and enter the ISBN from your book. You would then be given a buyback offer, and you’d have a chance to generate a free shipping label to ship the books in, so you could get paid. Secondbind was one of the earliest sites operating in the Canadian space offering this online buyback service. However, if you have tried to sell books to them recently, you probably noticed that they no longer offer the online buyback service. Instead, they have pivoted into offering a more pick up oriented business, where you would pay them to pick up boxes off your books, clothes, and used electronics. Thinking more along the lines of “junk removal”, as opposed to the book buyback service that we are used to.This is a far cry from what they used to do. Here are some of our thoughts on the reasons behind their business model change, as well as some suggestions for alternate places where you can sell your used books online in Canada.
Of course, it goes without saying that you can try Bookseeker. BookSeeker, which is the site that you’re on right now is an online Canadian buyback site. We are happy to make an offer for many of your used books and textbooks. We do offer free shipping, allowing you to send your items into us and get paid, without needing to spend anything upfront. Give it a try, either now, or after you finish reading this article to learn more about “what happened to Secondbind?”.
How Secondbind changed
At some point in 2022, possibly leading into 2023, the Secondbind website went off-line briefly. When it came back online, the site was completely re-designed, and the all the text and content on the site had been changed. You see, before this, Secondbind used to be a site where you put in the code number from your book, and a sophisticated algorithm behind the scenes would return a “buyback price”. This is the price that Secondbind would be willing to pay you for your books, if you were to ship them into them. You get a free shipping label, and they pay by Interac e-Transfer or PayPal. However, this has been replaced with messaging that was more along the lines of environmental friendliness and book cleanup services.
The new Secondbind business model
In their new business model, second bind focusses on junk removal, as well as pickup of your donations of used household items. These household items include books, toys, electronics, clothes, and furniture. This business model is common in Canada, and very lucrative, as the collected items typically include valuable pieces, which can be resold, either individually, or wholesale, sometimes overseas. Developing markets in the rest of the world are quite fond of the items which we discard daily, in a developed nation like Canada. Their business model is slightly different, in the sense that they charge for pick up off some items. Other companies that pick up used household items do not charge for the service. This is an a typical move, and it will be interesting to see how it works out or if the entire business model will take off. If I had to guess, my projections would be that this business model will work handily for them. They already have the warehouse space and the fleet of vehicles, because even when they were doing the buyback business, they always had a book donations pick up side business, if you will. So this may be a smart use of their existing resources. But that raises the question: why did they get out of the book by about the business in the first place?
Why did Secondbind stop doing book buyback?
Of course, there may be many reasons that we are on the we are off. However, since we are in a similar line of business, I think that we would like to share our reasons on why they have stopped doing book buyback.
The first reason we think that they have stopped doing book buyback is that since the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of shipping has increased greatly. In the buyback business, shipping is free for the customer. So the company that is buying the box has to pay for the inbound shipping. When the cost of shipping increases, it makes the buyback business less profitable. Buyback business owners at that point need to start to think about ways to maintain profits, and increase them in spite of the fact that one of their main costs has increased significantly, a large company like Secondbind probably has a massive shipping bill. Since that is just one side of the business, they also have to pay shipping on the outbound end, because at some point, they’ll have to ship the books out to the end buyers. This reality probably put a crunch on the Secondbind balance sheet, and possibly made it untenable for them to continue offering a buyback service with free shipping.
The second reason we believe that they have stopped doing book buyback is the rapid increase in the use of electronic book copies. Students more and more are being directed by their schools to purchase electronic copies of books. Now, there are good reasons, and some not so good reasons, to use electronic copies of books. The same applies to physical copies too. They are good arguments on both sides. Again however, a company of their size is likely very sensitive to the changing numbers of schools that may not be using textbooks as much as they used to. While textbooks are very necessary (and we would argue, essential); one cannot deny that they are not needed as much as they used to be. Their highest point of demand has passed and that likely has ripple effects that challenge businesses like Secondbind greatly.
Where to sell your books online
We are happy to continue to offer a book buyback service in Canada. We pay competitive rates and we are happy to have you ship the books to us for free. You can also get paid by Interac E transfer or PayPal. We will continue to find ways to offer this service for as long as possible, so rest assured that we are open for business and ready to buy your books at any time! To sell your books or used textbooks in Canada; visit our homepage, which is www.sell.bookseeker.io