I know that the public libraries of the world order books from places like Baker & Taylor so they can get discounted rates. I usually order new books from amazon, CBD, or LifeWay (just depending on price/shipping costs). Does anyone use book jobbers to order books? If public libraries get discounts on books, I want to get discounts too. :)
We usually use the same places that you mentioned to purchase items. I use LifeWay often because church libraries usually get a discount on regular-priced items, and I like to see what I am purchasing!
Sometimes we go to Barnes and Noble or Books-a-Million to find children's books that are appropriate for the library. We like to read those, so that we know that they will meet our guidelines. (Someone may have a membership card and we can get a discount.)
Library discounts with jobbers are negotiated based on the volume of purchasing which is anticipated in a year's time. Few of us in church libraries can compete on that basis. A number of years ago I used one of the library jobbers for a few years, but over time I've obtained better results by using Amazon--not just because of availability and their 2-day shipping to Prime members but also because they track what you have already purchased and help you avoid making duplicate purchases. I also maintain numerous "wish lists" on Amazon, another service which is very helpful. Most of our library's purchases are adult nonfiction or juvenile books, and Amazon has a better range of in-stock titles that we need than any of the jobbers with whom I dealt when working in the public library. Overall, Amazon discounts also tend to be good for the materials we purchase.
When an independent bookstore makes me aware of titles that I might not otherwise purchase, I do try to send orders to them, even though the price is higher. They're providing a service that we're using, and in return they should receive the library's orders. If we don't support them, they won't be around when we need them.
Your denominational publisher may offer better discounts than Amazon for direct orders. Ours typically offers much better discounts, and I can track previous orders on their website. I find it easier to avoid duplicate orders when I purchase all of a single publisher's books directly than when I mix orders between the publisher and a supplier like Amazon.
If I absolutely have to have an item by a deadline, I almost always use Amazon Prime--although CBD did surprise me in being able to supply one DVD on short notice which wasn't available through Amazon. My surprise was that they were actually distributing that particular title at all. Costly 1-day shipping, but it arrived in time to meet our need.
In case you have not heard, LifeWay Christian stores matches prices with other retailers including Amazon. Here's a tweet that went out in 2015:
If you've found a lower current price on an identical item at one of our competitors (online or in store), we'll match it in store.
Morlee, I didn't know that. Thanks so much for letting me know.
A LifeWay Christian bookstore manager at one of our library conferences last November told us about the discount that LifeWay now offers. I like to do business with them whenever possible.
Another place that I quite often use is Lsbrary and Educational Services. Their website is www.libraryanded.com. They sell to schools and churches and carry many books especially good for church libraries and homeschoolers. Many of their books are library bound and carry discounts up to 75% off. They have many sets of books and carry DVDs and CDs as well. If any of the books they carry have any evolution in them, they will have a note to that extent in the description. Not all of their books are the latest; however they do have 50% discount on many Christian fiction books.