Time to go live with Hive?

THANKS TO MELANIE CARROLL of Unicorn Tree Books, Lincoln, for her latest comment on this new initiative from Gardners:

Hive: Shop locally online - beta site screenshot

Hive – Shop locally online (beta site screenshot)

… while me & Gareth discuss the differences looked for in an online ability between b&m and online sellers, good old Gardners just gets on and does the job to reveal things with an almost perfect timing for what were talking about here! Taking the idea of localbookshops.co.uk and the US Indiebound site to heart they are now almost here with http://www.hive.co.uk to check it out and look around just add /betasite to the addy.

If you’re an indie and have an account with Gardners then I’m pretty sure you’ll have recieved the details today in the post for your consideration – if you don’t already have an account with Gardners then maybe now might be a good time to consider it.

I also really think it’s time perhaps for someone to consider a fully Christian one too maybe, stronger together, weaker apart!

So ok for some it’s maybe not perfect – the affiliate percentage on some things is a tad lower than I get from some other places – but then this one is literally pretty much all done for me so maybe that more than makes up for it and at the end of the day as I said before as far as i’m concerned ‘every little bit helps’ and something is better than nothing!

Having said that I won’t be folding my own sites up, or even ignoring them – this for me will just be one more potential stream to serving my local customers in the ways that they want me to – there is room and plenty for all of us to work together and pick up trade from that working together if we really work together with goodwill and an ethic of community, friendship and fair trading in mind and at heart.

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26 thoughts on “Time to go live with Hive?

    • … and therein lies a potential source of embarrassment for some, unfortunately, unless the scheme can be customised: “Look, I bought this [insert embarrassing genre/title here: erotica or occultist guide, for instance] from my local Christian bookshop…”

      • Phil,
        As you know, and ideed anyone else that’s been a regular watcher of my shops blog or even has visited it, all I can say to that one is ROFLOL!!
        ;D

        • I did say, “for some”… 😀

          It was actually a problem at my last job: I was all set to run with Gardners but the powers-that-be wanted more control over what people could buy…

        • Melanie.

          I don’t really think it’s a laughing matter.

          Many (perhaps the majority) of Christian indie bookshops still do not have the freedom you (or to an extent, I) do. Most are still operated by some charity, church or other organisation who have some level of control over the books they can, and can’t sell. Most have some form of covenant, either directly with the charity/Church/organisation which operates them, or else with those churches which support them, which would prevent them from just selling anything and everything.

          Even as a wholly independent entity, The Hub is still not entirely free to sell anything and everything. Our lease prevents us from selling anything which promotes the Occult, or is “significantly detrimental to the mission of the Christian Church” (or words to that effect) because we are located in a shopping centre owned by a local Church.

          Even some secular shopping centers would have some limits on what can, and can’t be sold there, perhaps in the opposite direction. Some secular bookshops in a heavily multi-ethinc area, for example, may not want to be seen to be promoting ANY religious material at all.

  1. I find this a very interesting turn of events from Gardners….. Even if the discount is very low, for us these would be very useful additional sales that we would not be able to acheive at present. And I would have no objection to being used as a pick up point for a Physics textbook.

    HOWEVER! the big issue would be the ability to filter the offering in some way, and my suspicion is that this may well be beyond the ability of the website. The front page is obviously customisable, and we could probably populate that with Philip Yancey & R T Kendall rather than Tony Blair and Alan Sugar. But, as Phil suggests, the idea that the august & irreproachable GLO Bookshop would allow customers to download erotica & occultist guides…. wow! I can already hear our Committee about to explode. Next thing it will be a-millenialist fiction…..

    Anyway, certainly worth taking advantage of the opportunity to feedback to Gardners since they are asking- anyone want to join me in asking for the ability to filter out some sections or titles? There is also the requirement to order at least weekly from Gardners- that would currently not be an option for us – maybe a welter of Christian Bookshops knocking the door would make them waive this a bit?

    • I agree, right now it feels like we’re going to have to apply some pressure if we want the ability to limit certain books.

      The Hub is the ONLY Indie bookshop in Walsall town centre (We also have a Waterstone’s and WH Smiths), therefore I suspect that they will not want us to limit certain stock from being delivered here.

      If we are the only local store in the town centre, and anyone stumbling by hive.co.uk without me directing them to it want’s free delivery to Walsall, their only option may well be to have it delivered to The Hub.

      While on one hand, I’m not too worried about being a “collection point” for all-and-sundry, (I’d want to be able to limit what we sell on The Hub’s landing page) as I said below, we have a particular clause in our lease which prevents us from supplying any occult books, and their is no getting around that, short of moving to a new location.

      The ONLY thing I can think that may assuage our landlords is if Gardners send books like this completely sealed, and we have no idea what they are collecting.

      We are PURELY a collection point for these sort of items, the transaction is between Gardners/hive.co.uk and the end user, and we agree not to take a commission on these sort of items, but then, of course, we would still know when we are supplying them because we’d see unmarked boxes with no commission and know we were selling something inappropriate.

      Feels like a bit of a mine field, to any specialist bookshops, which many indie’s are, to me.

      I can’t imagine a specialist childrens bookshop would be much happier than we are, to be honest, so maybe their would be enough interest to force their hand, but I suspect doing so would make the platform almost unusable for the end user.

      “Only 6 of your 8 books can be delivered to your selected bookshop, please select another”

      *Click*

      “Only 5 of your 8 books can be delivered to your selected bookshop, please select another”

      *Click*

      Ad infinitum

  2. I agree with some of the other comments here.

    If I could limit it to Physics Textbooks, general fiction etc, that’d be fine.

    However, if I can’t, then there is no way I can use it—there are specific clauses in our lease and mission statement which disallows us from selling anything occult related, pornographic or otherwise “significantly detrimental to the Christian faith”.

    Whether they buy it online, or otherwise, isn’t the point, as far as the general public is concerned, the website appears to imply that you “Shop Locally, Online” and have brought this book, whatever it is, from that local shop.

    Kingsway promised a similar thing, a fully skinable “kingswayshop.com” though i’m not sure how far along that is.

    Ideally, someone like STL-D would be best placed to do something like this, but their website would need a lot of work, I don’t think it’s very user friendly.

    I really like the look of “The Hive” site, and would happily use it, IF I could tailor it a little

  3. … and hot off the press at the Bookseller: Indies could earn as much as 30% from books sold via Gardners’ Hive: Gardners want feedback by 25th Feb so now’s the time to get in there. Interesting that the Bookseller have only picked up on the question of retailer remuneration, not on the ability to tailor stock. I can well imagine that some specialist children’s bookshops, for instance, might want to tailor things: the potential for embarrassment doesn’t only lie with our sector of the marketplace…

    • Not a problem.

      Clearly we both notice the same problem.

      As I say, Childrens bookshops will likely not appreciate having to hand erotica over to a Hive customer, any more than most Christian bookshops would.

      For that matter, I can’t imagine a lot of Academic bookshops being huge supporters of it either… Can you imagine an esteemed university bookshop feeling good about becoming a purveyor of pulp-fiction?

      And, as I mentioned, a LOT of bookshops in multi-ethnic areas avoid selling religious books at all, for fear of offending some of their other customers.

      For Example:
      http://www.hive.co.uk/book/the-satanic-verses/6475619/

      Somehow, I can’t imagine that going down too well in a heavily Muslim area, even if it’s not a “Muslim” bookshop.

      I’m still tempted to go ahead with it, in the absence of anything else from Kingsway/STL, and just disclaim like mad!

      “We are a Collection Point for Hive.co.uk The supply of any book does not indicate promotion of, or agreement with any of the titles available. We are a Christian Bookshop.

  4. Luke,
    Replying here because it hit reply limit up top!
    There’s a big difference between promoting something and it being available to buy through a third party website or even indeed inside a bookshop!
    I do carry copies of other religions texts, thats not to say that I promote them, but I do carry them and there are a number of reasons for that.
    1 – the council, my landlord, wouldn’t allow me to sell just Christian books – the diversity of faiths and options has to be promoted to conform with the council/markets policies on equality and diversity.
    2 – I do believe that the only way we understand things is to learn about them, so in this respect it is a matter of understanding what others believe from their own stance and not a potentially biased stance, therefore understanding their prime sources gives me a better understanding on which to discuss things with them – it’s probably an interfaith thing I guess.

    But again this is not promoting them – having them available for others to buy is not promoting them, it’s an important difference and one that should not be overlooked.

    Is it a laughing matter – yes sorry it is -I consider it to be very much a laughing matter here in my shop and indeed in the wider world. It is not life or death, it is not rooted in bigotry, violence or ill-will therefore it’s open to humour and laughter as far as I am concerned. To fail to see humour in things and be able to laugh at oneself tells a lot about things I think and I’m not willing to give up seeing the funny yet.

    Ok now on to the wider context issue – I think in general we are missing the point of what The Hive is, it’s not an individually tailored shop nor is it meant to be – it’s basically a third party affilliate site supplied by gardners and designed to help local bookshops offer an amazon like online store from which they pick up a percentage of the sales. The idea is to support the local indie bookshops and build up their own business too.
    The cost to the retailer is actually nothing other than using Gardners – that’s because it’s a central site bookshop run by Gardners – yes you get a customisable page but that’s just the passing nod to you the local shop for you to advertise and promote the local element of the website to your customers, for want of a better comparison we should think of it like the overbranding on the Gardners Christmas Catalogues – free to you on certain conditions that enables you to have something that looks like it’s yours, but you pay nothing for it so have no real say in what’s in it. It’s produced for the broadest general appeal to maximise the possibility of sales. That’s The Hive and I’m grateful for it because every little bit helps.
    I fully appreciate that this is not a solution for all and that’s why right from the beginning I’ve said that if we want a Christian only one then we need to get someone else to do it – a Christian someone – to be fair it’s a little unfair of us to ask Gardners to do it for us unless we are putting something extra into the pot for them – and so far the truth is I don’t think that the Christian trade as a whole really has done such, so to then ask them to put in the features everyone is asking for here would be pretty costly to them for not more of a return but probably less!

    However if the Stronger Together, Weaker Apart consortium got together, or STL-D, or even Eden or some such and did the same thing this would not be so costly and would actually be beneficial to them and the trade as a whole. This is what I really want to see happen.

    The truth is Luke has it right, you use the site and add the disclaimer – which I think is what Eden did when they launched the general component to their site – that not everything listed on the site is endorsed, supported, promoted or agreed with. this I think is the best we can do with something offered us free like The Hive – well until one of our own picks up the reigns and runs with it 😉

    • Melanie.

      As you know, I think we generally agree on a lot of things, and I agree, for your shop, your customer base and your ethos, it is probably perfect.

      For many Christian bookshops, however, I think to insist that it is humorous is actually a little bit offensive.

      To put it in a different context, how about Matthew 9:42 (ESV)

      “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

      Does that sound like a laughing matter? Sounds pretty serious to me!

      My honest belief is that seeing something like that, seeing a Christian bookshop selling Explicit pornography:
      http://www.hive.co.uk/dvds/adult/0307/

      Horror Movies:
      http://www.hive.co.uk/dvds/horror/030213/

      Occult Books:
      http://www.hive.co.uk/books/occult-studies/01210104/

      And the aforementioned Erotica, etc, WILL in fact cause some young or seeking Christians to stumble.

      I personally, don’t want to be responsible for that.

      And all the disclaimers in the world won’t make it right when someone who hasn’t read them (We know people don’t read them, take a look at what happened when VAT increased, or you try and change a policy), see’s me handing over “Cocks and Throbbers” to a Hive.co.uk customer, and assumes that I sell porn as a sideline.

      Either they are going to assume that, as a Christian, we don’t see that there is anything wrong with porn, go home, and fall back into that cycle they spent so long trying to break, or, at very least, they are going to tell their friends, family, ministers etc, what they saw, and bring the Church, my ministry and perhaps even the Gospel whitness in my town into disrepute.

      Still sound like a laughing matter?

      Okay, so I’m an independent, and I could hopefully talk my way out of it, but now transplant that scenario into a well-visited, well-traversed Cathedral shop who signs up with it.

      “Local Diocese sells Porn as Sideline”

      It’d be local, if not national news.

      Take it out of the religious context, and it’d be just as bad if it was a Childrens shop, and significantly damaging, I think, to the reputation of any well respected academic shop too.

      And that’s only what happens if it happens by chance.

      We would have no way of stopping people from using it to deliberately damage our reputation either.

      We have several MILITANT Atheists and MILITANT muslims in our area who have caused a problem for us in the past, so much so that we’ve had to ask them to stay away from the shop.

      Imagine they hear about hive.co.uk, hear that they can have practically anything delivered to our shop, and so get a load of Muslim/Atheist propaganda and assorted objectionable material ordered and delivered to The Hub.

      If I don’t let them collect their goods, that they have already paid for, I suspect it’d become theft, if I do, they proudly tear open the packaging and declare for all to see “Look at what your “Christian” Bookshop just gave me” before going out to try and convert / deconvert all the Christians they meet, while telling them that “The Hub” helped them do it.

      I’m not asking for massive screening options, the ability to tailor the site down to a hand-full of categories, which I approve of, but at VERY least, I need the ability to opt out of Adult material, and Occult books, because my lease forbids it, if I hope to participate.

      I think a large number of shops would, not just religious ones, would want this.

      • As Mel points out we did trial a ‘general’ bookshop component on Eden.co.uk – having put considerable technical effort and intelligent filtering into the site.

        The trial finished some time ago and there are no plans to revive it at the moment.

        One reason we brought the trial to an end was that we did find it too difficult to filter out products that would cause offence, or lead others to question our credibility as a provide of Christian resources.

        The toughest challenge was related to images – even when a book title, description and content are entirely acceptable the jacket image may be entirely inappropriate.

      • Luke,

        Goodness man calm down! and please stop throwing bible quotes around as I think most here know my feeling on that one and I’m not looking for a game of bible quote tennis today (if I were of course my first volley would probably include matthew 7 or perhaps one of the Corinthians at Chapter 10) 😉

        Read what I wrote instead of interpolating – right from the beginning it has been more than clear on the ROFLOL side that I was laughing at me and I will not recant on my right to laugh or to find some things risible.

        I also won’t recant on my right to believe this particular discussion has rather become a mountain out of a molehill and that the simple truth is that if we want a Christian Friendly site then we must, as I have right from the beginning advocated, have a Christian only site – this is the only way this can happen.

        Also can you make up your mind on where you are going with your arguments please, you were the one that initially said about the disclaimer and that
        “I’m still tempted to go ahead with it, in the absence of anything else from Kingsway/STL, and just disclaim like mad!
        “We are a Collection Point for Hive.co.uk The supply of any book does not indicate promotion of, or agreement with any of the titles available. We are a Christian Bookshop.”
        Which is what I then pointed out was the only viable alternative as you had said and as Eden & long prior to that SPCK etc had initially done.

        You still fail to take in what The Hive actaully is – it is not a tailorable for my single shop site, it’s a single site with tailorable pages for the shops to advertise themselves on – these shop pages are the add on’s – erm think sub-domain names or sites if it helps (though it’s not an entirely accurate comparison), the main domain cannot therefore be tailored by the sub-domains!
        Ohh better yet think weselyowen.co.uk or livingoasis.co.uk – each has one main selling front facing website and then the shop pages – but the shop pages cannot change what is on the online shop because they are just pages that advertise the shops etc, yes they may have some tailorability on the shop page to allow then to choose their shops top books etc but they can’t choose to ignore, say, books on anabaptists because this causes problems in their area!
        This is what we are all missing the point of and the point I’m trying to make and clarify.
        It has nothing to do with the rights or wrongs of what we sell or dont sell in our shops for whatever reasons, it’s just the way the site on offer is done! So truthfully either we can opt in or opt out and that is down to each individual shop to decide on.
        Yes we can ask them will they do something tailored but we need to be aware this is not a simple, cheap or easy thing for them to do – in fact it would likely mean them having to do a seperate site rather than ‘tailoring’ The Hive.

        Gardners have put a site out there and as I clearly stated from the get go it is not suitable for all but for a fair few it can be! but what it shows is that it’s possible to do such a thing and that’s the point I was making – while we sit here and argue over details others are out there actually doing it, therefore as the Christian Trade someone could/should do it too!

        Also I’m sorry and yes, you and I do normally agree, which is why I’m surprised to see you so alarmist in your arguments – I really don’t think so many people are going to try to entrap the local indie shops or even the Cathedral shops and most of the arguments for ‘headlines’ you put forward are negated by one simple line on The Hive site and that anyone using it or buying from it are automatically agreeing to:
        ‘Your contract for purchases made through Hive.co.uk is with Gardners Books Ltd, whose registered office is situated at 1 Whittle Drive, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN23 6QH.’
        This at the end of the day says they aren’t buying anything from us and we aren’t selling them anything and that anything purchased via this site is not from us – in effect we are little more in this instance than a local book equivalent of the post office – a third party handler – and can we hold the mail man responsible for what we purchase on the internet or hold him to account for delivering the items chosen by those with free will?

        At the end of the day either you choose to use it or you don’t – the choice is for each to make.
        The real point here is where is the equivalent ‘Crown Retailer’ site and why can’t this be picked up again by someone and tweaked a little or something – someone somewhere is missing the action and it’s not Gardners.

        • Melanie.

          Please don’t think I’m picking on you. As I said, I think your store is great (though I have never had the chance to visit it yet) and I think the hive will be fantastic for you, and stores like you.

          I wish more bookshops, ourselves included at times, had some more of the freedom you have, but alas, many, if not most, of us don’t.

          As I said in my argument, as a complete Indie, I have freedom to do things others don’t.

          I am—as you have probably guessed—am playing devils advocate on the behalf of a good number of bookshops who i suspect will have issues with this, but don’t visit this site.

          I’m trying to give their response to my own questions and suggestions as much as to yours. As you rightly point out, it was my own suggestion of disclaiming like mad the majority of my last wall of text was aimed at. I can snipe at my own ideas as much as anyone elses… Just trying to be the voice of the “other side” whether that’s my own side, or someone else’s.

          I also said I am considering doing it regardless, which means I had not (and still have not) decided yet. The more I have poked around the site, the more likely it is that we’ll be going with an Amazon aStore instead.

          Perhaps I am alarmist, perhaps not.

          What I know for sure is that, in the past, I have been caught out by the fact that I keep a copy of Elaine Pagels Gnostic Gospels on my shelf, for reference.

          In the process, I know I alienated one Church who will now likely not return to me.

          The reason? What they SAW, and what my INTENTIONS for it were were two different things.

          They had walked out of my shop in disgust, when they realised I had it in stock before I had the chance to explain why I kept them there, and what had happened.

          Like I said, although the customer collecting the product knows that the transaction is between them and Hive.co.uk, if they do elect to have a pornographic DVD delivered to a cathedral bookshop, populated in the main by visitors and tourists, do you think the majority of people there will wait to hear the explanation? Or will they leave in disgust repeating the story to anyone who will listen?

          Again, it’s not about what a few people KNOW to be the true facts, but what the general public perceive them to be.

          Again, if it made the newspaper, do you think the majority of people will read the whole article where the bookshop manager explains about hive.co.uk or will they just read the headline on the A-Frame outside their newsagent, shake their heads and gossip?

          And as I’ve said, I worry about people trying to “trap” us not out of blind speculation, but based on actual, tangible experience. That I have had to ask more than one customer not to return should indicate that it is a real issue for us here. It’s not something I would otherwise do lightly.

          I shall not go into details, but suffice it to say, what happened was significant enough to demonstrate to us that the people involved would use any means necessary to discredit the shop, the gospel and Christianity in general, in full view and earshot of other customers. And I have no reason to believe that they would use hive.co.uk, if at all they could.

          I am not asking for detailed content limitation, the way Amazon aStores allow, but rather a simple tick box which allows some retailers to opt out of receiving selected categories of books.

          I am quite happy to disclaim away the majority of the books we would supply, but, hive.co.uk already has “Adult” content screening.

          Would it be that difficult to allow bookshops the option to specify that anything behind that filter is NOT deliverable to them, or to list one or two categories which, if books are purchased from, they do not get listed as a delivery option?

          It’d be relatively simple. If there is anything we don’t want delivered to our shop, when the customer comes to choose their delivery option, your store just wouldn’t be listed. If you had directed them to Hive.co.uk, you wouldn’t get any referral commission on anything from those categories, and, of course, would have to share the commission with whichever store they choose to have the item delivered to.

          I would even be happy to hand over items, if it truly was like the post office.

          You mentioned the post office, but it’s actually not really the same thing.

          If we simply agreed to “Sort” sealed boxes for hive.co.uk, and were paid a fixed fee for doing so (the way a the post office gets with a stamp) that would be one thing, and, to be honest, i’d be happier about it, but a website like hive.co.uk relies on reciprocal linking.

          The post office doesn’t recommend any supplier, we, on the other hand, would be actively recommending hive.co.uk, and what it sells.

          The post office charges a (relatively) fixed fee for their services, regardless of what it’s asked to deliver, the only real differences being size and speed of service.

          We take a commission fee, which is directly tied to the exact items which are purchased.

          And, although it’s not set in stone yet, the indications that I received were that the books would not be sealed ready for collection, but in the same boxes as our regular deliveries are. This means, to the onlooker watching us unpack boxes, or poking through them to see what new stock we have, they will not easily be able to see whether it’s our stock, hive.co.uk stock or anything else.

          I think my main point always has been that if broad adoption is their goal, hive.co.uk needs to consider making some concessions, as do we as Christian bookshops.

          All of these sorts of things require a little give-and-take.

          If hive.co.uk, or anything else like it, is going to be successful, broad adoption is a must.

          As I said, we are the only independent bookshop in Walsall, the ONLY option for customers who want to have a book delivered from hive.co.uk to Walsall, similarly, I believe you are the only indie bookshop in Lincoln, so i suspect we have more sway than we realise.

          Like I said, I’m willing to make concessions, but Gardners must also be willing to do so to.

    • I’ve contacted Gardners to let them know about this discussion, have invited them to respond; my contact has acknowledged and passed the message on. We watch and wait…

      • Don’t think it is breaking huge amounts of commercial confidentiality to report reply from Garrders – at present there is NO ability to filter envisaged. So, it’s take it or leave it! s

        So does somebody want to come up with a very cleverly worded disclaimer for the ‘front page’ of a Christian Bookshop ‘Hive’ site?!

        • I’ve had a similar response—Filters are not an option, beyond the ability to customise your landing page.

          I suggested the following:

          “Individual order acceptance. This is my preferred option, if I’m honest. In essence, every network retailer has to “accept” any given order. When the customer places his order, if he chooses to have it delivered to store, does not get an immediate confirmation, but is informed that his order has been “passed on to the network retailer for review”. We would then have to accept, or decline the order. We could, of course, create a rule which allows us to accept anything and everything (or at timed decline all orders), and would have, for example, at most 24 hours, or until our next gardners order is due to leave the warehouse. to review any order before it is automatically accepted.

          If we decline the order, we agree to waive any commission we were due to receive, but it also gives us the most freedom, as a shop.

          The customer would receive an email saying something like

          “The order you recently placed cannot be delivered as requested. The hive network retailer has elected not to accept delivery of this order.

          Please select one of the following options:

          * Deliver the items directly to me (Free)
          * Deliver them to another store (Free)

          We apologise for any convenience caused”

          Most customers would be happy with free direct delivery, which could be funded out of the commission which is not paid out.

          It allows bookshops to redirect orders for numerous reasons, not just because they are offensive. There are numerous reasons why retailers may occasionally need to decline to accept orders.

          For example, they may be operating on a skeleton staff of volunteers for a week who do not know how to process hive.co.uk orders because the manager is on holiday.

          They may have a backlog of orders which need unpacking, and they know that their Gardners order will not be unpacked quickly enough for the customer, or their weekly garners order has had to be delayed becuse all of the items they need are out of stock.

          Their may be work experience students being asked to unpack boxes who are not allowed to deal with 18 Rated movies.

          The buyer may be a known problem, whom the staff simply wish to avoid.

          Whatever the reason, this gives every network retailer the freedom to waive their commission in favour of diverting the customer elsewhere.

          Of course, most network retailers will accept most orders, because we want the commission, and customers in our store, and, if too many orders are declined, we would be expected to give good reasons why this is.

          It would just be a retailer “safety net” which affords us the freedom we currently have, which is to decline service to anyone for any reason, and to ask any customer to leave without selling them anything.”

          The suggestion is “being considered” but, the feeling I got was “Don’t hold your breath”.

          Try as I might, I just couldn’t come up with a way of disclaiming away the possibility (however remote) of having to hand over hardcore pornography (which hive.co.uk sells).

  5. Have just recieved through the paperwork from Hive after their trade consultation and have just signed on the line to say I’d like join The Hive Scheme.
    Shall wait now and see what comes of it – but I do like the fact that they say that the store nearest the geographic area to where a book is sent will get a percentage of that sale – that seems a very fair thing to do indeed, and where the geographic area is nearer to one shop than the shop the customer wants to collect it from then the retailer renumeration will be split between the two – a really good idea because sometimes your local bookshop isn’t in the same area as where you work and would find it easiest to collect from.
    I appreciate the problems outlined on our above discussions haven’t been rectified but until STL/Ritchie (and given the current situation this might be a little outside their scope at the minute – praying for an upturn for them) or Kingsway or any of the other Christian possibilities offer us a Christian alternative this will at least give some ability to offer another cheap online availability to my customers, and right now – every little bit helps.

    • Glad to hear that you’ve taken the plunge.

      There is really an awful lot to like about hive.co.uk, and, like you, I think it can serve as a wonderful model as to how this sort of thing can work out.

      For us, unfortunately, we still can’t say “Something, however flawed, is better than nothing”, because the flaws in the model pose too big a risk for us, but for those of you who can make it work, I am really impressed with what they have put together.

      Not just a skinned Gardners.com (thankfully, their site is a bit of a mess, to my mind) but a real, useful and convenient end-user experience.

      I hope it goes well for you.

      Keep us posted about how it goes for you, and what, if any, mishaps you find along the way.

      Luke

  6. So, I’ve put a recommendation to our ‘Board’ that we consider joining, with the intention of populating the ‘front page’ with relevant e-books & digital. Our draft version of the vexed disclaimer is as follows- anyone else got a suggestion?
    ———————————————
    The GLO Bookshop – Scotland’s Leading Independent Christian Resource Centre – is currently partnering with HIVE.co.uk to bring you e-books and digital format, downloaded directly to your device. HIVE also provides access to a wide range of ‘secular’ books and other media titles, which can either delivered direct to your home, or picked up FREE from our HIVE collection point centrally located in Motherwell.

    …..plus a whole load of other guff about how wonderful we are…. and then….

    PLEASE READ AND NOTE before proceeding

    The GLO Bookshop does NOT select any HIVE titles other than those that appear on this ‘frontpage’. Access through this portal to HIVE should not be taken as endorsement by GLO of any product shown. We would ask for your co-operation in refraining from viewing or purchasing any item that does not reflect our strong Christian ethos. Your purchase contract is with HIVE.co.uk of Eastbourne, and NOT with the GLO Bookshop Motherwell. For data protection reasons, GLO staff are not made aware of the nature of your purchases and therefore are not able to offer any advice or information on your purchases. Any returns, refunds or comments must be directed to HIVE via the following link – http://www.hive.co.uk/returns-and-exchanges/. Your statutory rights are not affected in anyway by these comments.

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