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What is a remainder mark?

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What is a remainder mark?

Old 10-31-03, 02:13 AM
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What is a remainder mark?

I'm not really big on books but I was looking into buying some used hardcover books and some sellers list them as "may have a small remainder mark". What is a remainder mark?
Old 10-31-03, 02:35 AM
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It's a small mark (usually in black, permanent marker) that booksellers usually use to denote bargain-priced books. I'm not totally sure why they do it. I guess they figure if they're selling the book for $4, they might as well mark it up a little so you can't turn around and sell it for a higher price.

Old 10-31-03, 07:37 AM
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In the old days, they used rubber stamps. I've seen where both Viking and Random House have stamped the edges with their logo. Much nicer looking than a swash of permanent marker, IMO.
Old 10-31-03, 09:22 AM
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Yeah, that permanent marker swipe is what bugs me about bargain books at book stores.
Old 10-31-03, 10:21 AM
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A remainder mark is made by a publisher when the book has been returned by a dealer due to lack of sales. After the mark has been made, the publisher then sells the books at a discounted price to other dealers.
Remainder marks detract from the value of the book in the eyes of collectors so sale listings should mention any mark. I'm not sure what "small remainder mark" means. In terms of collection value it either has one or it doesn't. Personally, I *love* remainder books.
Old 10-31-03, 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by immortal_zeus
It's a small mark (usually in black, permanent marker) that booksellers usually use to denote bargain-priced books. I'm not totally sure why they do it. I guess they figure if they're selling the book for $4, they might as well mark it up a little so you can't turn around and sell it for a higher price.

It's not the bookseller - it's the publisher. The remainder mark serves to prevent these books from being returned for full credit. They're sold for pennies on the dollar as an alternative to the publisher pulping them. As a rule, the author receives no royalty on remaindered copies sold.
Old 10-31-03, 12:06 PM
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The remainder mark is the work of the devil.
Old 10-31-03, 02:51 PM
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There was a time in the UK when they used to make a physical notch in the pages at the top of the book!
Old 10-31-03, 03:53 PM
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The equivalent in the long-ago world of vinyl records is the cutout mark, used for the same reason, so that the record could not be returned for credit. This was done in a variety of ways, the least objectionable from the standpoint of collectors is the "BB hole", a small hole punched or drilled in the corner of the album. Other techniques were the "saw mark" and "cut corner". I have seen remaindered CDs done the same way, this usually defaces the paper inserts inside the jewell case.
Old 11-01-03, 05:12 AM
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I've noticed that not all "remainder" books contain remainder marks.

Generally, the remainder books I buy at stores like Barnes and Noble have no remainder marks at all.

But the remainder books I buy mail-order from places like Edward R. Hamilton, or at the Outlet Mall bookstore will have a remainder mark. It's usually a small -- 1" or so -- line on the bottom edge of he pages. Occasionally, they will be red or marked across the barcode.
Old 11-01-03, 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by Josh-da-man
Generally, the remainder books I buy at stores like Barnes and Noble have no remainder marks at all.
Interestingly, B&N has made a fairly successful trade in publishing their own 'remainders'. They'll buy rights, rather than physical books, and print new 'remainder' editions themselves. They use a variety of imprints (including Barnes and Noble Books, Castle Books and others) for these 'remainders'. One of the ways they're able to sell them so cheaply is that they skimp on the materials. Compare the Castle (I believe...) edition of The Essentian Rumi (or Essential Buddhism, or any of the Essential series) with the original Harper Collins editions, and you'll find the Castle edition uses cheaper paper stock and cheaper binding. Yes, it's a cheaper book, but nowhere near as high quality... There are a number of art books, with rights bought from houses like Abrams, that have the same liabilities...

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