Tuesday, April 29, 2008

BookMooch Doesn’t Have to Mooch

Considering BookMooch has an inventory of about 480,000 books among its 70,000 trading members, I may be one of the few people who had never heard of them before reading an article in CNet News.

BookMooch is less than two years old, is free to its members, and has no ads and no fees. The members trade books.
BookMooch accomplishes that by asking people to put up 10 books of their own to receive one point, which will allow them to get their first book for free. In that deal, the new member must be willing to send off three of their own books to other BookMooch members. Unlike Lala.com and Peerflix.com--sites which have fallen down on paying postage for members--BookMooch requires that members pay to send the book. People who have more points than they can use on BookMooch, known as power moochers, can donate their points to charity groups on the site.

Apparently, the average BookMooch member swaps 3.5 books per month. The most-traded books?
The most-traded books on the site, whose membership consists largely of older moms, include Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (traded 780 times) and The Kite Runner (traded 585 times).

BookMooch has only two employees and was funded solely by John Buckman.

Also worth noting:
Even though BookMooch is free to members, the site generates an estimated half-million dollars in annual book sales for Amazon because of a browser plug-in called the Moochbar, which matches members' book wish lists to Amazon's retail inventory. For every 25 books swapped on BookMooch, at least one person buys a new book on Amazon through the Moochbar.


  1. Wow, what a fabulous idea! And it's also interesting to note that readers, ahem, buy books, no matter what.

    Of course, the last I need is more to read...

  2. LOL. I agree, Conda. My to-be-read stack seems to get bigger, not smaller.


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