Better World Books
I love Better World Books – it’s a great concept with brilliant execution.
Started by a few Notre Dame grads, BWBs is a social business that sells new/used books, funds literacy initiatives worldwide (in-kind donations of books and a % of sales in direct funding), and recycles old books destined for landfills. Since its founding in 2002, the business, both financially and socially, has grown exponentially: $9.2 million in funding for over 80 literacy partners 3.3 million books donated to libraries and programs, and 26,000 tons of books reused or recycled.
Their approach to customer service, however, is what really draws me to shop at Better World Books. Free shipping worldwide, extremely wide selection of books, fast delivery (often ahead of the estimated date quoted), and quirky customer service emails set them apart from your average e-tailer. Just take a look at this one from an I order I placed recently:
(Your book(s) asked to write you a personal note – it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?)
Holy canasta! It’s me… it’s me! I can’t believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I’ve got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can’t believe I’m leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already – the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge – so many memories. I don’t have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it’s time to see the world!
I can’t wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen)and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol’ brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?
I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I’ve had, I’m ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn’t take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I’ve found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.
But hey, enough about me, I’ve been asked to brief you on a few things:
We sent your order to the following address:
BWBs could have been just an Amazon copycat with a CSR campaign tacked on the side to differentiate it. Instead, its core values and social mission cascade throughout the organization, allowing it to constantly monitor and drive its social impact while growing the business. Few other social enterprises have achieved as stellar results while staying true to their initial mission.
~ by responsiblenomad on February 23, 2011.