Now Hot: Print Copies of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Only 1K sets of the print edition left, and they're sort of selling like hotcakes
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2012 12:52 PM CDT
Get 'em before they're gone.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – It's inevitable: The thing no one would touch with a 10-foot pole becomes a hot commodity as soon as we're told it's going away. Encyclopaedia Britannica announced three weeks ago that it wouldn't be releasing another print edition, meaning the last one available would be the 32-book 2010 version ... and the company just so happened to have 4,000 sets collecting dust in its warehouse. At its typical sales rate of 60 a week, those copies should have been available for the next 66 weeks or so. Except they've been selling at a rate of 150 a day, and there are just 1,000 copies left.

So many people are interested in forking over $1,395 for the 129-pound set, reports the New York Times, that the company's CMO has been assisting the overwhelmed sales staff by answering phones. At its 1990 peak, Encyclopaedia Britannica sold about 120,000 sets in the US.

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