Openbook International

innovation, experience, quality


Why Open Book International?

Not to be confused with Mariella Frostrup's Radio4 show of the same name, our Open Book is something else entirely.

Open Book International Ltd. was founded in 1996 as a limited company to build and run - an online auction site for the trade of electronic components.

Whilst a handful of nascent sites were posting sale-lists between members at that time, we believe our international site was a first and it preceded the likes of, eBay and a handful of German sites popping up in parallel.

The term "open book" refers to a means of trading between seller and buyer with the profit margins revealed; "open book negotiation" with everyone involved knowing the value of the deal.

In its first two years, the biggest challenge we had was that the major players in the components business (purchasing and materials managers) mostly didn't do email. Many were still using green screen in-house systems and didn't have access (or want to have access) to the web or email.

So instead of auctioning components, we ended up as a relay station processing faxed lists on behalf of clients.

This was our first taste of being ahead of the game as innovators.

By 1998, crazy money was sloshing into new emerging auction platforms but we couldn't see how the margins could ever match the ROI needed to cover the investment. We pulled out of the oemexchange project in 1999, having made a profit. When the bubble popped in 2001, we were already out of harm's way.

The Open Book company has survived for 15 years and has been home to our expanding AV business and an exciting range of tech projects and start-ups.

Here's to the next 15.


Open Book International Ltd registered in England no 3540863