Nationwide, used bookstores strive to survive in Amazon’s shadow as e-book sales slightly slipped in recent years, marking a probable comeback of the paperback. Plus, used book retailers claim that they have some benefits e-commerce giants lack such as higher profit margins and better browsing experience.
Nevertheless, people who open used book stores in our times are perceived as either extremely courageous or plain crazy. But these small business owners say that many similar stores now thrive especially in communities with readers that still value paper as the best reading device.
Used bookstores have many advantages: they offer more diversity and books that are out of print for years, cheaper prices, and enhanced browsing experience. People who enter such bookstores are often surprised to find books they never knew they existed.
Lower prices, however, is the main reason used book stores are the last brick-and-mortar book outlets left. Even though there aren’t any official reports to back their affirmation, used book sellers say that their sales are on an upward trend.
Some of them said that business is getting better and better as years go by. Readers are lured by low prices, diverse offers, and browsing experience. The business has better profit margins than newly printed books.
As some entrepreneurs jump in into the business for the cash, others do it for their life-long love for books. Both types of used bookstore owners said that they noticed unmet demand in recent years.
But in order for the business to succeed there are two main ingredients nobody should leave out: good location and razor-sharp management. The initial costs to open a startup are also relatively high – about $85,000 for multiple locations.
But Amazon is more enticing because it is easier to access. This is why many used bookstores now list their books on the on-line retailer’s third party marketplace where competition from new book sellers is weak.
Many used book retailers said that their business saw a boost after they decided to sell their inventory through Amazon and other online outlets. The only problem is to manage what goes in and out their inventory so it can fit in the storage space.
Additionally, the business can be a success or a failure depending on the savviness of the department that makes book purchases. And most times it is a matter of luck. If the bookstore is located in a community of avid-book readers, this is always a plus.
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