I want to open a used bookstore.

I know, but bare with me.

I want to open a used bookstore. I worked in one when I was a teen and, even then, identified things I could improve on if I were running the show. Now that I'm older, I have more retail experience, plus retail loss prevention management experience. I know how to work books and "find" lost money (i.e. identify and correct areas that cause loss). I also managed social media for the store I managed in, meaning I know how to leverage a Facebook account.

The town I'm in has 4 bookstores. One is a corporate box store. One is a college oriented used book store (only real competition), one is an exclusively Christian book store and the last is a comic book store that doesn't carry novels, outside of graphic ones.

My plan is to base it off the model I knew when I was a teen. New books at full price. Used books (paperbacks in good shape) sold at 50% of retail. Hardbacks, unless brand new, will likely be bargin bin – experience says you'll never get your money back on these. One market that isn't taken advantage of up here is homeschooling. It's very popular, but no retailers cater to it. I'd leverage that as a way to get known and build momentum, while building up inventory in used books and trading paperbacks for store credit at 25% of retail like a bandit (store value would not apply to new merchandise). The Profit margin on the homeschool stuff would be narrow, but would build me a loyal following up here and guarantee returning customers. It worked in the store I worked in, which is slowly falling apart now and it's about 300 miles away.

I've even starting thinking about how I'd organize sections, genres, etc. I'd slowly bring in some nerdy shit, so I wouldn't be in direct competition with the comic shop, but I'd draw some of that crowd, too. Inventory control would be a priority. I know that my overhead would be mostly retail space based, as used books by the lot can be inexpensive to acquire, and I would likely be closed two days a week (not weekends), meaning I could maintain with only myself and a part-time employee or two (max).

So, with all of that in mind (and knowing I've been too scaredy cat to research financing), tell me how bad/good/nuts this idea is before I get myself more hooked on it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s