HOW TO START A BOOKSHOP

March 24, 2016



Hi, everyone!

Been a long time, I know. It's not as if you miss me, is it? My life isn't that interesting. Haha. Which is exactly why I came up with the genius idea to set up shop for a bookshop! I've shared a bit about it on my last #WMYW post and I'm so pleased to say that we are now all systems go and we are now live on Facebook. :) 

Say hi to Cliffhanger Books Cebu!



(See, I even made a banner--I am so invested in this thing)

Here are a few things I've learned whilst setting up this small sideline of mine:

Stocks!

Ok so when you start a bookshop, you basically need, well, books. Hunting down a legit supplier to feed my bibliophile needs was quite a challenge. I needed to consider shipping fees, the selling price of the books, and the actual titles I want. I'm fond of YA, fantasy and contemporary stuff, so those were the ones I was looking for. And guess what? They're harder to find than a unicorn in the middle of Colon. And the books I wanted were so pricey because they were relatively new! Ugh. Then there was the issue of where to find this said magical shipper. Thankfully, technology these days make the work easier. The internet makes the world a smaller place and yes, I did find a supplier who had an affordable stack of very recent best-sellers--- a mum who was clearing out her shelf because of a new baby. God's grace indeed--we had the same taste in books. Yay! I got in touch with her and bought her shelf clean. One thing I learned was to always check the quality of the books. That way you can rest easy knowing that your customers would have pretty books on their shelves, and that the price would be worth it.

Money Matters

Setting up a budget for your projected stocks is crucial. You don't want to go over your capacity and end up being broke. And yes, I learned a bit of business math this way. It's quite a challenge, because maths were never my strong suit and I almost failed accountancy back in high school. But also, I am so pleased to say that I passed this part. Yay! I had a bit of cash saved over the holidays and my extra income from writing and I used that as capital to fund this thing.

 All in all, my capital was about Php5,600. I saved some money, too, because I asked the supplier to waive the shipping fee, to which they obliged. I was a happy panda. Haggling achievement unlocked!


Selling Like Hotcakes

Okay, now I got my books, what do I do next? After pricing them, it was time to finally let the world know I was actually selling stuff. Weirdly enough--after all the effort of preparing--- I was nervous to share my shop with my future customers! Crazy, I know. But I guess it's a valid reaction for every first-timer. 

What if they don't like my books? What if they're too expensive? Oh no I did my math wrong---I won't ever break even!

I was a bit jittery because there are so many cool booksellers online who are much more seasoned at the trade than me. Thankfully, I got over this hurdle, too. Those big booksellers didn't learn the trade overnight. These were growing pains that I had to learn from if I wanted to take this thing seriously. And so I did. And I loved it! It's such a great learning experience. Thankfully, lots of people became interested and I ended up selling more than half of these babies in less than a week. I was relieved! I never thought that letting people know and sharing your stuff would be scary, but I'm glad I got over it. Hashtags and group posts on social media came in very handy, too.

The Waiting Game

Everyone's uncle knows I hate waiting. Waiting is a pet peeve, the bane of my existence. So why did I choose a business that would involve waiting so much? First, there was waiting for stocks to show up. Some took forever, others merely a day. Then there was waiting for people to comment on your post. And ultimately, waiting during meetups! Ugh! I learned a lesson to meet buyers at a location near me. Why? It's gonna cost me money and that money would have to come off my earnings. I was glad that so far, I didn't have to wait super long for people to show up. It's just that I live so far away from the city that the traffic gets to me. Also, the kids at Dakasi are hella noisy. I now meet people up at SM, or Parkmall. :P


So these are the few things I've learned during the almost-two weeks of running my baby business. And yes, I now have to restock! Almost all the books are reserved or sold. Thank you, God for this provision!

If you have time, do check out Cliffhanger Books Cebu. You might just find your latest summer read. :)

All the love, 

K x

 











@krishafromtheisland

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