Running your own home book store is fun, profitable and an ideal choice for many people who want to start a low-risk home business. You can start part-time, avoiding the high cost of storefront rent, yet at the same time you can sell used books, textbooks and music CDs and to anyone, anywhere across the country or around the world if you choose.
The actual number of books you need to get started with your own home-based book store varies by how fast you want to get going. You could start with 100 books — you’ll probably sell 10-15% of the books you list within the first month — so if you want to sell more and grow your business quicker, then it will be better to have 1,000 or more used books on hand before you start. Don’t be afraid to start with the books you already own, but stay on the lookout for more quick sellers to expand your business.
FUNDING A HOME-BASED USED BOOKSTORE
Start-up funding will likely be a bootstrap venture in most cases. Two-thirds of all business start-ups like a home book store get funded by credit card cash advances, tapping into savings accounts, or borrowing from a rich uncle in the family. Bank loans and grants to get started are almost unheard of.
One tip to raise cash: Sell something you don’t need any longer — furniture that’s in the way, clothes you don’t wear any longer, maybe hold a garage sale one weekend and clear the clutter around your house — and reinvest the proceeds into building your home book store.
You don’t need much money to get started.
If you’re starting out on a shoestring, I recommend starting with whatever you have. List your books, college textbooks, music CDs or technical hobby manuals on the Amazon Marketplace, and begin learning what sells and what doesn’t.
You won’t make a fortune. But you’ll learn valuable experience in how this business works. You can then parlay that experience and profit into a larger business as you add more used book stock to your inventory.
Getting started selling is easy. Just log onto the Amazon website and get your seller account up and running in a matter of minutes.
STOCK UP ON MERCHANDISE THAT SELLS
Next: Give yourself a goal. For instance, plan on spending two hours every cangura weekend for the next three months, scouring yard sales and thrift stores to locate at least 25 books, while paying no more than 50 cents each. By month four, you will then have found 300 or more good books, and you’ll only have invested about $150, some gas for driving around, and $50 for a couple sturdy bookshelves to hold your new inventory.
Tip: Use your cellphone with Internet access to pull up Amazon used book pricing when you are scouting out books for resale. If the pricing for like books is good — $7 or more – buy the book. You’ll very often be able to list it and sell it for more than $10-$15, and if you buy it for 50 cents or less at a garage sale, you’ll make deliciously good margins this way without getting stuck with stinkers!
But mistakes happen. If you do come home with books that you want to get rid of that you can’t use in your home bookstore, take them to a local used bookstore and ask the owner if they’ll trade for books you can add to your inventory. Sometimes if you’re lucky the owner will buy your unwanted books by offering store credit for books he or she doesn’t want to carry any longer.