Probably the most powerful insight we’ve gained in how to thrive as a bookstore, is the importance of offering cash book buybacks.
Book Driver’s worked with local bookstores for the past year and through those partnerships, we’ve been able to test drive various tactics for marketing a bookstore.
Here are the three ways I think it increases store traffic and helps build more revenue.
One – You get more customers. More and more customers are demanding one stop buying and selling of their books, DVD’s, and other educational materials, in regards to the college market. On the entertainment side this is doubly true I point out the huge growth of stores like 2nd & Charles throughout the US and Tradesmart, which is a local Denver entertainment buyback store, the size of your typical Costco.
Two – You get better books. People are going to sell you better books than they are going to trade-in. Thus you improve inventory both in quantity and quality (ie price you can harge) which improves sales. This virtuous cycle is one that has helped transform our business from getting lots of free inventory to getting lots of good inventory. Make sure to invite people on your email list as well.
Three – Your inventory turns much faster. A new book store turns its inventory two and half times a year, the typical used store, 2 and half times a decade, it seems like.
Bookstores owners tend to overvalue the existing books and other inventory they have, expecting to sell in a way that was done in the 20th century, allowing inventory to stagnate.
It’s a welI known cognitive bias that we over-value what we own already.
I don’t care if you’re selling mobile phones or books, if you have stagnate inventory, you ‘re going to struggle. A faster inventory turn will result from offering cash for books.
Conservation of cognitive resources matters to modern book lovers! What this means is, we’d prefer to browse ten shelves of truly awesome books, or at the least, creatively merchandised books, than forty shelves of picking through all the same crap that was here the last time.
Oh, and when you over-value your inventory you are under-valuing your customer’s time which means you are losing a customer.
Buying books would solve many of the problems that used book stores have. They don’t cost that much. Most people will be happy they could get anything at all. People are going to sell you better books in better conditions than they are going to trade-in. Thus you improve inventory which improves sales.
So why on earth every used bookstore isn’t also paying cash for books is beyond me. Buying books helps a used bookstore grow and thrive. It keeps good books in the local economy and keeps dollars running through your store. Implement buying books and you will start to see the three ways it helps a bookstore thrive.