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Bookstore trying something different

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 02/03/2017

My daughter opened a bookstore in downtown Circleville, Ohio and we are trying to do something a little different. Right now we have "book signings" with various Ohio authors and thought we would try to put together something similar with various Ohio board game designers. Not for sure where to post the idea yet but thought I would introduce myself.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
I just read more about your bookstore...

Since you seem to have the difficult part - handling the selling and buy-back of books, I'd just like to "share" an idea with you.

When I first heard about "Videos by mail", I remembered the small bookstore in the city I grew up in. It's almost exactly like your bookstore: sells and buy-back books.

I remember at that time, that I had the idea of a "rental club" for books. The concept is pretty simple:

  • Each person brings books to the store.
  • Books are bought, catalog-ed and priced.
  • Books are left for the purpose of "rental" (by selling and buying-back).
  • The store makes money on each "rental".
  • What this does is create a place where POPULAR books get regularly bough and sold.

Of course you probably would need a computer system to run such an operation... But I always thought this to be a GOOD "idea". It fills a niche that a Library cannot fulfill. For example the Latest John Grisham is very popular. The Library can only afford to purchase ONE (1) copy. However the "rental store" could have multiple copies of said book - by design.

And since it would cost LESS to buy and return (buy-back) - with multiple copies for more than one reader... it could be a more EFFECTIVE way of "sharing" books. Plus it means if you are a slower reader, you have more than the week or two to read the book (as prescribed by the system at the local Library).

More on the system. You would reserve "shelf space" and scrutinize he books. But this gets done by the customers too: if a book doesn't SELL, there is no reason to stock it.

Take for example my collection of 50 Hardy Boys Mystery Novels for children. Because there isn't anything similar (for children) ... it could be a collection worthwhile SELLING and "re-selling". Or my collection of 100 Choose your own Adventure books...

As the store owner, you'll grasp what will SELL (and re-sell) with experience based on the people who frequent the store.

Anyways thanks for reading this... I've had that concept on my mind for over 10 years. Sharing it with you (and the other members of this forum), finally puts to rest this "concept".

Best of luck(?!) with your daughters' bookstore.


Note: The idea behind this is "sharing"... So in terms of money, readers save money by buying and then returning (and re-selling) the book they read. It builds a "virtual" library of different authors and collections. And you can have "the ear" when it comes to recommendations - maybe an older collection might interest a younger reader (like my Hardy Boys example - Mystery)...

WinsmithGames's picture
Joined: 01/20/2017
Hey Keystone Those kinds of

Hey Keystone

Those kinds of ideas may help boost sales, but take everything in context.

Since board games are secondary (or tertiary) to the store's main goal (selling books), you need to make sure you don't alienate the core customer base.

Does the store already sell board games? What percentage of the store's revenue come from board games?

These are questions that may provide some insight into how much customers may care about a "board game designer signing."

If the store only makes 0.7% of their revenue from board games, whereas 80% come from books, I wouldn't do the board game designer signing. But if 30% come from games and 50% from books, you may be onto something.

Hopefully this helps somewhat!

PS Here's one idea that comes to mind that is less obtrusive to the core customer base. Maybe you have "Featured Ohio Products." These could be books, board games, novelties, coffee, etc. Maybe these product are on sale, or they could just be on a shelf dedicated to the one thing they have in common, Ohio.

Anyways, I'm happy to help out my home state! Good luck and happy gaming/reading/selling!

Joined: 02/03/2017
games were what we did before

Thanks for the feedback.

We actually had a store in town that was only games but that was a tough one outside of 4th quarter. Most of the business for that was online anyway. It shut down locally 2 years ago but is still online with more products that we make ourselves. So when our daughter wanted to have a bookstore we thought it would be crazy to not have games there too. We just opened the bookstore in Sept of last year so we don't have a big track record, but the games and puzzles were again a large part of the 4th quarter sales.

We have talked about doing "Ohio Products" but decided we didn't want to move to far away from the core of books and games.

We don't know if a board game "signing" would do much but we did think that if it involved the game inventor showing others how to play their game it might have more appeal.

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