Starting your own business begins with a seed of an idea. Then that idea blooms with hard work and an entrepreneurial mind into your own little empire. But what if you don’t have an idea yet?
Well, they say the most successful businesses are formed from things you actually enjoy. If you can get drawn in by worlds only described on a page. Or you lose hours to a good book and a cup of coffee; you are a self-confessed book geek. And that is the perfect place to start your business. Not only does starting a bookselling empire mean you get to be around books the whole time. It’s actually super achievable and can make you a decent amount of money.
Keep reading to get a step-by-step of how to start your own online bookstore. And it won’t even take you a lot of time, money, or effort to get off the ground.
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1. Make A Plan
First off, you want to decide what kind of bookseller you want to be. And there are more types than you can shake a stick at. You could concentrate on textbooks of all subjects, maybe antiques and collectibles are your thing, or modern first editions really get you going. There are pros and cons to each kind, but defining which you will concentrate on saves you time (and money) down the line.
It means you can truly hone in on what you’re looking for and only concentrate on that. It’ll enable you to separate the wheat from the chaff.
2. Stock Up
Now you know what type of books you’re specializing in, it’s time to stock up your shop. If you’re going for used books, it’s pretty easy to build a stockpile for next to nothing. Try out places like FreeCycle and PaperBack Swap. Rummage through yard sales, hunt deals on amazon, and hit every discount rack you can find.
If you’re concentrating on anything more specific, like antiques and collectibles, check out local auctions. They might cost you more, but they’re the kind of thing you’ll get more of a return from.
3. Decide Where To Sell
You could start your own website if you have the time and resources to devote to it. But it will mean you’ll have to do some pretty hardcore online marketing to get your customers to the right place.
It’s a solid idea to begin by selling on another, well-established website. And there are plenty to choose from. Amazon is a brilliant place to start because so many people head there to fulfill their book needs already, so they’ve done a lot of the leg work for you. eBay is excellent for everyday books because you won’t make a vast profit there, and head to Abebooks to sell rare books and first editions.
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4. Be Honest
This is key. Especially if you’re selling used books. Being honest about the condition of your book selection is just good business. Take the time to write a description of the state and take some quality pictures that highlight any problem areas.
This gives customers the confidence to purchase from you and will provide you with a positive reputation. All integral for starting a small business.
5. Pay Attention To Shipping Costs
If you have any background trading on Amazon or eBay, you know that their shipping costs tend to be set in stone rather than an actual indication of true postal costs. So if you’re only charging $3 to ship, but it costs you $4 in actuality, you’re losing $1. It doesn’t sound like much but added up over a year, it can make a real dent in profits.
So take the time to check the actual cost to ship your eBay item. You’ll be thanking yourself later.
Start The Moneymaking
Following these steps and doing a little of your own research will have you in good stead to start rolling in the cash. But remember the reasons you’re starting a bookselling empire in the first place. Because you love books! Remember that, and you’ll be golden.
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