Starting My First Online Bookstore
Starting a bookstore might be your plan this year to make money. You might have never worked in a bookstore but you are considering of entering this business. Similar to other retail store, a bookstore is simply a store that sells books. It can be a brick and mortar shop, an online bookshop or the combination of them.
When I started a book selling business several years I go, I did not have any capital at all. I was working as an English teacher when I got an idea of selling the English learning textbooks on the internet. At that time (around 2004), I did not know anything about shopping cart software such as OS Commerce or VPASP. I could design a website using Frontpage. So, I began designing an online bookstore website using Microsoft Frontpage 2002 or 2003.
Selling books to people in other cities through the internet
Because I didn't have any capital to start a bookstore, I decided to upload the website to Geocities.com whose webhosting capacity was only 15 megabytes. I didn't have stocks of books either. What I had in my hands were the textbooks from the English language institution where I was working. I had used the books quite long and know their contents well. So, I wrote some reviews about them added with the table of contents of each books and uploaded them into my "bookstore" website. To make the website more interesting, I copied the pictures of the books in their official website and used them in my bookstore website.
In less than 3 months, I received an order of English learning textbooks from Riau city worth 4.5 million rupiahs (around 505 US dollars). When I received the money through bank transfer from the buyer, I contacted the book importer in Jakarta. Most of the books were available whereas some titles had to be ordered from Singapore. So, I sent the money for the books and asked the importer to send them directly to our customer in Riau using our address as the sender. The foreign book importer agreed with my arrangement. The next shipment of the books was also sent by the importer directly to my customer using my address as the sender. Well, that's my personal story of how I run my bookstore several years ago without large stock of books in my hand.
Selling Books Through Amazon Associates Program
Today, we can sell any books that Amazon online bookstore has through our website under program called Amazon Associates. What you need to do is write an article whose content is relevant to the books that we want to sell via the article. If we use blogger account, we can insert the information about the books directly into our article. When someone buys Amazon's books through our website, we will get some revenue which is called advertisement fee. If we are member of Amazon associates, we don't need to think about bookstore management. All we need to do is write a review about a book, add Amazon code of the book in the blog or website. When visitors buy it online from through our website, we have made some money from it.
There are still other ways that you can do to start a bookstore without using large amount of capital. You can begin selling used books that you have but do not need them anymore. by Charles Roring