How to Make a Profit in the Bookstore Business

by LaoA; Updated September 26, 2017
Bookstores can earn a good sum of money for their owners when run correctly.

Making a profit in the bookstore business involves knowing how to price the books that you sell, testing different book placement locations and carrying additional items that would appeal to your target market. If you have a love for books from different genres, want to create a location where people can come to purchase national bestsellers at fair prices and enjoy running a profitable company, operating a successful bookstore may be a business you would enjoy.

Do not lease the building in which your bookstore is located. Consider purchasing the place in order to maximize your profit potential. If you desire to own a bookstore for years, odds are that the real estate market will rise in value despite the current housing conditions. Sell your building and bookstore business together in the future so that you can command a higher price. Remember that buyers who purchase your location at a later date will also have the option of using the property to run another type of company.

Place any magazines that you sell at the checkout area. Magazines are an impulse purchase. Understand that big retail supermarkets put magazines at the location where customers pay for food. Follow the example of these stores, and put your magazines in a location where people are more likely to pick them up. Do not waste space and give the magazines in your bookstore their own section, which can be better be utilized to sell books.

Hold regular events at your bookstore. Locate people who have written books in your immediate area to sign books at your store, invite professors from colleges in the community to give lectures and have open microphone gatherings. Hold these events on the same day each month or week so that people know they will be occurring on a regular basis. Sell these authors' books at a discount to the customers who come to these events.

Put a small eatery in your location. If you plan on holding big events, make sure you have enough employees on staff to handle the amount of people who may come to your store. Sell items that people can eat and drink while they are attending bookstore events, reading a book at a table or waiting for a friend to arrive. Sell your items at a higher price than what you purchased them for in order to make a decent profit on each item sold. Consider selling items such as coffee, hot chocolate, pastries and cakes. Buy these items at wholesale rates from suppliers who are willing to offer you a sizeable discount. Contact the Department of Health in your area to determine which type of license you will need to open an eatery at your bookstore.

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