In recent times, Business of second hand books and already purchased books has vastly grown. Websites like www.madbooks.com, www.secondhandbooksindia.com, www.bookadda.com and www.asinfibeam.com offer services to buy already used books online. There are also online websites where you can sell your books for some money. This affordable and sustainable Business of second hand books will grow even more in future, until it overtakes the business of first hand books and here’s why-
Reasons Why Business of Second Hand Books Will Grow Even More in Future:
The most important reason to prefer second hand books over first hand books is the price difference. Avid readers who read multiple books a month may not be able to afford fresh copies of books always. Many readers may also consider it worthwhile to buy a lot of books with a certain amount of money than very few with the exact same amount, even though the former consists of used books. Textbooks, especially are very expensive, and most students prefer to buy them second hand. This is because subjects change every semester, or only a part of the book may be required. In fact, used books may be available at as much as half the rates of fresh books, which is a significant difference.
Second hand books are those that someone has used previously. Hence, it is highly possible that the books may have notes, annotations and thoughts of its first owner scribbled in a corner. Not only is this entertaining and fun to read but also very informative. Especially in case of classics which many struggle to understand, these annotations can come in handy. Metaphors, symbolisms and literary devices that may have escaped the reader’s notice may be brought to his attention.
One of the biggest advantages of second hand books is that they are environment-friendly and sustainable. These books save a lot of water, trees, power and other resources because no new paper, printing machines and other resources go into the making of them. Using second hand books improves the carbon footprint of humanity, which is why many environment conscious readers are opting for it.
Ability to Bargain
The ability to bargain comes naturally to Indians, and if they don’t bargain, they feel like they feel cheated. Since one cannot bargain at Crossword, in book stores or on amazon deliveries, middle class Indians prefer the smaller bookstores that sell used books. Here, bargaining is a distinct possibility and if you bargain well, prices can reduce drastically.
Availability of Old Editions
One of the main reasons that readers prefer second hand books is that old editions may be available. If the publishing company has stopped producing a particularly beautiful edition of a novel, it is quite likely that you will find it on sale in a second hand bookshop.
For Bookstagrammers and Booktubers, second hand books hold special appeal. With their coffee-stained and tattered pages, they provide a unique aesthetic vibe. These books sometimes have a rough usage, hence they give off a scholarly and literary vibe. Sometimes, even the smell of these pages in unique, something that all readers love.
Messages about the Owner
The best thing about buying second hand books is that you make new friend without ever seeing the person or talking to him/her. When you buy the book, it is obvious that you have the same literary taste as the person who bought it before you. Moreover, if the person has made markings on the book, you know exactly what the person likes, dislikes, thinks and feels. Reading the thoughts of another on a piece of art is an act of incredible intimacy, something we all cherish.
Exchange is possible
Many second hand bookshops in India offer services to exchange used books. You can give your own book in exchange for a new one that someone else has read and left off. This allows you to be minimalistic with your library yet lap up lots and lots of good content. Especially for readers who have financial constraints, this situation is ideal.
Profitable for the Seller
No business is sustainable is the seller makes losses in the long run. However, buying used books can be done at a price way lower than the sale, which makes the venture profitable. As the market is growing, more and more people are opting for second hand books, and thus the business cycle is booming.
Growth of Thrift Stores during Lockdown
With trends like #VocalForLocal and #smallbusiness growing on Instagram and Facebook, a lot of thrift shops opened up during the lockdown. Clothes, books and other items were sold on these thrift shops. Instagram even created a feature for small businesses. Shop owners posted pictures of their books, and those interested texted the owner’s profile. This was a great way to kick off small businesses because the buyers could see the condition of the books and sellers had contact details of the buyers as well.
The trading of second hand books has provided supplementary income to a lot of families who were struggling during the lockdown. This has acted as a small side business for many families engaged in larger businesses. This has helped to contribute to the household income of many families, and we expect this trend to keep increasing.