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2.3 Company Locations and Facilities

The company hopes to lease the 1600-square-foot retail space at Patchwork Plaza on East North Street in Greenville, SC that was formerly occupied by "Rags."

[If you don't have a specific location in mind, instead indicate the kind of location you are looking for - the section of town, the size, synergistic neighbors, etc.]

3.0 Products and Services

Fiction Addiction's main product line will be used and out-of-print books of all flavors - science fiction and fantasy, mysteries & thrillers, horror, kid's & young adult, romance, historical fiction, contemporary literature, and even some nonfiction such as memoirs, biographies, cookbooks, gardening, and history. We will stock modern first editions and over time hope to garner some more collectible and antiquarian stock.

The store will also offer used audiobooks for rental as well as purchase. Renters will pay the purchase price upfront and then have the amount above the rental fee ($3.50/week) refunded upon the return of the item. This way we will not have to worry about late fees, credit checks, etc.

The store may also carry a selection of new books for those titles whose demand outstrips our used-book supply. For example, books on school reading lists, store picks, award winners, etc.

The store may also carry some book accessories, such as bookmarks, booklights, and/or other gift items.

Approximately 75% of the stock will be mass-market size paperbacks; the remainder will be trade-size paperbacks and hardcovers.

All books will be cleaned and quality checked for loose pages, torn covers, etc., before they are entered into inventory.

[This section is pretty self-explanatory. You could also include Book Searches, Gift Certificates, etc.]

3.1 Sourcing

Fiction Addiction will accept customer trade-ins for used books. We will give 20% of the book's original cover price (up to a max of $2.00), provided that the book is in good condition, the title is not currently overstocked, and we think there is still demand for the item. Audiobook traders will be given 10% of cover price, with no cap. Although other Greenville used bookstores give up to 25% in credit, we believe that the majority of our customers will never have traded at a used bookstore before and thus will be happy with terms that provide more than the customer would have received at a yard sale.

If necessary, supplemental inventory can be purchased at very little cost (less than $.50 per book) from thrift stores in the surrounding areas, which has the added benefit of reducing competition. Additional inventory sources include estate sales, library sales, bulk purchases from individuals, and online classifieds.

New books can be sourced from the distributor Baker & Taylor - Members of their First Call program can purchase most items at a 40% discount, with a minimum order of 10 items (which can be all different SKUs) and a freight fee that is currently only $1.00 per order (no matter how many boxes).

There are a variety of sources for book accessories and gift items. Most gift items can be purchased wholesale at a 50% discount off the suggested retail price + freight. Ideally, the gift items we purchase will not have the suggested retail price on the consumer packaging and thus can be priced higher if we believe that the market will support it. The minimum order for each gift vendor is usually $100-200. Lines we are considering include bookmarks from Re-marks and the Beam 'n Read booklight from ASF Associates.

[If you are planning to accept customer trade-ins, then I strongly recommend that you offer as little credit as you think you can get away with. The higher your margin - the difference between what the item cost you and what you are selling it for - the more successful your business will be. If you'll be the only used bookstore in town, then consider offering $.50 per paperback and $1.00 per hardcover. If other stores are offering the standard 25% then you can go down to 20% but perhaps not much more. Capping the amount you offer at $2.00 per book will help somewhat. You can always make exceptions for particular items if you feel like it (i.e., brand-new hardcover releases, collectibles, etc.). Look at it this way, if you have the best inventory in town then people are going to trade with you no matter your terms because what's the good of having $50 in credit at the competitor's store if they don't have anything you want to buy.

Typically, if you pay cash for customer's books, you usually offer half of what you would pay in credit. We started out offering both but were soon so overwhelmed with sellers that we felt like we didn't have time to give our true customers (most cash sellers don't ever buy anything from you) the attention they needed and so now only give store credit unless purchasing a large collection of 1,000 books or so.]

3.2 Technology

Fiction Addiction will use QuickBooks and Microsoft Publisher, off-the-shelf, PC-based software packages, for accounting and for designing internal marketing materials such as bookmarks.

As discussed in Section 2.2, the store will have a separate PC-based inventory control system used for inventory, some purchasing, sales, and returns.

We will subscribe to an always-on Internet connection from BellSouth DSL so that we can manage our online sales and easily look up answers to customer queries.

Once we begin selling our inventory online, we will subscribe to the online postage meter service from Endicia.

We have purchased the domain name http://www.fiction-addiction.com for our website, which will be hosted by Chrislands, a company that has developed website software specifically geared for used bookstores. We will export our inventory from our inventory control system and FTP it to our Chrislands website on a regular basis. The site will allow local and online customers to view and/or purchase our products.

Once our website is working smoothly, we will use email newsletters to promote it and drive traffic to it. We may use Constant Contact to design and send these newsletters.

[This is the section to discuss any technology you plan to purchase or "lease" in order to run your business. I recommend all the companies mentioned above.]

3.3 Future Products and Services

Future expansion may allow for a vertical increase of our product line by offering a selection of new books. Since new titles can be stocked reliably, this would allow the store to guarantee that Store Picks and Award Winners would always be in stock, aiding the company's promotional efforts.

We may also consider purchasing remaindered books from the various reminder houses that attend the Spring Book Show. Remainders can be used to fill in sections that we cannot find sufficient used inventory for at a higher margin and better cash flow than purchasing new books.

Depending on customer interest/demand, we may provide a used book search service. For a small fee we will locate the desired book and have it shipped to the store for the customer to purchase.

[I strongly suggest focusing on your core business in the beginning, but it's a good to have an idea of what you may want to add in the future so that you can leave some room in the store for it.]

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Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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