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Sunday, October 17, 2021
Blog / Tips for buying inventory for your bookstore

Tips for buying inventory for your bookstore

  1. Buying for your store is more than looking at a piece of merchandise and saying ‘I love it and I’ll take it.’ Buy merchandise only when you see a real advantage or opportunity.
  2. The biggest asset you can have when you buy merchandise for your bookstore is your knowledge of the marketplace. Knowing what is available for sale in a category is a valuable tool.
  3. Never buy without a buying plan or a budget, showing you what you can spend for the various categories in your store. Decide in advance the vendors you want to deal with.
  4. There are two groups of customers who buy from you:
    •  Sheep who want to buy the most popular;
    • Trailblazers who want to be the first on the block and are always looking for what’s new.
  5. Buying is all about power – either real or perceived. When you are buying merchandise for your store, remember, that its your money and you can spend it anywhere you like.
  6. Don’t rush your buying. Make sure the merchandise you are buying fits the brand you are trying to create.
  7. There are two different styles of buying:
    • Deep and narrow: Not many titles but stock in depth, many copies in each  title stocked.
    • Shallow and wide: Much variety in categories, many titles, few copies in each title.
  8. Make sure the merchandise appeals to the widest audience possible:
  9. Not too old, not too young, not too cheap, not too expensive.
  10. Know that if the item is popular, and many stores carry it, then you will have to price it at the prevailing rate. If you are the only one in your area selling the item, you may be able to take an additional mark-up in setting your selling price.
  11. Know what your customers are willing to pay for various merchandise categories.

What makes a great buyer?

A great buyer

  • Understand that buying is an art, a science and selling game, which when played carefully, can build a business and make a lot of money.
  • Understands that they want to get as much for their money as is possible, so that they can give their customers the most for their money.
  • Realizes that buying is selling what you have, your assets, your advantages and your strengths to the vendors to get what you want, merchandise for your store.

Modupe Ehirim (Mrs)
CBAN President

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