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Used bookstore

Report on [Small] Business

Used-book store (Edmonton)

Rent: Up to about $3,000 a month for 1,200 square feet

Construction and licences: Can go from $2,000 for basic shelving to about $10,000 for a more elaborate set-up

Staffing and insurance: One or two owners can usually run the place full time. Another temporary hand will run about $800 a month

Initial inventory: $1,000 to $10,000, depending on what you buy. You can fill up an entire store for very little by purchasing books from flea markets

Total start-up costs: About $15,000, but a frugal owner can start up for about half that amount

Where the money is: Quirks and accessories such as pens and bookends bring in bigger profit than books. Rare classics also go at a higher markup

Perils: It's very easy to fill your store with unmovable books. For example, almost no one will buy hardcover popular fiction from used-book stores because the paperback version is usually available

Why do it: "You're never going to make buckets of money from this," says one bookstore owner. "But I find I can make a predictable living doing it"

How to break even: Sell 18 $10 copies of Life of Pi a day

Recommend this article? 54 votes

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