What will I need to start?
Initially, invest in a set of romance novels or used books to start your collection. In 2000, hairdresser Don Guiala, 29, put up a cart-type pocketbook trading business beside the salon he was working for at the Imus Public Market in Cavite. He invested P2,500 on 300 books to kick off the business, then he rented a cart for P75 a day to display them. To save on rent, try setting up your business at home.
You can get cheap used books from Recto Avenue in Manila. You may also try buying new books when they go on sale at the leading bookstores. Books normally cost P35 to P40 each, but you can get huge discounts if you buy them directly from the publisher or dealer.
Who will my customers be?
Students, housewives, and middle-aged women who read for leisure. Get as many titles as you can to attract customers. Guiala buys new books every week to add to his titles. Some readers look for particular authors, so watch out for these.
How much should I charge?
You’ll make P5 from each new book and P3 from each used book that you sell at P10 to P12 each. The price of each book will depend on its condition. When selling, make sure there are no tears or missing pages.
How much will I make?
Your earnings will depend on the number of people swapping books with you. Guiala says he lost during his first three months, but now he makes P4,000 a month because he has regular clients he can depend on. His peak trading hours are 2 to 6 pm.