With sustainable lifestyles rapidly gaining popularity around the world and the desire to revive used things for a second life, Knygos.lt has found a new niche and is launching a platform of used books. On the platform, you can trade your books to free up shelves at home. Already, regular customers-sellers are selling enough books to earn several hundred euros a month, while other readers-buyers buy the books they want for less.
Readers can earn money
94% more customers are buying used books, indicating a doubling of demand for books to read. Currently, there are up to 10,000 books in the “Used books” category. “The figure shows how many books are currently unpurchased, but new books are being added every day and sold accordingly. We aim to become the number one seller of used books on the market within a few years. With this goal in mind, we have invested more than EUR 48 000 in the first phase,” says Dovydas Pauliukonis, the company’s CEO.
Used books platform is very user-friendly as, according to Pauliukonis, it now gives more control to the customer-seller: “From now on, the customer will oversee the entire book sales process from the very first step – submitting the book, setting the condition and price, and sending it to the warehouse. We will provide detailed information on what is happening with the customer’s books – whether they have arrived in the warehouse, whether they are of the right quality and price, and will inform about the progress of the sale: when the book was bought, when it was sent to the buyer, when the money will be transferred”. After the sale, the customer will be able to choose what to do with the money they have earned – to convert it into Book Euros, virtual money used to pay for the sale of the goods or to transfer it into their bank account.
Pauliukonis reveals that the second phase of the Used Books update is coming in the spring. “In the second phase, the seller will be able to send books directly to the customer. In other words, the platform will function as a marketplace for the books you read, and the buyer will be able to decide whether to send the books himself or to entrust us with the task.” The service is expected to grow in popularity and within a few years, at least 10% of regular customers will start selling books.
Out-of-print books are the most popular
Readers are mostly looking for rare copies, old editions of books, they adhere to the sustainability principles, and therefore do not buy new books. “Fiction books, older editions of classics and out-of-print books by popular authors are the most popular. For example, books by the well-known author Sandra Brown are uploaded and bought immediately. A similar situation applies to cookery books – if it was popular, a newly uploaded book is bought very quickly. We notice that older knitting books are also popular,” comments Pauliukonis.
Although preference is given to newer books published in recent years, there is no limit on the age of the book that can be sold. Pauliukonis says that older books are often not as relevant, but they also find their customers.
He notes that there is a growing interest in books in foreign languages, so English and Russian books are also accepted. In general, the trend is towards more people reading in foreign languages.
From all over Lithuania
For the convenience of customers, the books will be sent by post or courier from all over Lithuania, while the possibility of bringing the books to the warehouse in Kaunas will remain. “We oversee all storage, shipping and financial operations. The seller of books can rest assured that his books will reach the buyers, and the buyer can rest assured that he will receive his books. If the buyer doesn’t like the book, they can use the return service and we will sell the book to someone else,” explains Pauliukonis.
Customers will also be able to use the “Knygos.lt” database, where they will find most of the books published in Lithuanian, which will make selling books easier in many cases and save time taking pictures of books or preparing descriptions – this will be automatically assigned by the system. The seller’s task will be to write the price and the condition of the book.
Pauliukonis stresses that they will check the quality of the book and guarantee that the customer receives the book on time and exactly as he chooses it because they are not dependent on the physical seller of the book: “Although the seller indicates the condition of the book when he puts it on the market, there is an additional check to rigorous standards, and if we see that the seller’s rating is not the right one, then we will update the book according to our guidelines”.
Controls will ensure that buyers of used books will receive the books in the condition they were stated to be in. Buyers will not only be able to read the books they buy themselves, but also to give them to friends who live sustainably. We all have books on our shelves that we have received as a gift, didn’t like or already read and thanks to the platform, those books are given a second chance at life.