If you've come across this article it surely is because once upon a time you had a dream about opening your own little slice of heaven - a used bookshop. Maybe it's something you are even considering more seriously. I owned my own little dream shop for four years and it was like living in a dream. I will share with you a few observations in hopes of steering you in the right direction on a couple key points.
The single most important decision you'll make is location. It's a deal breaker and about the only decision that could lead to your downfall that you most likely can't change. The typical argument is should I go to a more visible location, pay more for it but have better traffic or should I keep my operating expenses as low as possible and get something much cheaper and only around the corner (or down the street) from a great area. The main counter point you'll hear about getting the better location goes something like this. Sure I'll have more sales but I'll work harder and more hours only to be handing the extra income over to the landlord. He'll benefit Research reports but my earnings will not rise much. This is a false assumption. You need to be in a great location or you will probably fail. It's not a question of which spot is better but more like 'where is my shop most likely to survive and thrive?'. You need to look for an area that has great foot traffic and be on a corner. Forget finding cheap rent you want to find the best possible location.
A second thing to ponder, and another fairly big decision, is the type of shelving that you want. Here you have an option of going with the best and it may end up saving you a lot of startup costs. If you're looking to create an intimate setting you need a dark, rich color of cheap shelving. Forget building it yourself. It costs more than you think, chews up a lot of time and is very messy. Did I mention they often end up looking horrible, unless you hire a pro, then it will cost a small fortune. Ikea Billy bookshelves. Briefly, they are inexpensive, look great and give off just the right feeling for a cozy neighbourhood shop.
Lastly, credit/debit card processing. You'll need to set up a checking account and have it tied to your merchant account. My advise here is to shop around. There is a vast range in charges that the processors levy on small businesses. In North America the typical charges will range from 4.5% down to only 1%. We overpaid for a long time before realizing there were other options. After a while of being over charged (and these few percentage points can really add up) we decided some exploration was in order. We ended up going from paying about 4% all the way down to 1.25% and you know what? The service was better with the cheaper rate. Look around and don't settle for the first merchant account provider that comes your way. Best of luck and Go For It!