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used books

Memphis Public Library

Innovation Summary

Outlet for selling books that are more valuable than those that we sell in our bookstore or book sales.

Problem Statement

Friends had a bookstore selling books from 50 cents to $5. Friends had book sales selling books from $2 down. There was no outlet for more valuable books. For years books were discarded or sent those books to the two outlets we had and sold well under market value.


We decided to start an online book market through Amazon. We found volunteers to enter books online and to shelve those books. We found other volunteers to pull orders and wrap and ship the books to buying customers. We refined the process over the first 2 years 9 months with packing material, printing our own postage, buying our own postage scales, tape and other material.


In 2 years, 9 months, the Friends online book operations grossed $170,000. We sold over 8,000 books and have over 8,000 books still listed online for sale. In 2010, we grossed $88,000.