An online store set up by a young Goan couple to market old books is doing good business. Leonard J. Fernandes and Queenie, who launched the store in July, already have 260 registered users and the sales are picking up.
The site - dogearsetc.com - encourages users to sell old books by listing them online for free. "Old books never go out of fashion and are treasured. They just need a caring owner," Fernandes told IANS.
Though there are some second-hand book sites in India, Fernandes says his site is based on a peer-to-peer model.
"At other second-hand stores the website maintains an inventory. Here we allow registered users to trade with each other," he explains.
The couple, who moved to Goa from the US last year, says the site helps source books as well as search those that are out of print.
Besides books, users can also look for or list audio-visuals such as LPs (the long-playing records of old), CDs and DVDs.
Buyers pay for accessing the list of books while sellers quote the price for their book for free. The website charges 8 percent facilitation fee for each successful transaction.
If users cannot find a particular book they can also place a request for the book for free. Books in all languages and of any nature, including periodicals, comics and textbooks can be listed.
Dogearsetc.com now plans to introduce a forum for students - the Graduate Club. Students can post abstracts of their projects or theses in the forum.
"This will give their work the necessary exposure. Often these projects are commercially viable but collect dust," says Fernandes.
On his business model, Fernandes says: "I see it as a profitable venture. Books we read as kids have totally disappeared. Parents, who are nostalgic about these books, can find them here."
His future plan? "The next step is to get amateur artists to put up their paintings for sale," he adds.