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Why postmen are selling books

india Updated: Aug 29, 2007 01:16 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh
Zeeshan Shaikh
Hindustan Times
Why postmen are selling books

You could soon pick up the latest Robert Ludlum bestseller or a copy of the latest exploits of boy-wizard Harry Potter at your city’s head post office.

In an effort to increase services and boost revenues, India Post is planning to sell books at post offices. “In today’s competitive environment, it is important to provide utility services to customers. India Post has decided to sell books through its strong network of post offices across the country,” said Postmaster General (Foreign Post and Marketing) Col KC Mishra.

In August, India Post started a pilot project, putting up for sale six lakh copies of a do-it-yourself yoga book by Baba Ramdev at its 400 head post offices across the country, of which 61 are in Maharashtra.

Initially the books — priced at Rs 300 each — will be available only in the head post offices and India Post would get a commission on every book sold.

"Many publishers do not have access to markets in the hinterland. We will provide them that access,” Mishra said. India Post is looking for tie-ups with all major publishing houses.

However, customers are sceptical. "Selling books in post offices is a novel idea, but I’m not sure how many people would walk into a post office just to buy one," said Nashik-based Prajakta Yadav. Last year, India Post initiated other utility services, such as selling air and train tickets.