This self-service bookshop in KL aims to build a business based on trust


Buku by PJ Preloved House (Buku), a newly opened pre-loved bookstore, is analogous to every other bookstore… besides that it’s a absolutely self-service institution.

Buku, situated on the artistic market Kedai KL in Mahsa Avenue (Jalan Ilmu, Kuala Lumpur), locations trust in the fingers of shoppers by not having any workers current.

The course of is simple: select your required titles and make a cashless cost (e-wallet, DuitNow or on-line switch). The costs are reasonably priced to boot: RM5 per ebook (or RM10 for chosen stickered titles).

“With this self-service model, I am able to save on staffing costs, hence directly passing back the savings to my customers by offering our pre-loved books at very affordable prices.

The Buku bookstore adds new titles to its shelves every week. Photo: Buku By PJ Preloved HouseThe Buku bookstore adds new titles to its shelves every week. Photo: Buku By PJ Preloved House

“Also, with a store like this, people from all walks of life can treat it as their personal library to browse and read… there’s no pressure from staff watching over them while they browse and read,” says Philip Yong Kee Chung, 32, Buku’s founder.

On the racks, ebook lovers will discover thriller, fantasy and YA novels proper to self-help books, biographies, classics and cookbooks. A kids’s part can be build up. A stash of over 2,500 preloved books will slowly refill the cabinets at this 18.6sq m cosy house.

After a profitable mushy launch final month, Yong says extra books will probably be added each week.

The books, primarily in English with some Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin books, are principally sourced from charity organisations like Red Shield Industries Malaysia by The Salvation Army and Parents Without Partners.

“We are a for revenue business championing social causes. Even earlier than you make a buy we’re already supporting social causes as 90% of our books are sourced from charity organisations,” outlines a assertion on Buku’s Facebook web page.

A selection of classic books found at Buku. Photo: Buku By PJ Preloved HouseA number of basic books discovered at Buku. Photo: Buku By PJ Preloved House

Yong provides that there’s CCTV in place to monitor the shop. If any Covid-19 SOPs are breached, Yong can simply converse by means of the CCTV to advise the shoppers.

This self-funded bookstore began off as a web based bookstore in April final 12 months.

But Yong felt that when it comes to shopping for preloved books, many desire to browse, contact and really feel the bodily books earlier than making a buy.

“I’ve built a sizeable community online as well who often request me to start a physical store. The other reason is that I’ve always wanted to start a library but the cost to sustain one can be quite hefty as I am funding everything myself hence opening a preloved bookstore selling affordable books is a balance I can live with,” shares the PJ-based ebook retailer.

All that customers have to do is pick their books and make a cashless payment. Photo: Philip YongAll that clients have to do is decide their books and make a cashless cost. Photo: Philip Yong

He admits that Buku is an experiment, particularly in Malaysia the place such self-service retail ideas are comparatively new.

“As a digital product manager, I always believe in the online-to-office concept. Almost everything in the store is controlled digitally from the lights to the air conditioner unit.

“The experiment is more on whether my faith in humanity holds. And I have to say, it’s going well so far since we opened our doors.

“If this experiment is successful, I hope to replicate this same model all across the country. It may be a bold dream but definitely possible,” concludes Yong.

Buku by PJ Preloved House is open day by day from 10am to 9pm.

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