ooovre is a ‘click-and-collect’ service that helps people buy books online from local booksellers. It’s currently a simple matchmaking service that allows you to order any book from a local bookseller of your choice and then pick it up from their shop, often within 24-28 hours.
For more detais on how ooovre works, see our how it works page.
Ooovre is already a fully-functioning service that matches buyers and sellers. However, because this is a project that we’re all doing in our spare time, there are several aspects of the service that don’t work perfectly, e.g. we can’t show prices because we don’t have access to real time data from booksellers.
We’d fix many of these things tomorrow if we had the time and money, however, we believe that while the system my not be perfect now, it works pretty well, and that quite a lot of people will find it useful. At the very worst it will make people more aware that you can order books online from your local booksellers, as well as generating new sales and getting people into their local bookshops.
Most booksellers set their own prices and don’t have an electronic feed of this data. However, most local booksellers sell books at pretty competitive prices – often as good as supermarkets or online retailers. And while they may not be able to price match some of the cheapest suppliers for every heavily discounted best-seller, they’re usually pretty close.
Sorry, we’ve worked hard to ensure our database is up-to-date, but because booksellers open, and unfortunately close, on a fairly regular basis there are bound to be some omissions. You can add a bookshop by contacting us here, (though ideally you’ll be someone involved with the bookshop). Similarly if there’s a bookshop on the site that doesn’t exist anymore send an email and we’ll look into it.
Contact us and we’ll get in touch with the bookseller to confirm they don’t want to receive orders from us. When they do, we’ll remove them from the database.
We want to build a sustainable business that helps local booksellers expand their online sales. To do this we are Kickstarting ooovre to raise the money to build a more fully-featured version that will increase the audience and provide booksellers with better tools to reach that audience.
The Phase Two product will have the following features - user profiles, e-commerce platform, order management, bookseller pages, review functionality, content creation tools, eg. list makers, reader pages, comments.
We believe that ooovre offers several big positives for booksellers - assuming we can generate sales for them.
And even if we don’t manage to do this, we’ll at least have helped some local booksellers sell some more books online, as well as spreading awareness that it is possible to order books online from local booksellers.
For the life of this prototype there is no cost to booksellers for the traffic we send them. If we raise the money we want on Kickstarter to build the next version of ooovre, there will be a charge for traffic when we launch version 2 of the site. However, we’ll also bring a much bigger audience, and more sophisticated tools for selling books online, which also means more revenue and more profit.
Like all start-ups it can be hard to predict exactly what the commercial model will look like when you start out, however, what we do know is that any commercial model has to be viable for local booksellers or we know that they won’t use and promote the service, and we won’t deliver on our mission.
Now we know that sounds a little vague, so to answer the question as directly as we can at the moment, we know that anything much above a single figure commission on sales will probably not be viable for bookshops, so it’s difficult to envisage a situation where we charge anything other than a single figure commission on sales.
We have no plans to sell direct to customers, but if it becomes clear that selling some books directly will benefit local booksellers, then all sales on the ooovre platform, whether click-and-collect or direct, will still be processed through a physical, local bookseller page on the site, even if ooovre delivers them direct. If we have to fulfil these orders ourselves, it will change aspects of our business model. And while it’s different to predict exactly how this may impact booksellers, we will only do it if there is a clear financial benefit to local booksellers. (Our values outlines the guarantees we make to ensure we always benefit local booksellers.)
That’s great, send an email to email@example.com and we’ll look into it.
At the moment we’re raising money on Kickstarter to build a more fully featured version of ooovre, with bookseller pages and sales functionality. However, our aim is build a closer relationship with booksellers because we know that booksellers are key to the success of ooovre. There are a number of different ways we could do this, but we’d like to hear from booksellers. If you’re a bookseller, how you think this might work best? Do you just want to pay a fee for a service, or would you prefer a more direct stake in the business?
Fundamentally, we’re doing this because we’re passionate about books and bookshops. John, one of the founders, is published novelist (Random House) – he comes from a family of bibliophiles and booksellers. We all want to build a sustainable business that helps local booksellers expand their businesses online.
To be honest, we’re not sure, they just turned up one day, and we haven’t been able to get rid of them.