When we were students, the first thing we thought after the end of the school year was, what should I do with my used books? Should we keep them for a sibling, a relative, or a neighbor, or should we return them to school, stack them, and forget about them? The concept of reusing the book was present, but no specific goal was in mind.
A New Chance for a New Life
Exchanging books has become easier in recent years, thanks to the increased adoption rate of social media platforms, particularly with groups that allow members to share and sell used school books while also looking for the books their children require for the new academic year. Nonetheless, searching for books among various sources took time and effort.
One-stop-shop to Buy and Sell Used Books
It took more than two weeks for Ahmed Fareed Al Saif, the founder of Alefredo Books, to find a book he wanted to use for his Master's degree research. He visited all the bookshops next to the University of Jordan and down town, still he couldn't find the books, nor could he find a reliable source for used books. "Every student has the right to find the book they need, whether for research or for use during the academic year." I thought about all the books that people don't know what to do with, and decided to create a digital platform where people could buy and sell any school or university used books they require." Alefredo Books is the name Al Saif gave to digital platform. It quickly gained popularity among Jordanian families.
As the platform’s creation coincided with the economic conditions caused by the Corona Pandemic, it succeeded in gaining a large number of followers. "At the beginning of my project, customers would send me the pictures and the ISBN for the books they wanted to sell or buy via WhatsApp. It was a bit hectic for us and our customers. Moving on, I decided to create a digital platform where each customer could create an account with a user name and a password and sell the books directly through the website."
Creating a New Culture for Used Books
School and University books are considered to be somewhat pricey. Alefredo Books provides IB-IG-SAT AP-ACT and university students with books at half the price. Customers can pay online while purchasing, or they can pay cash at the time of delivery. "Our ultimate goal is to serve the students," Al Saif explained. "All of the books on the website are in good and excellent condition and are usually half the price."
Customers who want to use Alefredo Books services can do so by visiting the company's website or calling the company's support team. "Our goal is to foster a culture of reusing books among Jordanian families and students, as well as a culture of recycling books, respecting intellectual property, and discouraging the copying of original books," Al Saif stated.
The website is expanding at an incredible rate. The figures speak for themselves. JD50,000 was earned by parents through the sale of used books, thus considered a direct income for them. Over 2 million books were saved from destruction. JD 220 thousand dinars is the amount saved by parents by purchasing used books rather than new ones.
Overcoming Obstacles and Challenges
Finding help and advice to start a business is one of the most difficult challenges that any startup can face. Fortunately, Alefredo Books received complete support from The Tank by Umniah, allowing them to overcome obstacles and challenges. "We would not have gotten this far without The Tank's tremendous support," Al Saif said. "Like any startup, I was excited about establishing and expanding my business. The Tank assisted me in achieving my goal, designing my business model, and providing me with all the marketing consultation that has allowed us to celebrate success today. Alefredo Books has now established a presence in the United Arab Emirates. It was a vision that came true. " Added Al Saif.
Al Saif urged all entrepreneurs and startups to pursue their dreams, saying, "Don't give up, don't underestimate your project, keep trying, and most importantly, believe in yourself and your team, listen to them and accept criticism, and, last but not least, apologize for any mistakes you make in your business, whether to your customers or team members. It is the reputation that counts by the end of day."