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Bookbarn International is one of the UK's largest booksellers, currently holding around 850,000 books. They trade in new, second-hand, and rare books from their Somerset warehouse, shipping all over the world via third party platforms like Amazon, Abebooks, and Barnes & Noble. As one of the only book warehouses open to the public to visit and browse, Bookbarn also run the on-site Full Stop Café and their Darwin Rare Books room, making their premises a real destination for bibliophiles. Using the money raised, they will invest in developing internal software to manage marketplace listings.

The UK's best book warehouse

At Bookbarn International, we house nearly a million books in our impressive warehouse – one of the only ones of its kind, where members of the public are free to visit and browse, in the UK. We're also among the largest booksellers in the country, dealing in new, second-hand, and rare books, acquired from book dealers, schools, libraries, and so on. We then sell globally on 21 different online platforms to 10 different countries, which then opens up our reach to 245 countries internationally, and process on average 600 orders a day. These platforms include well-known names such as Amazon, Abebooks, eBay, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones Marketplace, and Biblio.

Our Somerset location is a great destination for bibliophiles and those simply looking for an interesting day out. On-site we have our Darwin Rare Books room, named after our chairman, William's great-great grandfather, Charles Darwin. Inside is an eclectic assortment of hand-picked rare and collectable books from as far back as the 17th century, including books bound with shipwrecked wood and tiny, Victorian thumb dictionaries. Opened in 2017, this is an exciting, new project for Bookbarn. We also created The Full Stop Café, a cosy atmosphere, complete with wood-burner, providing a variety of drinks and healthy, vegetarian food made fresh with local ingredients.

We have our own custom-built software that catalogues and manages our online marketplace listings. This is used to read complex algorithms and dynamically adjust our prices accordingly. Therefore, we're raising funds to prepare for our busy season by further updating and developing this internal software.


Business keeps the raised amount even if target is not met.
Revenueshare - product type
Tranche (1 of 2)
£ 30k
£ 30k
Estimated close date
Funded 5 months ago in 5 days

Where will the funds go?

Develop internal software

Key people

William Pryor
Nick Bates
Fenna Leake
Red cup

Investor rewards

Get stuck into a good book

If you invest £500 - £999
£15 off retail value of leather-bound book(s) or Books By The Yard; or £20 voucher to spend in-store

Double up

If you invest £1,000 - £4,999
£30 off retail value of leather-bound book(s) or Books By The Yard; or £40 voucher to spend in-store

Bibliophile bundle

If you invest £5,000 - £9,999
£50 off retail value of leather-bound book(s) or Books By The Yard; or £70 voucher to spend in-store

The books are on us!

If you invest £10,000+
£100 off retail value of leather-bound book(s) or Books By The Yard; or £120 voucher to spend in-store

Got a question for the business?

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A. Hi Mark. In the upcoming busy season which starts in August we will be profitable as the business benefits from recent reductions we have just made to our overheads

A. Hi Phil, I estimate, without the shop and cafe the turnover to be around £1.3m and the loss to be at least doubled, but let me put the question to our accountant.The benefit the shop and cafe (both of which are profitable) bring to the business are a significant influx of donated stock and building the brand.

A. Our Hub software does an enormous amount: cataloguing, listing on 20 marketplaces, with their integration issues, dynamic pricing, responding to each sale, ensuring they are removed so we don't sell something we haven't got. The development this loan is for is the addition of more analysis and control of the book meta-data, plus development of a new in-house ecommerce site. We eventually intend to recruit a data analyst. We project going back to profit in August, and staying there.

A. Bookbarn International
Summary P&L
8 months to April 19
Turnover: £1,124,891
Cost of Sales £670,199
Gross Profit £454,026
Overheads £452,026
EBITDA profit £2,666

Depreciation -£20,631
Interest Paid -£26,535
Operating Loss -£44,500

A. The historical loss was funded largely by equity and directors' long term loans

A. Good question Jacob! We are receiving around 50,000 books a month, of which at least 30,000 need cataloguing, the rest go into our physical shop. I doubt we will ever get to a point where there aren't many pallets waiting to be catalogued in our goods in area.

A. The admin expenses increase happened when our finances enabled us to recruit more cataloguers. Our business revolves around the rate at which we get books into our online catalogue, so the more cataloguers we have, the faster our offering through online marketplaces grows, given that we have only one copy of 90% of our stock.

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Business brand

London, UK

"The UK's best book warehouse"

17 years, 10 months
Equifax score
84 / 100
Equifax Grading
powered by Equifax
Very good score
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