BookMandee Founder Taranpreet Singh

Taranpreet Singh, Founder of ‘BookMandee – India’s One-Of-Its-Kind Used Books Store’, Shares His Startup Story

Please Introduce yourself!

I, Taranpreet Singh belong to a small city named Aligarh that is located in the Wester Uttar Pradesh. I did my schooling from my hometown, and then moved to Delhi to pursue my graduation from a renowned college of University of Delhi.

All that happened in those years of my life couldn’t be considered good or bad as I was just learning. I believe when you are learning, everything is and should be acceptable as a challenge.

Th stream I chose to pursue my graduation (Electronics), it was not all that I wanted to live my life with. There was also a family to take care of.

So, I preferred to join the Digital Marketing industry to earn a livelihood, while continuing to learn about different facets of startup. I have gone through several ups and downs, which I mostly consider for the lessons I have learned from them.

The term ‘Entrepreneur’ has always made me feel excited. Keeping that in mind always, the idea of BookMandee came to my mind last year and I thought I should do my part to execute it further. 

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When and How did you think about

The idea of BookMandee came to me out from a frenzied state of mind while I was researching about reverse marketplace vertical of startups. People were making businesses on selling used, old stuff online.

At that moment of time when I was reading about this business model, I had a used, old book placed next to me on my study table.

It was no less than an ‘AHA moment!’ when two thoughts – one about that old book and one about the recommerce model merged, giving rise to something I had never thought before.

After much ado, be it creating its wireframe, choosing the technology, researching about the book categories to be finalized, the UX over the website, I found the best name of this initiative to be ‘BookMandee’ – an online platform where people can buy, sell or donate their old books to those who are in need of them.

The idea is quite unique in itself. That’s why people are loving it all across India.

From whom you got inspiration to start and Who is your mentor?

There is no such mentor. However, ‘The Aha Moment’ that I described above, I got to think about the situations in every home, every street in India where used, old books are getting sold at penny rates to scrap buyers as per their weight.

People feel bad that the books they bought at high prices have to be sold in scrap. There is no other way, except keeping them saved somewhere in their home without using them ever again.

On the other hand, there are students who cannot afford to buy new books for studies. They look for sources from where they can buy old books, if possible. Obviously, not every bookseller is ready to sell old books on his shop to the needy.

Keeping that in mind, I thought, ‘How about connecting these two ends – people who have old books that they do not need anymore to those who are in need of these books?’

This is where the foundation of BookMandee exists – to prevent valuable old books from getting sold in scrap as much as possible.

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Introduce your Co-Founder/Founders and Team.

Right now, I am the only person working on BookMandee portal in its entirety, be it marketing it, optimizing it, writing blogs for it, approving book-ads that user submits and doing the social media work.

Explain more about, What makes you special and How you think is it different from others?

BookMandee is an interesting platform where in people can create a book-ad detailing the condition of their old book/books, adding their actual pictures and the rate at which they want to sell the books at.

This is better than selling the old books at INR 8-10 per kg in scrap. They can decide the rate at which they feel their old books should be sold.

The interested buyers can then search for available old books in different categories on the BookMandee platform, click on the book-ad they want to know more about.

If they feel they have found a book they need on this platform, they need to register or login to their account to get the details of the person who has submitted the book-ads.

This way, the two parties can interact with each other, negotiate on the price and decide where to meet within their city. BookMandee is just a platform that connects the two ends as of now. Our role ends when people has connected with each other for the exchange of old books. They do that at their sole discretion.

Talking about how BookMandee is different, yes it is, in a number of ways. Some other competitors are selling old books online through the e-commerce model. But they are not detailing where they buy old books from. Neither the condition of the books can be checked before ordering.

But at BookMandee, you can find real images of old books to see their exact condition before contacting the one who has placed the book on sale.

More specifically, BookMandee is for people within the same city who want to do this book-exchange. Otherwise, it won’t be feasible for them to meet easily.

What challenges did you face while setting up How did you overcome?

Some of the challenges were finding a good freelance web developer. Luckily, I found one easily.

Then there was budget. For that, I used my savings to get it developed and place it over the web.

I would like to emphasize on the fact that I am not earning anything from BookMandee yet. It has not been monetized yet. Yet, there is a strong feeling that comes up every time I get a notification that someone from some Indian city has placed a book-ad on BookMandee. People are relying upon it because I relied, have always believed in my idea.

I had always thought – no matter what will happen, I will do my part to execute my idea and see where it goes. See where I can take it and learn in between.

I just continued, and never gave up. The result is there in front of you all in the form of BookMandee.

What’s the Current Path,‘s Funding Status and What are the Future plans?

As said above, BookMandee has not yet been monetized. I used my savings to build it up from scratch. However, I am working on ways to monetize it so as to earn from it and pay its operational expenses at least.

Alongside, I am working on ways about how people can use it even more, in even better ways.

Right now, BookMandee has achieved good web presence, and it is getting around 9000 – 10000 web visitors per month over it. That’s a good achievement for me, as a one-man team

.If you would like, you can share a few words about VID at the end.

What I like the most about the ViralIndiaDiary is that it represents stories of startups of all verticals, stories that can inspire others. It is best to do it this way, rather than limiting to the stories of just one type.

I wish the entire team of ViralIndianDiary ‘Good Luck’ for the future endeavors.

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