Bookstore Tour: What's new in the secondhand book business?




At Déjà vu, a secondhand bookstore in Beijing, you can find used books that are well-organized, in good condition, with a lower price and environmentally-friendly. But how does it work? And what's the recycling process?

"Each book has its own ISBN on the back," said Déjà vu's co-founder Chen Tuo. "By scanning the ISBN, you can see whether we will take the book, and what price we will pay."

Simple as that, and you can also shop for used books through the store's e-platform.

Courtesy of Déjà vu

"After books are sent to the factory, we check the books' condition and identify pirated books. Then we clean, polish and put the books in a disinfection cabinet."

Wrap them up with plastic, and put them up on the bookshelf – and the used books are ready to sell again.

Courtesy of Déjà vu

From online retail to offline stores, Déjà vu has gained about 6 million users and recycled nearly 13 million used books since 2017.

Inspired by the term in French – a feeling that you've experienced something similar before, you just can't remember it – the bookstore displays some of the items that came along with the used books, as a reflection of the good old days from the previous owner.

Courtesy of Déjà vu

Airline or train tickets are the most common, as well as letters. They even found over 2,000 yuan cash ($300) in a book. They transferred the money back to its owner online, but also created an offline themed-exhibition, a collection to showcase what they find in the used books.

By spreading the idea of recycling, this bookstore believes that good stuff is worth buying twice and hopefully, these used books will be taken home and read again by a larger number of people.

This episode is part of CGTN's special coverage on China's bookstores. What's fun and special about other ones around the country? Stay tuned to find out more.

Reporter: Zhang Meng

Video Editor: Zhang Meng

Cameraman: Li Xiaonan

Designer: Li Wenyi

Chief Editor: Chen Ran

Project Producers: Liu Yuqi, Wang Xuejing