Originally designed for new bookstores, CirclePOS has evolved over the years to support a growing number of second hand stores.

Second hand bookselling is a specialised business with unique requirements and stock. Not least of which is the challenge of not being able to simply ‘reorder’ stock. 

Although there are parts of the system solely for new booksellers such as purchase ordering and returns, there is a lot of crossover with features that are useful to both new and used stores. If you sell both new and second hand CirclePOS may be the perfect system for you.

This article covers the features we have added especially for second hand bookstores, features that are useful for both as well as the limitations.

Firstly the key advantages

There are two key reasons why second hand bookstores consider CirclePOS. 

  1. Stores get an independent website that is 100% in their control, enabling them to list some or all of their titles online. Importantly, this does not involve additional cost or separate tasks.
  2. CirclePOS provides title data for the vast majority of books with ISBNs. The time saved in reduced data entry for  this feature alone is often very valuable. 

The combination of these two features is very important as they enable a store’s entire stock to be catalogued and listed online. The internet loves a long tail, there will always be someone somewhere in the world looking for that unique book that otherwise may not see the light of day.

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CirclePOS has an easy onboarding process that allows you to begin quickly and hassle-free.

Let us help you make the transition to starting a bookstore.

Special features for second hand bookselling

1. The ability to add a suffix to an ISBN

As the system does not allow for  a unique code for every book  we instead have the option of having four variations for each ISBN. A, B, C and D can get appended as a suffix to each ISBN after the data on the ISBN has been located. This enables you to quickly load books with rich title information and then differentiate them into different grades and price points. It is possible to generate a unique code for a book but , this just means having to manually key in title data for it.

CirclePOS for Second hand bookstores

2. integration. (help doc)

With the CirclePOS ABE integration stores can push selected categories to Things to note with this integration is it is ‘add’ only. You can use it to list books on but when one sells in your shop you need to manually update with that information. Unfortunately also strips those suffixes mentioned above when the data is sent. Finally when something sells on the stock needs to be manually updated in your system. If you can live with these limitations this integration can be a handy way to list multiple titles on while maintaining a stock visibility in your store at the same time. If’s API improves we may be able to improve these inefficiencies in the future. Watch this space.

General features that are especially useful for second hand stores

  • Integrated Website

Getting an independent eCommerce website where you can list specific or all of  your titles for no additional cost in time or money is one of the biggest benefits CirclePOS offers. This is also particularly helpful for stores with large volumes of stock.

  • A community that helps each other!

All stores on CirclePOS can add book information to our title database, sharing the work of data entry. This has created one of the best title databases in the industry and because many second hand booksellers already use CirclePOS, it includes many rare and out of print titles already. This resource, and the ability to share the work of what would otherwise be an impossible task means that even small local stores can have an online presence that competes with the central giants.

  • sends you customers

Stores that join CirclePOS  automatically become part of Book buyers can find the book they want at their nearest store. It simply sends customers directly to the specific store, meaning that store retains the customer relationship. It is an important value add for CirclePOS customers.

  • Customer hold orders and wishlists

For stores that regularly get people asking for a book that you do not have, then hold and wishlist features can help.

The ‘order hold’ option can be used as a watchlist that will alert staff if a specific title comes in. Staff can then message the customer by email or sms from within the system.

Wishlists perform a similar function but are customer managed. These can also be viewed by staff and similar books also recommended.

CirclePOS for second hand bookstores

CirclePOS for second hand bookstores

  • Loyalty

CirclePOS has a loyalty system where stores can set a percentage of a sale to go onto a customer’s loyalty account. This is then available to be used on their next transaction and keeps track of the customer's purchasing history. This means that a list of customers that like a particular category, author, title etc can be contacted to let them know that you have something they might like.

The loyalty system can also be used to offer credits rather than cash for book trades and purchases. This has significant cash flow and loyalty benefits.

  • Code generator

CirclePOS has a code generator for situations where products do not have a manufacturer's barcode. A unique code or batch of codes can quickly be generated. It prints well on pricing labels, perfect for all those wonderful old titles that do not have ISBNs.

  • (Purchase ordering)

Second hand bookstores that also sell new items such as gifts or some new books will need the integrated purchase ordering feature. This makes it easy to place orders and track deliveries.

  • Group hub

This technology enables groups of independent bookstores to put up an online portal that shows all of the groups titles in one place and which stores have a particular title. It gives the public a convenient one stop shop to find the titles they are looking for and for local stores to compete on range and service with the central giants. In New Zealand, to has found this to be transformational for the national  association’s members. This same idea could also be used for a group of second hand stores.


A second hand store can potentially have 10 individual copies of a single title all in different conditions with different price points.

The limitation in CirclePOS is that you can only have up to 4 price points per ISBN using the suffix system we mentioned above. This can be worked around by creating a unique code (also covered above) but the downside is that title data can not be automatically retrieved, it needs to be keyed in. If this limitation can be lived with (and it may not be a great one as 5 different price points for a title will seldom be needed and the information and images are likely to be unique anyway) CirclePOS could work for you.

Examples of second hand stores using CirclePOS


Initially designed for new bookstores, CirclePOS has evolved to accommodate the inclusion of many second hand bookshops. Special features have been integrated to cater to the unique requirements of second hand bookselling. It is an ideal solution for stores that deal in both new and second hand books.

Have a look at this short video on features for second hand bookstores or read more articles on specific features and how they can help bookstores.


Start today

CirclePOS has an easy onboarding process that allows you to begin quickly and hassle-free.

Let us help you make the transition to starting a bookstore.