Reading & sharing: Second-hand book trading platform revives used books
By Shen Li

In recent years, China's second-hand economy has been growing steadily. One second-hand book platform by the name of Duozhuayu, meaning catching more fish, has gained a loyal following in just a few years. 

Here at the book store in Beijing, bookworms are filling up the space for books still in good condition and also at reduced prices.The company operates with a model of buying, reconditioning, sterilizing and selling used books.

Their service has prompted more young Chinese to cast away old thinking of rejecting used things and to explore the value of used things.

Readers browse through book shelves at the store. /CGTN

Readers browse through book shelves at the store. /CGTN

"For second-hand items, people used to automatically think they are of low quality. But the kind of second-hand items that truly circulates well is of high-quality and does not have wear off easily. Books belong to that category. Here we believe that truly valuable items are worth buying twice,"Chen Tuo, co-founder of the company told CGTN.

The company hopes for a win-win situation in the market, where buyers could dispose of used books more conveniently and buyers could purchase them at a bargain.

The name Duozhuayu is inspired by Deja Vu. Because founders of the company believe that the value of books is generated by both reading and sharing.

The sharing of books also means more choices for readers than those offered by regular bookstores. According to Chen Tuo, the bookstore also has a feature online that allows customers to put a particular book on demand, and the system will notify you if it becomes available.

The store relies heavily on data, with algorithms that keep records of books being accepted or rejected.

As the database grows, it also sheds light on reading preferences.

A glimpse into Duozhuayu's offline bookstore in Beijing. /CFP

A glimpse into Duozhuayu's offline bookstore in Beijing. /CFP

"From sales data in 2020, we've observed that books about psychology, finance and self management were among the most popular while books related to tourism didn't sell that well. These data really help us make better decisions,"Chen revealed.

In a rapidly digitalizing society where traditional books face competition from e-books, the bookstore hopes to give a boost to physical books, and to enhance customer experience.

One customer told CGTN that exploring through the bookshelves was like going on a treasure hunt and it was full of surprises.

Now with two offline stores in Beijing and Shanghai, the bookstore is incorporating more second-hand items on their lists, including kindles and clothing.

The company says recycling is not just for economy, but for a lifestyle worth trying.

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