10 Tips for First-Timer BBW Shoppers
This post is inspired by a friend who asked me for advice as it’s her first time visiting the Big Bad Wolf (BBW) sales, the biggest annual book sales event in the world! I was surprised to find that it’s her first time as BBW has been around since 2009. I attended the first one at Dataran Hamodal with my sister and was blown off by the crazy price slash! When I got home that first time with a box filled with 40 books, my mom thought I robbed a bookshop. She could not believed I spent less than RM300 on them. I’ve been back to every BBW sales ever since, now held at MIECC in a huge convention hall that fits 3.5 million books!
BBW has certainly improved customer’s experience through various services such as boxes for your books, check-in counters for book storages, a place to sort out your choices before making final payment, food and beverages for the long haul, children corner for those parents who bring little ones, even butlers to send your books to your car after payment is made! It’s a book lover paradise! Anyway, here are some quick tips for all my first-timer friends to Big Bad Wolf Books sales.
(1) Bring cash, don’t bring credit card (unless you have Hong Leong credit card, there is additional 5% discount with each purchase). That way you can set your budget before purchase. Trust me, RM200 is more than sufficient (you can get about 25 books average with that amount). Unless you read 50 books a year like me – even so, I don’t get all my 50 books there.
(2) Dress comfortably. You’ll probably spend hours and hours on your feet going through aisles and aisles of books. So comfort is a must. High heels are strongly discouraged. Your arms/hands would be tired of carrying books or flipping through pages, really, do you want to hurt your heels and toes too?
(3) Bring your husband, or boyfriend, or kuli. Or your trolley luggage bag. Then you don’t have to carry the books in your arms as you shop for more books. It’s really common: trolley bags and luggages, it’s almost like an airport. I stick to my one box (which I choose carefully at the entrance, a medium size one) knowing that once I fill it to the brim, that’s about 30 books. Good way for self-control.
(4) There are check-in counters at the end of the hall, where you can check-in your books and continue shopping when there are too many books to lug around. That way you don’t have to carry around too long and you can take a break upstairs where coffee, food and drinks are being sold. If you are bring a child, leave him/her upstairs at the playground. He/she would be delighted! There is a Merry-go-round!
(5) Buy what you definitely want and what you really really wanna try reading. Don’t buy because it’s cheap because we don’t need cheap things! They just take up place at home. If you have more than 50% of unread books from the previous BBW, please, take this advice seriously. Or call me over, I can adopt your books.
(6) Shop for Christmas. Think you want to get that book for a friend? Think again, because everyone goes to BBW. So chances are, they might have bought the book for themselves. Ooo… I can imagine all of you opening up Christmas gifts and realise you all get a book, hopefully not the same book! Haha! But go ahead and buy books as gifts to those who are not living in Klang Valley and don’t attend BBW.
(7) If you have a to-buy list, keep that at hand. Would be useful cause you might get overwhelmed when slapped in the face with so many titles. After a while, you get tired of flipping through books and perhaps, really, just get attracted to nice covers instead. Easier to shop if you know what you want to get. The list of books is available at BBW website.
(8) There is no perfect time to go! People take leave from work or lose sleep to go to BBW. I’ve went during working hours, crazy midnight owl hours, wee early morning hours – trust me! There will never be a perfect time. Did I tell you that there was a 30-min queue last year at 3am in the morning?
(9) How long do you estimate spending time there? If you go through the whole hall of books, about 6 to 8 hours. If you’re like me, you only like fiction and then brief run-through of other sections: children, memoirs, self help, hobbies, etc., about 3 hours is sufficient without break! If you are like my mom who has no interest in reading, she is done in an hour! Go figure!
(10) Parking and logistics. The best thing about BBW is there is ample parking at MIECC (well, not really, but I never had problem with parking the past few years). Perhaps because the crowd is well-stretched throughout the 24 hours. If you bought a lot of books, no worries, the BBW folks will have someone ready to send the books to your car. You don’t have to lift a finger, literally!
So yeah, hope the 10 tips above enrich your BBW book shopping experience. As for me, I’m back to peeling off price tags off my books and stacking them sweetly on the shelves. Yipppeeedddeeedaaahh!