Job Description & Specification for a Bookshop Salesman


A bookshop salesman, bookseller or a bookstore clerk interacts directly with customers in a bookstore. This can be the person behind the counter who rings up your purchase or someone who helps you find a book or orders one for you that is not in stock.

General Job Description

  • A bookseller is responsible for ordering books and merchandise, providing refunds and customer service and training new employees. Duties vary, depending on the size of the store. Booksellers in a small store usually operate the cash register, take inventory and stock shelves. A bookseller in a large store may have a specialized area to oversee or a specific job, such as arranging displays or unpacking merchandise.


  • A job as a bookseller doesn't require a college degree, although a degree may enhance your chance of being hired. A high school diploma or equivalent may be sufficient. All applicants must meet the minimum age requirement for their state, which is typically 16 to 18 years old. The bookstore environment is similar to a retail store and requires working a flexible schedule that can include nights and weekends. Experience in retail sales and customer service skills are an advantage for anyone who wants a career as a bookseller. Entry-level work as a bookseller can lead to senior positions in a bookstore in time.

Department Heads

  • A large bookstore typically is broken into sections, such as children’s literature, fiction, magazines and travel. Depending on the size of the store, a department may have a person in charge of each section. This person is referred to as a lead or the department head. The department heads may also be responsible for shipping orders to large-volume customers such as schools and libraries.

Cashiers and Customer Service

  • A bookseller appointed to the cashier and customer service department is supervised by a head cashier. This type of position involves ringing up orders, bagging the merchandise, handing out literature or promotions, and offering rewards or discount programs. The customer service desk is also the area where customers can request assistance with choosing a book or checking to see if it is in stock.

Management Team

  • A bookstore has a management team that can be made up of the store manager and one or more assistant managers, depending on the size of the store. The management team is responsible for the store's financial goals, motivating employees and looking for new business opportunities. In larger chains, a bookstore manager is also responsible for reporting to the district manager, who is in charge of several stores. The management team is responsible for hiring the bookstore sales staff and promoting employees.

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