The Great National Book Store Warehouse Sale 2015 Tips (and Experience)


Last August 13, 2015, I went to The Great National Book Store Warehouse Sale in NBS Quezon Avenue. It wasn't my first time to attend this kind of event held in the same venue so it was a familiar scenario but this one was such an unforgettable experience. So I thought, why not share some of my survival tips on getting ready for the next warehouse sale?


Before going to the place, check your planner or calendar if you are busy on that day because it's gonna be a long day for you and the whole warehouse sale experience might take up to 4 to 5 hours. I actually arrived there at 10 in the morning (the doors open at 9 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.) and left the place at 4 in the afternoon. If you have meetings on that day, you should probably postpone your visit (depending on your priority of course), but it's up to you. The reason why it took hours for us to finish is that the checkout lines were so long and disorganized.


The crowd was unmanageable.

Make sure you had enough sleep and breakfast because this event will seriously drain your energy. Bring some bottled water and stay hydrated. Honestly, I almost gave up (and lost my consciousness) because of the heat and the area made me claustrophobic because of the number of people present, but my love for books is just so strong. Thank you Lord for my father because he brought me some water. Water is very important! And also, bringing a hand-held fan would be a great help in cooling yourself specially in a very hot place like that warehouse.

This next tip is an essential: bring extra reusable or eco bags and a cart if you own one. I brought a backpack because I wasn't planning on buying that much but as a lucky scavenger, I ended up purchasing lots, so I needed another one. You can buy a bag there but it's more efficient if you'll bring your own. And about the carts? If you have one, you should definitely bring it. Since I was very much an hour late, I was one of the unfortunate people who were dragging boxes full of books across the floor. Cart and basket scarcity was the result of the uncontrollable number of people arriving at the place. It wasn't a pleasant experience in that matter.

Outfit-wise, wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Opt for a classic tee and pair it up with some jeans or shorts. You should feel more comfortable with what you are wearing because you will have to walk around, crouch and bend while looking for books. Choose sneakers instead of heeled shoes, you don't want to stand up for hours while wearing shoes with high heels, trust me. I was wearing rubber shoes and my feet still ached from all the standing I did. But this is only my tip, you can wear what you want. *thumbs up* I actually saw someone there who wore a suit and tie combo. Wow.


Say hello to my shopping cart and the facade of the building.

Just bring your essentials. Books are heavy so you don't want some extra weight on your shoulders or on your cart. Leave that huge make-up bag at home or in your car. No one will notice that tiny blot on your face. *winks*

Bring extra cash. Even though this is a warehouse sale and most of the books are priced at 20 pesos to 100 pesos, there is a possibility that your bill will reach up to four-digits or so. You'll never know. If you are on a budget, you should probably stick with it. But yeah, you'll never know. Though I am not 100% sure on this: as far as I know, they accept debit and credit cards, though it is much better to be prepared.

Don't go alone. Bring someone, a friend, your sibling, your parents or even your neighbor who shares the same interest as you with books. That way, you can take turns in hunting for books while the other one is waiting in the line. This saves time and energy and you will have someone to share the experience with, to protect the cart and to chat with while waiting. And in case of an emergency, at least you have someone.

Extra things you'll need to bring: wet wipes, face towel or extra handkerchief and hand sanitizer for cleaning your dusty post-searching hands and arms.

If possible, carpool. Expect that there will be lots of people arriving so you might have a big problem with searching for vacant spots to park your car.

If you want to get the great pieces, go to the place an hour or two before they open or as early as possible. Not only you would secure a cart or a basket for convenience, you will also be able to pick your faves from freshly stacked books. Of course, the good and popular books will always be the ones most picked up. J. K. Rowling's Casual Vacancy copies were sold out after the first hour! Extra tip: Instead of going in the evening to try your luck, you should do it the next morning because they always open new boxes of books every night and restock for the next day, so there are more chances of getting good books in the morning rather than the night before. But of course, there are lesser people in the evening so the lines to the cashier will be shorter and check-out will be faster.

Be patient. You will have to be patient in everything. The queues will be long, people might accidentally step on your foot and push you, there will be problems regarding where to look for books and where to look for the end of the cashier lines, and there will be people who might want to steal that one Game of Thrones book you luckily saw on top of a bookshelf after sending a SOS text message to a friend (which really happened to me), so you'll have to be extra patient (and forgiving).

You'll also need to be friendly, specially if you are alone. You'll need someone to watch over your box while you go and grab that one last copy of The Reenactments by Nick Flynn. Who knows? Maybe that someone is the one. Kidding. Don't be too friendly though, you'll never know what a stranger might do. 

Keep your eyes peeled for good books in unexpected places. Since the books will be scattered into many places after the first thirty minutes, YA novels might end up at the comics shelves. Yes.


2:57 PM ㅡ "So close yet so far."

My final tip is compute the total cost of your purchase while waiting in the queue. Open that calculator app on your phone and add the costs of the books in your cart. With this, you'll know if you have enough cash to pay for your loot. Also, after checking out, double check your receipt and package, the cashier might have made a mistake in scanning the books or something. There's nothing wrong in being extra careful.

Don't worry if you weren't lucky enough to purchase something from the recent warehouse sale or you've actually missed it. Save that money because The 36th Manila International Book Fair is just around the corner! There are much greater range of books you could choose from and of course, there will be discounts and bargain sales, too!

I hope you find these tips helpful~ Please let me know what you bought from the warehouse sale if you went there! Thank you for reading this post and I'll see ya around next time. Have a nice day.

♥, Lix

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