As soon as I decided that online bookshops would be featured as part of the #bookshoptours, I knew Booked_ke would be my first online shop to review. Found exclusively on Instagram at the moment, Booked_ke came about as the brainchild of two bookworms, Jeniffer and Mudeizi. The two college students wanted to turn their love for reading into something that would connect them to other avid readers in Kenya. Their main motivation for starting the shop was to find a means of expanding the reading experience for book lovers in the country, not only through books but also through other creative ideas currently in the works, which they hope to bring to fruition soon.
The whole aspect of them being an online store at the moment comes from the fact that they are still in school and do not have enough capital to establish a physical store. They decided to start from where they could by selling books online as they set cash aside to get a physical location at some point in the future. Bookstagram (Instagram, but for the bookish community) has been a major source of their customers. Jeniffer and Mudeizi enjoy interacting with the online bookish community even outside of selling books as they are able to exchange a lot of ideas as well as discuss bookish topics through this platform. This works well for them as book sellers because they are then able to have an idea of what people love and what they prefer in terms of books which puts them at a better position to ensure customer centricity.
My experience with Booked_ke has been nothing short of splendid. The customer service they offer is one of the best I have ever seen. The first time I ever made a purchase from them, I was having a pretty hectic week at work. I asked them about their delivery hours and explained my situation to them, letting them know that as much as I would like to receive the books within their mentioned time frames, it was simply not possible. Within a heartbeat, they made a special arrangement to have my books delivered to my doorstep at the only available time slot I could give them, at no extra cost. Not only did the rider bringing them maintain high punctuality, he was also very friendly and we had a chat about books for a minute.
Any book lover can attest to the fact that book purchasing is an expensive habit. Not everyone can afford to buy new books all the time and there is no shame in that. In this light, I would like to point out that Booked_ke deals exclusively with second-hand books. The awesome thing about them though is that the quality of the books they stock is usually top-tier. Personally, I prefer thrifting my own second-hand books, out of fear of paying for a book then receiving a highly tattered, miserable one. However, I have not been disappointed by any of the books I have purchased from Booked_ke up to date. Additionally, in case you want a specific book that is not available on their page, they accept requests to go and look for them and they update you as soon as they get it!
I would definitely recommend Booked_ke to book lovers in Kenya, especially those who would love to buy hard copies of books without hurting their pockets. Their books are very fairly priced and the delivery fee is also quite reasonable (delivery fee does vary depending on one’s location). Deliveries are made within 24 hours of book purchase, which is something any bookworm can appreciate. The books are diverse in genre giving the readers options to choose from. Another thing that I appreciate about Booked_ke is the beautiful packaging of their books. You can see the care and attention to detail that goes behind how the books are packaged and for me, little things like this get me very excited when buying anything.
If interested, you can find them on Instagram as Booked_ke and I hope you enjoy shopping from them as much as I usually do!