I believe that access to books must be as easy as possible. Buying good books can be a challenge for people living in the third world country, including Indonesia. Most of the people might say that books are too expensive, or not really well distributed. Nevertheless, The Big Bad Wolf Sale Jakarta proves its worth as an oasis in the midst of our confusion for an access to worthy books.
I am so lucky to got a chance to visit the preview sale of Big Bad Wolf Sale yesterday as a blogger representation, so I can share my experience there in this space of mine. I was accompanied by several friends (because a ticket can be used for up to 2 people!) that happened to be book lovers squad. If you miss the preview sale, you can always sign up as a member of Big Bad Wolf so you can get a one VIP pass for the next year sale. Anyway, this year's sale is much bigger than last year, and there are extensive variants of new books for you to discover!
The books are divided based on its language and genre. The books are predominantly English books that are covering most of the area of the halls, and then followed by Indonesian books. The books then classified into smaller genres such as fiction, references, arts and design, and many others. Additionally, the fiction genres are even more arranged into another smaller sections, such as fantasy or romance. It might be pretty overwhelming at first to find your favourite books here, but try to set up some strategy and time management to get used to the situation. Plus, you can always use the map located outside of the hall to guide you.
Despite all the exciting moments I had, the rest of my day there was an utter despair. After around 3 hours of book hauling, I decided to call it a day and headed for the cashier for check out and payment. This was the time the real terror really began. Since it was the preview sale, people can get too excited for it, hence making the sale went crazy loaded with people. I was stuck in the line to get my books checked out for the whole 4 and a half hours; from around 3.30 to 8.00 PM! That was even longer than the time I spent on shopping. I swear I did anything to let the time flies with my friends; from talking about current series that we watched, sitting down and read books, to playing "connecting the words".
I didn't eat anything but a slice of bread my friend bought on a food truck stall. At first we were expecting to eat lunch after the sale, but turned out being a very late dinner. Thanks to the Disneyland-esque queue. In spite of all of these things, we got the best deal for books and it was a great selection of books they got! Maybe a good strategy will bring out the best of this event?
In short, these are the plus and the minus of yesterday's preview sale, and basically, Big Bad Wolf Sale so far:
(+) The location is super strategic, which is ICE (Indonesia Convention Exhibition) located in BSD. It's super accessible, both from Jakarta and Tangerang. The convention hall is spacious, and air-conditioned. You'll never worry about breaking a single sweat while you do your shopping.
(+) As I stated before, the books organisation is exceptional. Everything arranged by its language and genres.
(+) The staffs are so friendly! They will occasionally asked what kind of books you needed. Plus, there are at least a staff in every 2 blocks of books container. They are so easy to find with their blue denim apron.
(+) Some books are wrapped in plastic, and there will be one sample of each books that you can browse before deciding to buy it or not. If you don't find one, you can ask a staff and they usually let you open one book from its plastic and then using it as a sample.
(+) Hard cover books can be as cheap as IDR 65,000.
(+) Wide varieties of novels. You can find well-known author books such as Suzanne Collins, Lemony Snicket, Philip Pullman, Chuck Palahniuk, Murakami, and many, many others.
(+) The newest addition to this year sale is the presence of food trucks. Never get hungry the next time you shop your favourite books!
(-) There was a major problem with the fast track and normal queue system for the payment. The staffs seemed to forgot to put a big sign which can function for people to differ the two different system. I queued in the wrong lane the whole 20 minutes before a staff told me that it was for the fast track, and then start to queue all over again. 20 minutes left wasted. All because they don't put a big freaking sign.
(-) The queue was grotesque. People are getting angry with the situation, some tried to cut in line, someone never stop talking how terrible things are getting on. All for the whole four and a half hours.
(-) The cashier seems to be a bit inexperienced. It was so hard to get out from the venue just because they are so slow on taking care of their jobs. Maybe they're just a bit exhausted?
(-) Post 4.5 hours of queueing fatigues and cramped legs. Oh God, I need a massage.
There are some things that Big Bad Wolf Sale might want to consider for better. First, I think it's reasonable to separate customers that bring lesser books (usually a real, book reader) with the ones who shop like it's the end of the world a.k.a people with at least 3 trolleys filled with books (they are usually a reseller, or buying books for business purpose). It will be a lot more effective that way rather than mixing them up. People who bring lesser books will be admitted to the fast lane. Second, if they keep up with the same queue system, just make it into a single line queue that stops before it divides into several smaller lines, so if there's any empty cashier, people just can easily hop into it without getting cut by other people. Last but not least, I didn't get why there are so many people in the preview sale, as it was meant for VIPs. I think it would be awesome if VIP tickets are reduced to at least 100-200 tickets so people who are lucky can enjoy the preview sale it to the fullest.
Here are some tips that might help you to get the most of Big Bad Wolf Sale:
- Dress as comfortable as you can. You might consider wearing something warm due to the temperature inside the halls that might be a little colder.
- Prepare some snacks and water in case you'll get stuck inside the long queue.
- If you want to avoid long queue, you might want to shop at late night or early morning. Avoid afternoon and evening time (around 2 PM-8 PM). Also avoid weekends since it will be crazier than usual!
- Since it will be so hard to get a trolley, you might want to bring your own trolley or a suitcase. If you prefer not to, always eye for the staffs for they occasionally carry some trolleys.
- Make a wish list for those who come in a budget. You don't want to over shopping and ended up broke, right?
- Use Mandiri card to access the fast track. There is a booth that you can use to redeem Fiesta points to get the access.
Overall, it was still a great experience. I am so happy with all these new babies in my bookshelf, even though I still unsure when will I ever have the chance to read all of it (to be honest, I spent most of this month's money for books. Mon dieu!). For Big Bad Wolf Sale staffs, semangat! I fully understand that dealing with tons of people might be super overwhelming and don't let people lower your performance! This event is a fully anticipated event, so still, I will still love this place anyway. Perhaps, I'll be back for another haul next week.
Big Bad Wolf Sale Jakarta 2017 is OPEN FOR 24 HOURS STARTING TODAY AND NONSTOP until 2 May 2017 at ICE BSD!
Enjoy 60-80% discounts for every books!