Books Arbitrage Is Not a Get Rich Quick Scheme, It Is an Investment Scheme
I can’t stress this enough. The online book arbitrage model is not a “Get Rich Quick” idea - even though when you are researching this business model it may seem like one. The percentage returns you can get with online book arbitrage are extraordinary, and it is probably what attracts the “Get Rich Quick” type people. However there are many other types of people using this model, and they are probably more successful at it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get rich quick. It’s just that when you have that mentality, you more easily set yourself up for failure - without realizing it until later.
I’m writing this after being in business for several months and talking to many different people about the subject. What I see is this:
· Selling books online has traditionally always been an easy access, low start-up cost type business for people
· Pretty much any other business idea requires more capital to get started
· The result - many people are attracted to selling books online because it doesn’t require a lot of money, but they also probably don’t have a lot of money to begin with
If this is you, I absolutely commend you for taking the first steps towards entrepreneurship. But stop right there:
Is online book arbitrage Entrepreneurship?
Or is it an Investment Strategy?
I think online book arbitrage is a little of both, and they both can result in more financial freedom for you.
Here’s the problem though:
If you are viewing this purely from an Entrepreneur viewpoint, and you have spent a lot of money sourcing books already – and it’s currently not textbook season – then the “Get Rich Quick” type people will become anxious about why they’re not seeing a great return on their investment yet. Because they need the cash flow now to pay their bills.
Now from an Investment viewpoint, when I hear people talk about the stock market being up 10% for the year – and they’re all happy about that – or that they get 20% returns on their rental property – I don’t tell them about online book arbitrage right away, because 10-20% returns is really good for those asset classes.
However if they’re looking for other investment options I’ll mention online book arbitrage. 70-80% returns for the year is realistic - and I don’t think its any more work than having to study the stock market or manage a real estate property. You think you’re an Entrepreneur during textbook season but have to remind yourself you’re an Investor when it’s not textbook season.
The “Investor” type people are a different breed than the “Get Rich Quick” type. Investors think it’s normal to invest thousands of dollars – and not need the money back right away – because they believe they’ll make even more money in the future from it.
Look up stock or commodities trading groups and you’ll see many people advising to invest at least $1,000 a month minimum if you want to make decent money. Does the online bookseller demographic have that kind of money? I don’t know. Maybe I should market more to the Investor types because online book arbitrage is still new and not on many people’s radars yet.
I just want to make clear that when you hear about the business model behind Zen Arbitrage and eFlip, they are great opportunities to make money, but they are not Get Rich Quick schemes. If you decide to move forward with online book arbitrage, FBABooksPrep.com helps you make your investment adventure as passive as possible. You focus on sourcing books and having a good pricing strategy, and we can handle everything else for you.
The Negative Issues with
Online Book Arbitrage
Let’s get it all out there if you’re serious about online book arbitrage and know about Zen Arbitrage and eFLIP. Especially if you are new you should read this. This is about some of the gritty details and also about dealing with Amazon FBA. There are three main annoyances/inconveniences. Experienced book flippers already know and deal with them, but many new people can view it as a significant road block to proceeding any further.
The first issue is dealing with Returns. I’m finding newbie book flippers really seem to have a problem with books needing returned – getting their refund or a return shipping label. They are not as assertive as they need to be when contacting the seller, and I’d say the refund process is the most unpleasant thing about online book arbitrage. It’s inevitable at some point you will buy a book that will not be what you expected – due to seller error – and you should return it. You’ll find some sellers will say anything to get you to not return the book. One good thing about buying on Amazon is the amount of protection you get from scammers, like “A to Z claims”. Don’t hesitate to file one.
The next issue is about Amazon book listings that include supplements, such as Access Cards or CDs. You’ll find out the more you do this is anytime you order a book that is supposed to include Access Cards or CDs, the seller usually doesn’t have those supplements and sells ‘book only’. If it’s book only it is a different ISBN than the same book with supplements. You can still sell the ‘book only’ ISBN in the (more profitable) listing with supplements. Just be sure to say in the description that the book does not include supplements/access codes. If you look at the listings for other sellers you’ll probably notice other sellers do that.
The last issue is about sending FBA books to Amazon’s warehouses. If you’ve been consistently sending FBA book shipments into Amazon this past 6 months, then you’ve probably noticed that sometimes Amazon seems to have trouble counting how many books are in a shipment. It seems to happen about 10% of the time, either a FBA shipment will be 1 or 2 books short or 1 over. I don’t know if Amazon is using robots or what to open shipments, but it needs to be fixed. It would be helpful if Amazon could provide video of themselves opening packages. You can get reimbursed for these “lost” books, but the reimbursement is sometimes less than what you paid for.
Clearly this is a problem. Our service is based on trust. When Amazon is “skimming” books from shipments, it really comes back to hurt prep centers like us. If you’re a newbie at this you’d naturally be suspicious of the prep center, but if you’ve been sending in your own FBA book shipments for a while you already know Amazon does this. I want Amazon to resolve this as quickly as possible and will take down this article when they do.
So those are the 3 big issues. Compare these negatives to all the benefits of using software like eFLIP or Zen Arbitrage and you’ll be fine. And if you just want to focus on sourcing and selling and outsource the labor, FBABooksPrep.com is here to work with you.
to be a FBA Bookseller in 2017 and Beyond
When Amazon implemented its new changes for media products, many booksellers were very unhappy - but booksellers who source online weren’t as fazed. The people who were using online book arbitrage software such as Zen Arbitrage or eFlip were enlightened before everyone else about the new Amazon FBA bookselling environment.
Online book arbitrage is at the forefront of a new commodities trading market. When you’re using eFlip or Zen Arbitrage and you’re analyzing the data to decide if you should invest in a book or not, you have more in common with stock traders than bibliophiles. The Knowledge or Entertainment factor of a book is not really reflected in its price, and it doesn’t matter as much as all the other data you should be looking at (such as Sales Rank & History). That’s why books are commodities, and Amazon’s policy changes have only made that more clear.
When people who have traded stocks or commodities, or forex, or penny stocks find out about the concept behind Zen Arbitrage or eFlip, they are going to be very interested. The percentage returns you can get using eFlip or Zen Arbitrage compared to what they’re doing is pretty amazing.
However if you’re a bookseller, you’ve probably been getting most of your books for $2 or less, and now books are $5-10 minimum when you look at Zen Arbitrage or eFlip. That is a psychological barrier you need to overcome. Amazon’s policy changes have made the $2 or less business model very difficult to be profitable for all the non-mega booksellers. Online book sourcing is a viable solution.
Ask yourself how time efficient it has been going to book sales, hoping you can scan a fast-selling book worth more than $15 FBA – Now compare that to how quickly you can source valuable books using eFlip or Zen Arbitrage.
When you’re ready to scale up your online book sourcing to provide a healthy income stream, you may not want to handle all those books yourself. That’s where FBA Books Prep.com comes in. We can handle the most labor intensive tasks of receiving, cleaning, listing and shipping out your books FBA. You just focus on the sourcing, selling, and managing your business from above.
So when people ask, “What do you do?”
You can say, “I’m a Commodities Trader.” And you’re not kidding.
Doesn’t that sound impressive? – “Commodities Trader”