Every White Line Isn't A Crosswalk

greg murphy textbooks Dec 06, 2017

It is officially December, and for many Amazon sellers it means getting all the stuff they can get out the door for the Christmas rush.  And I do totally understand that thinking.  A lot of money is made during Q4.  But, I like books better.  By staying focused we are set up for an amazing textbook season. 

 To me it kind of feels like you might have to make a choice.  We did $500,000 in sales last January and 99% of those sales were in books.  It is the most wonderful time of the year, but you have to be ready.  So if you are serious about books, ship in the rest of the doodads you bought from Walmart and let’s get down to business. Go ahead.  I’ll wait…

 You didn’t go.  That’s ok.  It’s a free country.  You might not be convinced yet that Q4 isn’t the golden goose. 

“Greg,” you say. “Everyone is talking about Q4 on Amazon.  Isn’t that...

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Busproof Podcast Episode 29: Launching A Local Business

Uncategorized Jun 23, 2017

 

Have you ever wondered what it takes to open a brick-and-mortar book store? What types of marketing strategies should you consider leading up to the grand opening? On today’s episode, I’m taking you on a deep dive of what we have learned here at Busproof with the launch and opening of our new 20,000 square-foot brick-and-mortar book store.

I’m sharing the marketing and promotional strategies I used to get my local market excited about the store’s opening, some of the challenging experience that we have experienced throughout the process, and how we handled negative feedback from the community when we announced that our Dollar Book Swap days would be reduced to monthly events.

 This week on the Bus Proof Business Podcast:

1. Using social media to build your network, grow relationships, and build your business
The double-edged sword of building a local business through social media and community buy-in
2.  Handling negative feedback from the...

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The Math of Entrepreneurship

Uncategorized Apr 19, 2017

I've been telling people for the past 6 months that I want to open up 100 bookstores. They look at me like I'm crazy. Partly because there is a good chance I am.  Hardly anyone takes that claim seriously.  Most people are more secure in a job, than they are working for themselves.  They see a job as stability, even though there isn't anything secure in placing your fate into the hands of another.  

But there are a few fundamental differences between most people and you and I.

#1. We take the long view

I'm 35 years old. I have at least another 30 years left in a standard career. I don't plan to ever stop.

What would I do if I didn't build businesses?  I'm not really sure.  I love this stuff.  Making something from nothing is the closest thing to magic that there is in this world, and I get to do it on a daily basis.  

I've done a lot in the last 7 years. I've learned a ton and I feel like now the changes are coming faster and faster. I don't...

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Ecommerce Kids with Monica Busby

Uncategorized Oct 07, 2016

On this episode of the Busproof Business Podcast we talk about eCommerce Kids with Monica Busby.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Long Term Storage Fee Changes

Uncategorized Sep 22, 2016

Is it the End of the World?  Check out this youtube video.  (Spoiler Alert.  Nope.)

 

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If You Want the Island, Burn Your Boat!

Uncategorized Aug 30, 2016

People give all sorts of excuses as to why they can't start an Amazon business; "I don't have enough money" or "There's not enough books in my area" or "I don't have the right size facility" or "There's no people in my area that I would like to hire"

All of these objections deal in resources. You say you can't start a business because you have a shortage of “resources” (time, money, people, buildings, etc..) but what you're really telling me is that lack “resourcefulness”.

Think about all of the great business/brands that have been built over the last several decades. Story after story is about people overcoming all odds to build their company. In fact, it's harder for me to think of people who were handed success on a silver platter than those that clawed and scratched their way to success.

Bethany Hamilton had her arm bitten off by a shark, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream of being a professional surfer. Two years after that tragic...

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Brand Restrictions and the Effects on Booksellers

Uncategorized Aug 27, 2016

(Spoiler Alert.  The answer is none.) 

 I’ve gotten few baffling emails from some of you guys in the past week or so talking about these new brand restrictions on Amazon.  My first reaction was “What the heck are you talking about?”    

 Then I got an email from my good friend Britni Ross with a great pic of her looking flummoxed and the caption “What the hell is happening?  Is the Amazon sky falling?”  She goes on to explain how this isn’t the case and you should check them out to learn more about this if you do more than books. 

 It seems like every time these things happen we get renewed interests in our model… until something else shiny comes along. 

 Book sellers are usually in our own little world, and just like usual, this latest big change hasn’t had an impact on my business.   Books are simple, low maintenance and easily understood by our customers and...

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Breaking News: It’s 2016 (not 1946)

Uncategorized Aug 23, 2016

Two weeks ago my family and I piled into our 12 passenger Nissan NV van and left for Louisville, Kentucky. The destination? Educating for Success’ annual Home Business Conference. This year I was scheduled to speak, not to just be a spectator. I felt that my 90 minute talk on the incredible opportunities that there are in online selling (specifically on Amazon) went well. There was a lot of enthusiasm and eagerness amongst the crowd to give “Used book selling” some serious thought.

After a couple of days doing my best to encourage a large group of wonderful people in the right direction we were on the road again, this time we were headed to the Noah Conference (about 3 hours away in northern Kentucky). Just like the Home Business Conference in Louisville the theme of this conference was “Building a Family Economy”. I was asked to speak on their Family Economy panel to discuss our business model with the families in attendance.

Honestly, I had no idea...

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Greg Murphy's No Good Very Bad Day (More Like a Month)

Uncategorized Aug 15, 2016

As an Amazon business owner, there is nothing more scary than having your account shut down.

As a mid sized used bookseller, it is very hard to get your account shut down however.  I do have that same rock in my stomach many of us do knowing that a random algorithm in Amazon can shut us down at any time for any reason.  

 We are very steady day in and day out.  This time of year we are doing around 25,000 items a month or so, and we are looking to pick up during the last two weeks of August and the first two weeks of September. 

 But in the course of 48 hours due to a hack into our computer system, over 200 Merchant fulfilled orders were cancelled and 600 malicious emails were sent to our customers. 

 Think about the worst things you can imagine writing to a customer.  That's the kind of thing that was sent out.  Outside of the awful profanity a line that was particularly troubling was the following:

 "We hope you die!"

Amazon...

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