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I Love Better World Books (But Not for the Reason You Think)

Uncategorized Jan 26, 2016

“The best offense is a good defense.” – Vince Lombardi

 

As long as you seek out books for your online selling business, you are bound to run into one or more sources who tell you they are already doing business with Better World Books. Chances are you might be curious about this company and how they do business. Here’s the skinny on Better World Books.

Better World Books Business in a Nutshell

BWB is a for-profit B corporation with a philanthropic side, founded in 2002 by three former college classmates at Notre Dame. After graduating, they sold their textbooks online and used that experience to start their own book-selling business.

BWB provides funding for literacy projects around the world (the vast majority of which are located outside the US) as well as grants for literacy programs and nonprofits, such as libraries.

They have been an eBay and Amazon seller presumably since the company’s inception (plus all the founders had personal Amazon...

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I Am Alive :)

Uncategorized Jan 26, 2016

I wanted to check in and let you all know that I’m alive and I haven’t forgotten about the SFB. Things have been heating up quite a bit around here and between launching bookflipping 2.0 with Bryan Young and working on Murfbooks and the Dollar Book Swap I have had a full plate.

I have been doing some experiments and making some big strides in my businesses that I think will be very beneficial to the community.

One of the things I’m really excited about is the operations manual and training material for Murfbooks we have been putting together. I am hoping to make that available at some point in the future.

I’ve recently met with some other large booksellers and one of the things I am finding is that there isn’t a ton of agreement on best practices in regards to processing books.

I contend that the way we do it is pretty darn good and I have not been impressed with the alternatives I have seen lately.

The Dollar Book Swap is eating up large chunks of my...

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3 Reasons Why You Should Sell Used Books on Amazon

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

Book Cover

If I told you that you should look into adding used books to your Amazon selling portfolio you might ask, “Why ‘Used Books’ and not things in one of the other, more glamorous categories?” Great questions, here are three reasons why:

1. Physical books are not dead! Believe it or not, there is still some very nice profits to be made selling physical copies of books. With the creation of E-readers and the ability to read books on the computer or on other portable electronic devices, we have definitely seen a decline in the number of paperback and hardcover books sold, but print books are still in the lead. According to a recent study by Nielsen Books & Consumer, “E-books accounted for 23% of unit sales in the first six months of 2014.” The types of books that have the most popularity on the E-format are Adult Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Children’s, & Romance in that order. Physical copies of Non-fiction books are still holding their...

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Simplify Your Used Book Buying Criteria For Your Shoppers

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

simplify

Before we decided to simplify things a bit for our book-sourcers (“book-sourcers” are the people we hire to buy books for us), our criteria was a tad too complex. It consisted of a chart. On the left side we had a purchase price range and on the left we had the corresponding sale price and sales rank that we would need to be within a certain range for the book to meet the criteria. Suffice to say, it was way too over complicated, so we came up with a simplified criteria:

  • Only buy books for $2 or less.
  • Only buy books that can be sold, in their current condition, for at least $10.95.
  • Only but books with an Amazon Sales Rank of 1 – 5,000,000.

That’s it! Very easy for our book-sourcers to memorize and apply and really captures the essence of what we are looking for in a book. Whether you source at thrift stores, or focus mainly on retail or online arbitrage, I would highly advise you to sit down and think up a simplified buying criteria. Not only if...

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Used Book Repricing Criteria

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

Price

I get questions all of the time about how I efficiently manage the repricing of all of my books online. We sell in a variety of categories on Amazon, the Book category only represents just a portion of the pie. At this moment we have over 15,000 items for sale at the Amazon fulfillment centers and of those items 6,500 are books. Currently, we only automatically reprice our books, and none of our other items. My wife goes through all of our inventory sourced online, at retail and thrift stores, and reprices them manually once every other week or so (as soon as Inventory Lab comes out with a repricing program this will all change). The reason why we reprice books automatically, is that they all have a very cheap acquisition cost (we pay, on average less than $2 before commissions) and we are a little more lenient on the final sale price.

It is very important to us to be competitively priced in this category, even if it means that occasionally we sell a book here and there for a...

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Book Scouting Subscription Options: ASellerTool vs Neatoscan

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

We use ASellerTool’s program for PDA Scouting and in this article I wanted to touch quickly on the various programs and services that they have to offer as well as spend a few moments looking at one of their main competitors, Neatoscan.

AST
AsellerTool has three different programs, they offer Android/iPhone Scouting, PDA Scouting and Amazon Batch Listing.

The Android/iPhone Scouting program is very similar to the down-loadable Amazon database for the PDA but it’s formatted for a smart phone. You are able to download all of the necessary info right onto your phone without the extra equipment. FBAScan is the name of the app that you download onto your device and it will do live, or local searches, depending on whether or not you have service. You can use your smart-phone’s camera to scan barcodes, or your could purchase a Bluetooth Laser scanner and sync it up with your device for much quicker scanning (Bluetooth laser scanners cost between $200-400 on Amazon and...

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Thrift Store Sourcing Flow Chart

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

Do you and/or your thrift-store Book-Sourcers (people whom you pay to buy/source books for you) need a visual of the book-sourcing process? If so, below is a flow chart that I created to help!

Book Sourcing Flow Chart

When talking to management I would encourage my Book-Sourcers to ask for a discount since they are planning on buying a lot of books. They could say something along the lines of, “I’m planning on buying lots of books this morning/afternoon/evening. If I buy over 50 books would you be willing to give me an additional discount?”

Even if they can’t talk to management until after they’ve filled the cart with books, it is still a good idea to ask for a discount. Thrift-store managers like to sell books, especially some of the obscure Non-Fiction titles that are profitable online. By giving you and your shoppers a discount, they will be encouraging you to come back again.

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How Much Up-Front Money Does it Take to Earn Passive Income Selling Books on Amazon?

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

how much - question in letterpress type

Have you ever thought about starting your own used book-selling business? One in which you paid people to do all of the sourcing and shipping? Wouldn’t it be nice to capitalize on the excellent profit margins that are found selling used books without having to do all of the work yourself? There’s opportunity to earn some nice passive income selling books online with the right system in place. But, before we get too excited it is important to count the costs. The faster you want to grow this type of business the more money you will need to invest upfront.

The question, “How upside-down do you get in this business before you start to earn a profit?” was asked to me by my good friend Jeremy James, and it is a very important one to consider. I’ll give you my answer to this question, but just remember that your results could vary. If you build your book selling business slowly and steadily, you could pay back your initial investment in inventory, supplies...

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Fulfillment By Amazon 101 (A.K.A. FBA)

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

amazon-fba

F.B.A. = Fulfillment By Amazon


What is Amazon FBA anyways, and why should I care?

Great question, I’m glad you asked! FBA has revolutionized the way that us little home-based sellers can sell on Amazon as well as other online marketplaces. Here’s how it works. You the seller, find a handful of items that you decide you would like to sell online. You go through the traditional steps of listing the items on Amazon, but instead of choosing to Merchant Fulfill the item, which is the traditional way of selling things, you instead select the FBA option.

Typically you would list and item for sale on Amazon and as soon as you had submitted the listing the said item would be immediately available for sale. Buyers on Amazon would have the option of purchasing your item from among the other sellers on that specific product page. If you are the “chosen one”, and a customer purchases your item, then you will get a message from Amazon prompting you to ship your item to...

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Estimated Start-Up Costs for a Book-selling Business on Amazon

Uncategorized Jan 12, 2016

Transaction-Costs

Here is a list of supplies and equipment that I recommend that you buy to get started with your book-selling business. Remember that the prices that I’ve listed are a reflection of what I paid and prices may have changed over the last couple of months. These estimates should give you a good, general idea of what start-up costs might be:

Heat Gun
$20 – for heating up sticker so that they can be removed. Some thrift-stores put giant, very sticky price tags and barcodes on their books. It’s important to remove these before sending them in to Amazon. A focused heating element will help to loosen up the adhesive and will make it easier to remove the sticker without ruining the book. You can use a hair dryer although a heat gun, or embossing gun will work best.

Scotty Peelers or Plastic Razor Blades $9 – Once the sticker has been heated up, it’s nice to have a tool to help scrap it off.

Rubbing Alcohol $3 – After the stickers have been heated up...

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