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How To Flip Used Books on Amazon for Huge Profits - Not the usual method

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by shezboy, Nov 5, 2015.

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  1. shezboy

    shezboy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I wanted to share a method with BHW that I have been using for a number of months and it’s working rather well. Best of all it’s very easy to do once you know the steps involved.

    I wish I had of knew about this before now as it’s so simple that I am sure anyone can pick this up and run with it. The more time you put in to it the more you’ll get out.

    It does require money to start but that’s a good thing as that alone will put off many from even trying this which means there’s more opportunity for us.

    The overview of the method is that you will be buying used and new books from any source you can find and then selling them on Amazon.

    But hold up there before any words drop out of your mouth because this isn’t what everyone else is doing.

    When you sell on Amazon there are two types of seller, the person who has items sitting in their house and they ship each item once it sells on Amazon and then there is the other type of seller who ships all of their items in to Amazon so Amazon does the order picking, packing and shipping.

    The first type of seller is known as Merchant Fulfilled (MF) and the second type of seller is known as Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA).
    Those who are choosing the FBA option have a huge advantage over the MF sellers and it's why this method works so well.

    So here’s what you’ll need:

    • Some money to buy books
    • An Amazon seller account. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pro account or not.
    • The Amazon Seller app and the Amazon shopping app.
    And that’s about it really.


    Why does this work so well just by choosing the sell your books by the FBA method?

    You have to love Amazon because they have created a great opportunity for us here as they push their Prime account option to their customers. The more Prime accounts on Amazon the better for us doing this as FBA.

    When an Amazon customer upgrades to Prime they have the option of only seeing items that are available via Prime which usually means items that have free express shipping. Prime customers have money to spend which is why they shelled out the money for that Prime membership.

    When you sell an item on Amazon as FBA then that item is shown to Prime account holders so this is our way of getting our items in front of those Prime account holders. So now when a Prime account holder shops on Amazon they won’t see any items that are being offered by the Merchant Fulfilled (MF) sellers.

    And here’s the crazy part of it all. Those MF sellers price their items really low and even with shipping they’re still cheaper than the same item that’s listed as FBA.


    Here’s an example of this;

    This link takes you to a book on Amazon UK for the used copies of the book
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/027371192X/ref=olp_tab_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used

    You’ll see that there are MF sellers that have the book listed for £26.91 + £2.80 shipping and if you scroll down the listing (on to the second page) you’ll see one seller that is selling it as FBA for £45.99.

    So why would someone pay £45.99 for a used book that they can get from the same website, in the same condition, for £26.91 + £2.80 shipping?

    Basically, because the buyer is a Prime account holder they only want to view items available by Prime and therefore none of the other listing by MF sellers of the used copies appear to them. In fact, in this instance, this seller is the only one doing FBA which means the customer will only see their listing.

    By the way, I know that book sells because I sold a copy of it for £36. Obviously I could have sold it for even more by the looks of things. Oh, well, noted for future :)

    I’m not going to try and squeeze in a whole tutorial on shipping items to Amazon for FBA and everything that’s involved in it. It’s actually quite easy to send stuff to Amazon but there’s a lot of details to cover which is beyond this post really. Amazon already has all the info you need when it comes to doing FBA so pop to the Amazon site for your country and check out their info.

    If there’s enough demand then I may create a full, detailed, report about setting up for FBA and everything that goes with it. I’ll see what kind of posts get made on this thread about it.

    I mainly deal in books although I buy and sell many other products on Amazon too but for this tutorial I’m going to stick with books as they are so easy to get started with and don’t require much money to get started.

    So, where can you buy used books to sell on Amazon and what books should you buy?

    Honestly, the places where you can buy used books from (even new books) are all around you. You may already have a bookshelf of books at home that are sat there gathering dust right now. Maybe you should start there and see what comes up.

    Once you have pillaged your home for books the other places to buy from include your local library who often have a book sale going on or a section dedicated to books they’ve culled and need to get rid of. Here in the UK I buy used books from the library for 20 pence (about 30 cents) and these books sell for a very nice price :)

    The other places to check are garage sales and estate sales (if you’re in the USA), car boot sales (obviously a UK thing), second hand shops, thrift shops/pound shops, charity shops and auctions.

    I use these sources extensively and finding a book in a charity shop for £1 and knowing I can sell it for £25 is a bit of a rush.

    However, there are times when I can’t be bothered to leave the house so I pop on over to eBay. Yes, eBay. Because you’re at home and online you can source, check and buy books very easily and very fast. You’ll probably pay more for them from eBay than you would do at a charity shop/thrift store but that’s fine because it’s all about what you can sell the book for.

    FBA fees tend to be around 30% of what you sell the book for so when you buy any book you need to make sure that you can sell it for three times what you’re buying it for. That way you know you will double your money.

    I am very happy to buy a book from eBay at £15 knowing that I can sell it on Amazon for £50. It’s a no brainer really. What you need to keep in mind is the Amazon fees are around 30% of the selling price so you need to make sure that you can sell the book for a minimum price and for me, in the UK, that price is £10. When you start selling items below a certain price via FBA then the fees eat in to the price so much that you’re left with next to no profit.

    You can just as easily sell a book for £50/$50 as you can a book for £5/$5. Both will take the same amount of time to buy, list and ship to Amazon so why go for the low price books.

    In charity shops I have found books for £1.50 that I can sell on Amazon for £40 so you don’t need to pay a lot of money to get the high price books. It’s actually quite addictive as well as fun.

    So what’s the secret to getting a good selling book?

    Well, to be honest, there’s no such thing as a bad selling book when it comes to Amazon. Some books sell faster than others but as you’re not storing the books at home then who cares if you sit on a book for 3 months before it sells? Even more so when you only paid £4 for the book and sold it 3 months later for £40. That’s ten times what you paid for it and after Amazon fees of approx £14, plus the £4 you paid for the book, then you made £22 in pure profit.

    I have bought and sold a book at those price points and the book took less than 20 days from hitting the Amazon warehouse to being bought. And it happens multiple times each day.


    Sales rank and why you don’t really need to pay much attention to it.

    Every item on Amazon has a sales rank unless it’s never sold before or it’s not sold for a very long time. I used to focus on the sales rank of items when considering whether to buy them or not and would often stick with items that had a sales rank of 1 million or less but then I realised that the sales rank isn’t really an accurate guide when deciding on what to buy.

    The sales rank of an item can yo yo like crazy and can sometimes take just a couple of sales to see it shoot up 10,000’s of places. A few days later the sales rank can fall back down if there are no other sales.

    So my advice is to buy on the profit value of the book and as long as you can wait it out then the book will sell and you’ll make a good profit.
    I would like to say that you should focus on buying books in a certain niche and stay away from others but I can’t because all books sell on Amazon (eventually).

    Grab yourself the Amazon Seller app for your phone. Do a Google search for “amazon seller app” and get the one for your device. Do the same for the “amazon shopping app” too. Install both of them on your phone. You now have the best two tools for finding books to buy and sell.


    Here’s a classic example of a book I found at the library for 20 pence.
    [​IMG]
    This screenshot is from the Amazon Seller app after scanning the book. I can see that it has a sales rank of 431,657 which means it has been selling. Under the new listing I see that Amazon doesn’t have it in stock which means it’s an open season for other sellers and they are selling this book for upwards of £55. Notice that they are all MF sellers. There’s no FBA listings.



    When we look at the used section we can see that there are 22 MF sellers offering the book for as low as £2.81 and there are no FBA listings which means I can buy this book for 20 pence from the library and sell it for what-ever the heck I choose.
    [​IMG]

    As there are new listings (even though they are MF) for around £55 I won’t be too greedy and I’ll list my used copy for £45. For this exact book the FBA fees will be £8.15. It will cost me 15 pence to have it shipped to Amazon as part of a larger consignment. So the total fees come to £8.30 plus the 20 pence I paid for the book which gives me a net profit of £36.50.

    I would not have been able to make that profit if I had sold it as Merchant Fulfilled.


    You can check the exact fees for any item that you’re selling on Amazon by using their own fee calculator at https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/hz/fba/profitabilitycalculator/index?lang=en_GB
    Remember to choose your country at the top right of the page.


    Do you see the easy profits to be made from this method? You can buy books as cheaply as 20 pence/30 cents so you don’t need that much money to start with and it’s just a case of buying more books to feed to the Amazon machine. Over time your books will sell and you’ll have a nice income stream from it too.


    What you need to do next is;
    • Create an Amazon seller account. It doesn't matter if it’s not a Pro account.
    • Get the Amazon Seller and Shopping apps for your phone.
    • Read up about shipping products to Amazon for FBA. You can find all of the details on the Amazon website for your country.
    • Go out and find used books remembering that you need to be able to sell it for at least £10 ($17) and buy it for a third or less than what you can sell it for.


    Don’t let the sales rank put you off and if you find a book that has no other FBA sellers and it’s not stocked by Amazon then have a field day and set your own price. If Amazon does have it then price your copy a little below the Amazon new price. Don’t worry what others are selling for if they are MF.

    If there are other FBA listings for the book then always match the price of the FBA listings NEVER, EVER, undercut the other seller(s). It’s a golden rule because you will start a race to the bottom and that will just knacker it for everyone. There is enough room and money for everyone.

    The only exception to the rule would be when there is a crazy high price for a book. Some FBA sellers will list a book for £1,000/$1,000 and they are happy to sit and wait for ever for that book to sell. And it probably will sell eventually when there are no other FBA listings and the buyer couldn’t care how much something costs.

    On the flip side if this, if you see an FBA listing where the seller has priced the book much lower than what they could have sold it for then ignore their price and set your price so that you make a decent profit. As they are the only other FBA listing, then when their copy sells, it will leave you as the only FBA listing :)

    I appreciate that people may have questions about this method so please feel free to post your questions and I’ll happily answer all of your questions. I also appreciate that without screenshots to back thins up then words mean very little, so for those who want to see, here are some screenshots of the actual books I have sold and the prices.

    I bought this in a charity shop for £3.50
    [​IMG]


    I bought this on eBay for £6.00
    [​IMG]


    This one was picked up at a second hand shop for £2.75
    [​IMG]


    This was picked up from a library sale for just 20 pence
    [​IMG]


    I could have posted many more like these but the post is probably getting quite long by now. Feel free to fire any questions you have and remember, I am in the UK and in the USA there are MANY more opportunities for buying used books. Library sales are much larger and more frequent than in the UK. Plus the UK doesn't really do 'garage sales' either so those doing this in the USA have a much bigger opportunity.

    That means if I can do this here in the UK then anyone can do it.


    Thanks,

    Shez
     
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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  2. Hawkster

    Hawkster Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    You just got yourself some competition on the UK market lol.

    The wife loves digging around for crap in charity shops, so i can get her to do the leg work for cheap books.


    I'll be back to update on any progress i made.
     
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  3. Sythix

    Sythix Senior Member

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    I can vouch for this. I've made some beer money flipping stuff I find at garage sales and reselling on eBay/azon. My best one being buying a lot of 4 guitar hero guitars all for $20 resold as a lot all 4 for $175 with buyer paying shipping.

    I'd actually love to see more hybrid/offline methods posted here, this place is slacking in that department.
     
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  4. shezboy

    shezboy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Honestly, even though the UK is small, I welcome competition. There are just so many books available out there and the off line sources means there's enough room for everyone :)

    Let me know how it goes mate and feel free to ask any questions you have. Remember, you're not limited to just books. Another nice easy market is used games like board games. The system is the same as it is for books pretty much.

    Good luck,

    Shez
     
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  5. theconscience

    theconscience Regular Member

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    Dont you have to pay Amazon $30 a month?

    Dont you have to ship the heavy books to Amazon fulfillment?
     
  6. shezboy

    shezboy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The Pro seller account is £30 per month in the UK and offers a number of benefits such as not having to pay 75p + VAT per item selling fee. If you want to sell in gated categories such as health, beauty, clothing etc then you need a Pro account. You also get a lot more reporting options of your stats etc.

    You don't need to have a Pro account to sell books as FBA though. You can start off with the Individual plan which is free. As soon as you start selling 30+ books a month it makes financial sense to go for the Pro account though.

    I sent a small batch of books to Amazon recently which weighed 18 Kgs and it worked out at less than 50 pence per Kilo. Books weigh anywhere between 100 grams to 2 Kilos but I factor in shipping costs when working out costs/profits. Amazon has their own free free calculator which you can access at https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/hz/fba/profitabilitycalculator/index?lang=en_GB


    Here's another example of a book that sold just a few hours after starting this thread. I bought it on eBay for £3.64 and sold it on Amazon 10 days later for £32.98.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The eBay order date says October 7th. Allowing for the book to arrive and then it going off to Amazon then a couple of days for Amazon to process that shipment means the book didn't go live on Amazon until October 26th and then sold on November 5th.

    So in 10 days I turned my £3.64 in to £32.98. After Amazon fees, the cost to ship it to Amazon plus the £3.64 that it cost me to buy the book I made a net profit of £21.53.

    £21.53 isn't anything to retire on but when you have a number of books like this selling every day then it makes a nice little side income.


    Thanks,

    Shez
     
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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  7. theconscience

    theconscience Regular Member

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    I wish I could live somehow in China
     
  8. KraftyKyle

    KraftyKyle Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Great writeup. Flipping books and other items from thrift stores, garage sales, libraries, etc. has been getting more and more popular but can still be profitable, and most people aren't taking advantage of FBA. There are A LOT of resources out there if you're interested. Here's one from back in 2010 that's terribly outdated, but worth looking into if you want more information. I also have the Proven Amazon Course if anyone is interested:

    PDF:
    Code:
    http://www.mediafire.com/view/ohascsqybi3a295/sellingusedbooks-kraftykyle.pdf
    VirusTotal:
    Code:
    https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/e10a03e0ffa984bd4004375ae8ec34fa608efb6f3f2a66a68ab2728071a7a4e5/analysis/1446823214/
     
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  9. MichaelJon

    MichaelJon Registered Member

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    Awesome. Glad to see some more offline methods creeping in as @Sythix said.

    Some more UK competition may be coming your way soon as well!

    Thanks shez.
     
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  10. HammerDownTom

    HammerDownTom Registered Member

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    Fantastic method and write up, love the idea. Almost always good money in flipping when you get your methods down right. I may research this and give it a shot.
     
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  11. shezboy

    shezboy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I tell ya, from looking at the book sources in the USA they have a much better deal than here in the UK. Our local libraries stopped having book sales and now, just twice a year, all of their culled books are sent to the main central library for a large sale but even that is tiny in comparison to what I have seen going on in the states.

    Shez

    Thanks for the additional share. The more people read up on this method the more they'll see just how easy it is to turn a good profit.

    Thanks, Shez

    The more the merrier and welcome to the ball :)

    Shez

    Thanks. The more you do it the easier it becomes and you just get a feeling for what is gonna sell well. Never overlook stuff though. I have nearly passed up on so many books only to find that, after scanning them, there were no FBA sellers and I could list the book for a huge profit.

    Let me know how you get on.

    Shez
     
  12. yoshayne123

    yoshayne123 Junior Member

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    How much have you made from this?
     
  13. donut020

    donut020 Junior Member

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    this is an awesome method - I have some old books lying around and let's see how it goes :)
    Do you think I can do this for a long-term income too?
     
  14. shezboy

    shezboy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I have added a number of screenshots in the thread showing the profits I've made on books to show what anyone can earn by doing this. How much a person makes simply comes down to the amount of effort a person puts in. Therefore the amount I make has no bearing on the amount someone else can, will and are currently earning.

    That's why I left out how much I am making from this method.

    I know there are people running $100k per year from this method. I have seen their screenshots :)


    Thanks,

    Shez

    I can't see this method going anywhere soon. It may change over time but that's ok because it's easy to change with it. Books are just one category on Amazon that you can do this with.

    Thanks,

    Shez
     
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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  15. nnahlee

    nnahlee BANNED BANNED

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    nice share gonna try this out
     
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  16. Cryogenesis

    Cryogenesis Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Gonna give this to my mom. She keeps collecting books for no reason.
    Thanks Shez! :D
     
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  17. young player

    young player Regular Member

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    Even though I don't do anything regarding Amazon, thanks for the method op.
    Some people will find this useful and that is what bhw is all about.

    Members like yourself are indispensable and that's what makes this forum great.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  18. wisdomkid

    wisdomkid Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Trust me when i say, this methods don't come easily on BHW.

    BHW is packed filled with members who share wonderful tips, but yours is twisted and makes it easier to make money online, and it's a totally "new method" for me.

    Wonderful share sire, and a +thanks for this.
     
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  19. blackjack

    blackjack Regular Member

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    Hi Shez

    Great tutorial. I do go to charity shops and never manage to see or find books like the one you shown in your screen shots.

    Can you give tips/tricks on how you find books on eBay to flip on Amazon?

    Thanks
     
  20. Ying Kong

    Ying Kong Registered Member

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    Hello Shezboy,
    I am wondering how you pick which books you sell on Amazon? Is there specific criteria you can advise us on?

    Thank you for sharing this method with us!
     
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