Well, spring semester is in full swing and students are no longer buying textbooks. You know what that means? It’s textbook season!
Maybe not the textbook season you’re thinking about. This is the perfect time to be BUYING textbooks. You see, since the demand for these books is waning, it’s fairly easy to find sellers with now slow-selling books who have repricers going, fighting it out right and left. This is a perfect storm for price drops. It’s not always by accident, either. Maybe a seller priced some of their books incorrectly for the buying season and now want to offload them to avoid the storage fees from now til next buying season in August. Whatever the reason, there are book deals to be had.
Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find these deals, buy them, and then flip them for a profit.
Here’s the basic idea: Books that are merchant fulfilled are less valuable in the marketplace because they are less desirable to students. I think we all know what it’s like to be a student who waits until you need the book tomorrow to start shopping. That’s why offering Prime shipping on your books is important. Amazon knows how important it is. They even offer a 6-month free trial of Prime for students, followed by a drastically reduced rate for students. They know the struggle.
The added value Prime shipping lends to a textbook is not nominal. It’s profitable. Let’s look at an example:
Here we have an example of some merchant fulfilled sellers in a situation where they are needing to price low. Why do I say “needing” to price low? Because if merchant fulfilled offers were in demand, those low-ball offers wouldn’t be there any longer. However, all you have to do is shop like a procrastinating student to find the profit. The first thing all procrastinating students do is click the Prime offers check box. They are only interested in Prime, so they don’t even want MF offers to show.
So, now we see that there are two offers that are $5.27 and $5.28 respectively, including shipping. They are in the same condition as two offers in the $30+ range! Let’s see what RevSeller says about that:
So according to RevSeller, if we bought those MF offers and sent them in as FBA matching the lowest FBA price of $33.40, we would have a profit (minus inbound shipping), of $16.78. Just for shopping on Amazon.
So obviously what you want to do is find the books who’s MF offers have struggled while the FBA offers have thrived.
You could go through Amazon’s listings looking for books with low MF offers, then clicking on them to find out what the lowest FBA offer is, but I doubt you will make anything near a respectable hourly rate doing it this way.
Luckily for us, there’s a tool made for this. It’s called eFlip. It makes finding these books a breeze. Let’s take a look at eFlip’s dashboard to see how it works:
EFlip is actually the easiest to use of any of the “online arbitrage” tools that I have tried. It has a simple to operate dashboard of sliders. Each slider has two adjusters. You can adjust the max and the min. Anything in the resulting green area of the slider is what the search result will be. Once your search results appear, you can analyze most data points right there on the screen. There’s a button that will pop up a Camel, Camel, Camel chart to make sure it’s a book with steady sales and even a profit calculator so that you’ll know if your target range is accurate.
Caleb Roth, the creator of eFlip was kind enough to sit down with me (virtually) and do a live webinar tutorial for us a few months back. If you want a full rundown of how to use each individual control, along with some great tips on how to run your book business, watch this video:
I was able to talk Caleb into extending his trial period to seven days instead of the normal three to Touring Freedom readers. To take advantage of that, click here and it will take you straight to the page to check it out. If you are a Road to Freedom member, he has created an even BETTER deal for you guys! You’ll have to sign in and go to this page to find out what it is.
All in all, this is a great strategy to fill your textbook pipeline in preparation for August, and now is the perfect time to do it.