The Book Biz

There are many beautiful nuances to master and opportunities to grow this business that makes it fun to be where we are & to grow as we choose.

“Remember, it is not about luck. It is about doing the right things the right way.” ~ Jack Canfield

We’re a bookstore. The most fundamental thing we do is buy books and sell books. Period.

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Obvious right? Well you would think so. And yet, if we allow it our days can be filled with doing things that just don’t matter that much e.g. answering emails & messages. This is especially prevalent in today’s instant social media culture.

Doing what is essential first to move the needle in our business i.e. the act of buying books (if you don’t have a daily budget yet, you can set Keepa alerts) and selling (daily repricing) is key.

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” ~ Jim Rohn

We begin our days with this every day. Once this is done, then we have time to answer emails and return messages etc.

With this wonderful Book Arb business so many of our tasks can be automated i.e. Keepa alerts, trade-in alerts, refunds, follow up emails to customers to emails, feedback requests. These are one time set & forget tasks that take care of so many daily duties.

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We have discussed the power of automation & systematisation in previous blogs but it is important to remember that compounding success means doing the basics really well i.e. showing up every day to buy & sell books.

In time we will be able to outsource these tasks too but for now we are happy building our 6 & 7 figure business and really getting to understand the art & the science of this business.

There are many beautiful nuances to master & opportunities to grow this business that makes it fun to be where we are & to grow as we choose.

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness & growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” ~ Andy Rooney

Where’s the most fun when cycling your bicycle? Is it in being at the bottom of the hill or is it when you are freewheeling on your way down the hill? It’s the same in business & life.

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The most fun is in the living of it & because the Book Arb business is so easy & predictable (when compared with any other business I’ve done) there is no guess work, just progress.

That just leaves doing the tasks that are necessary every day (buy & sell books) to grow our business. Easy.

Next, I will discuss the gift of Local Sourcing in this lucrative business.

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Work Flow

Lining our ducks up in a row with our daily habits simply means more progress daily, weekly, monthly & yearly. That’s how we like things – simple, easy & effective.

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in & day out.” ~ Robert Collier

Our daily work flow looks like this:

Buy & Sell

  1. Tom checks previous days sales, buy more if they are still hot.
  2. I check Keepa alerts in my email for profitable books.
  3. I check our hot list of year round sellers.
  4. I check this months shopping list for buying opportunities.
  5. I fire up Book Arb software for more opportunities if I have not spent our daily budget already.
  6. Tom reprices (Sells our books).
  7. Tom lists our books & takes care of admin e.g. returns.
  8. I go to give on Facebook to contribute to others & to help elevate success of our community.
  9. I attend live webinars every Tuesday & Thursdays afternoons.
  10. Wednesday mornings I write my blog.
  11. Thursday mornings I look at ways to expand our business e.g. sell on other platforms, learn new ways to accelerate our efficiency e.g. research faster processes for systemising etc.

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Every second Monday night we attend our mastermind group to brainstorm ways to support & accelerate our businesses. Accountability is a powerful strategy in our group and this ensures our ongoing individual & collective success.

Repeating these daily habits over and over ensures that the fundamentals of our businesses are being met daily – we buy & sell books. Also consciously & actively looking for ways to improve our practices ensures steady growth.

“Never stop learning ; For when we stop learning, we stop growing.” ~ Loyal ‘Jack’ Lewman

Scheduling time to learn new information about our business/market & techniques for applying what we learn means that we are always growing – ourselves & our business.

“The best in business spend far more time on learning than in leisure.” ~ Robin Sharma

Our work flow as we expand will change again but for now, this work flow is taking us from where we are to where we desire to go next.

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Lining our ducks up in a row with our daily habits simply means more progress daily, weekly, monthly & yearly. That’s how we like things – simple, easy & effective.

Next I will discuss the importance of staying focused even when others around you are ‘not on your team.’

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Streamlining into a Slipstream

When we do the right things in the right order it makes them well, automatic. The trouble with habits or the way we habitually do things is that we do them on auto pilot. This can be very powerful when it is thought through and we choose our habits deliberately & our tasks on purpose.

When we started in Book Arbitrage we thought consciously about the importance of being organised because so much of this business can be systematized and handed over to let technology do a lot of the work for us. Love that! So we started this business with systems in mind.

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Recently, however, we realized that we needed to streamline (reorganize the way we perform our daily tasks) our business once again as we are getting ready to scale up to the next level i.e. automatically go from a multiple 5 figure business to a six figure business.

This was powerful & necessary to do so that any bottle necks (inefficiency in us or in our systems) could be removed to support maximum growth & eliminate any drag.

What we have done up until this point was necessary to reach this destination however,  new standards of operations are required for the next part of our journey. In becoming more conscious & efficient in our daily tasks & thus making them automatic, we are setting ourselves up for success in easier ways.

When we do the right things in the right order it makes them well, automatic. The trouble with habits or the way we habitually do things is that we do them on autopilot. This can be very powerful when it is thought through and we choose our habits deliberately & our tasks on purpose.

However, if our habits are unconscious, chaotic, disorganized or sporadic then those are the kinds of results we can expect in business too. Or even if were good up until this point, we require new habits to go to new places. Makes sense, right?

“A good system shortens the road to the goal.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

Scaling our business means scaling up our personal systems (the way we approach this) in addition to the required daily tasks.

How we have done this is? We formed a plan. Then we took action.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” ~ Alan Lakein

Firstly, we looked at the way we were doing our daily tasks & made a plan to upgrade them. Without a clear plan, the way is not clear, it is a wish or a hope, but not a strategy. We had our goals when we started but we have revised them once again and are clear on our target, once again.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Then, in order to maximize our return on our effort so far and to speed our book buying we culled the lists we were working from as we had set lots of Keepa alerts when we first started that were not profitable.

So that meant going through all our Keepa alerts (we had thousands of them) & deleting ones that were not profitable & resetting others to trigger in only good or better conditions. This was not sexy work but it is effective.

Next we culled our shopping lists. The monthly shopping lists we had set up where we kept record of what books to buy for the most profit in each month. We know this by looking at Keepa charts. This again was a laborious task but one that has made us much more efficient.

In the meantime, we changed our criteria for the ways in which we search for books. In this, our parameters are completely different now & much more profitable. It takes the same time to search for mediocre profit books and very profitable books. We chose the latter.

We worked on refining our searches with our mastermind group & we now all have become more disciplined & profitable in our searches.

“Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think & act on building the life you desire.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Next, knowing that a mini textbook season is coming up shortly, (May), where trade-ins are particularly profitable, using the Book Arb software, we have created our lists for trade-ins that we know can be very profitable so we are ready for that. Again, this took some time but is worth it.

Next, as I have discussed in a previous blog we changed our method for repricing and our daily objective with repricing which takes less time and is more profitable.

In participating in the Group Coaching and learning from world class coaches we have been fortunate enough to have found ourselves in their slipstream.

black and white nascar car

The definition of a Slipstream in “auto racing, it is the zone right behind a moving car. This zone has reduced air resistance and thus, allowing higher speeds…”

This has helped us to become very clear about where we are & what it takes to go to the next level.

This level of culling has inspired us to create a stop doing list as well. I have stopped answering emails & messages in the morning until I have both bought & sold (repriced) books. We are a book store, that’s what we do. This comes first every day.

Tom has been pivotal in all of these changes. We have been merciless in our approach to streamlining & streamlining once again until we have an efficient rinse & repeat operation working to maximum efficiency.

He has learned to load lists of books for sale & in our spreadsheets in one go as opposed to copy & pasting individually. This was thanks to a brilliant Book Arb community member who shared how to do this. This has saved hours of work.

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He has overhauled our spreadsheets and we only have completely essential information on them now so the back end of our operations has become super efficient as well.

Our mindset has shifted so our approach to our tasks has become upgraded & streamlined. This has caused us to experience our own slip stream in addition to being buoyed by our amazing coaches in that we experience less resistance in our motion forward.

This is something that we can & will continuously revise, however, for now we are enjoying the feeling of freedom that comes with clarity & efficient success.

In my next blog I will share my daily work flow that has resulted………

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Return On Investment Today

Repricing (selling our books) is part of our daily work flow. When we reprice our books, it keeps our books competitive and ensures more sales, if you do it right!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, thank you for that, I really appreciate your time, you will have heard me mention the term ROI i.e. Return On Investment. Everyone has at least heard of ROI.

How is it then that I have been speaking about ROI and hearing about it since Day One on our Book Arb journey and only now am I really starting to apply it properly?

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It’s funny how we can think we know something and still not apply it or think we are applying it.

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” ~ Peter F Drucker

Let me explain how that plays out in Book Arb. Of course I have been familiar with the concept of buying and selling books and making a profit, I run an online bookstore after all.

However, I was applying the concept in a micro management way thinking that I was being “penny wise” i.e. looking after the profits on each book and that would take care of the overall profits.

Repricing (selling our books) is part of our daily work flow. When we reprice our books, it keeps our books competitive and ensures more sales, if you do it right!

“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” ~ Warren Buffett

Now obviously making a profit on each book is important but because we were focused on getting as much profit out of each book individually we squandered time, momentum and compound interest.

Over the past year and half I have spent countless hours repricing our books daily. It’s part of the business and also shows Amazon, Big Daddy, that you are actively selling your stock as opposed to using Amazon as a warehouse for products that may or may not sell. This brings other benefits other than profits alone such as more exposure to more buyers thereby increasing your market share.

However, we were way too focused on holding onto our books to get a better price as opposed to selling as much stock daily for an overall ROI. We forgot to think about ROI on our overall investment monthly.

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t, pays it.” ~ Albert Einstein

The chart below demonstrates how the same $10 compounding with only 20%, 25% & 30% profit over the course of a year way out performs holding out for a 100% profit every 8 weeks.

COMPOUNDING at 20% 25% and 30%

When I think about how much time I spent ‘nursing’ books i.e. repricing every day but not effectively I scratch my head. When I think about how much compound money I left on the table by not selling and turning over profits I am astonished.

For the record we have found that the longer our books are on the market, unless it’s a textbook season, the more inclined the price of the books are to decrease over time unless they are year round books. Hold that thought in your back pocket when repricing as it will serve you well. If you can sell for a profit today, sell.

Our strategy was ineffective on both a profitability and time wise front. Man, I didn’t really get it until recently. This business is about turning over as much inventory every month to compound the money for a staggeringly high year round ROI.

Can you see how ineffective our strategy was? We thought we were doing it right but man were we off?

Remember, it’s not about being busy, it’s about being effective. We have still made a lot of sales over the year but this one strategy slowed our progress big time.

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I would add that it’s not to say that it’s not possible to make 100% profit on most books, it’s just don’t delay holding out for it. A bird in the hand philosophy in this business will serve you much better.

It’s just all about buying the right books at the right price at the right time. When and where to look for these books and knowing how to read the Keepa charts makes this easy.

Do not be the bottle neck in your business by being ineffective. Buy and sell books every day. Compound your money by selling as much as you can as quickly as you can and you will be astonished at your progress.

Now that we have corrected our approach to repricing our profits are already increasing exponentially and we have more time back to ourselves. Repricing used to take me hours every day. Now, it takes a lot less time. Less time and more money, who knew?

Next, I will discuss the power of streamlining daily tasks & how we are doing it in our business.

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Pack A Powerful Punch

By us focusing on just 3 of the many powerful strategies in the Book Arbitrage business these small but systematically used techniques have had a powerful impact on our ongoing business.

To accelerate our profits we are following several strategies as recommended by the creators of this book arbitrage opportunity i.e. Jon Shugart and Luke Sample to great effect. Anyone in the community who follows these strategies see ongoing wonderful results too.

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“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”   ~ Benjamin Franklin ~

One of the most important strategies to ongoing profitability in book arbitrage is REPRICING. Amazon reward active accounts by exposing those books to more buyers. We reprice daily which lets Amazon know that we are actively working on selling our inventory. This way we sell more books and Amazon continue to display our bookstore to more customers.

I think of it as flinging open the doors of a brick and mortar bookstore with a banner to let our customers know that we are open for business. In addition to using Amazon’s automatic repricing software we spend some time every day manually repricing to ensure ongoing sales. Our bookstore may be virtual but our due diligence isn’t and our resulting profits are real.

Another strategy we apply is we buy our books based on RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI) and sell them based on the market. What I mean by that is when we purchase a book we do so based on the ROI we expect to get based on the Keepa charts e.g. 100%. However, by the time the book arrives in Amazon via the book prep centre the market can have changed somewhat so we now sell based on the current market value.

Keepa Chart Example 001
Keepa Chart Example

We do not hold out for the 100% return on investment any longer unless the market is still selling at the percentage. We immediately reprice our books to sell which could be for a profit of 60%. That’s still a whopping return. Initially, however, we made the mistake of holding on too long and waiting for the market to go back up.

This meant that instead of receiving a profit of 60% within 30 days and reinvesting that profit 2 or 3 times we held our books at a price set for 100% ROI which took in most cases 90-120 days to recoup, based on what we had originally paid for the book, and we thereby missed out on a lot more profit in the meantime.

This is an important point in this business. The market doesn’t care what you paid for the book. Sometimes, especially in the beginning with a small inventory we can become attached to our books or our return on investment figure. This slows the whole process way down.

The way to grow this business is speed of sale and reinvestment of profits. In the above example we could’ve had 180% return with the same money, had more sales i.e. profits, more activity on our account and thereby even more sales and expansion. This business is about flipping money as quickly as possible through the sale of quality lower priced books.

Having this as your premise for your business will accelerate your profitability and ensure that your financial freedom comes quickly and easily. Who doesn’t like that?

Over time it will be possible to hold out for more profits but until we are at the hundreds of thousands in sales mark, the above strategy is the most effective by far to get us there.

The third strategy that I would like to share is to regularly change the FILTER SETTINGS in the software when searching for books. There are literally millions of books available to buy on-line. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon recently revealed that Amazon has over 100,000,000 prime customers.

That’s our target market. So there are hundreds of millions of books and there are at least one hundred million customers available. That’s powerful supply and demand by any standards.

Book Arb Filter Results
Example: Results from 1 Filter Setting

By changing the filter settings even slightly on my search for book deals a whole new array of books are accessed. For instance, I may put books with a low ‘sales rank’ e.g. 100,000 (this means it sells really fast) and ‘price used’ between $10-$15 in the search filter. I could then change this filter setting to a sales rank of 200,000 and set the used books price at $30. This will then give me a whole new set of books in my search results to choose from. There are so many settings available and each search presents new opportunities thereby an almost endless supply of books.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”   ~ Jim Rohn ~

Taking this approach to our business model ensures that we are active, dynamic and successful. With this method we are really finding that there are no limits to how successful and financially free we can become.

Next, I will discuss the power of creating a compelling emotional vision for your business. This will mean that you no longer try to get there but you are coming from there which makes all the difference.

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