Hot Hot Summer

It’s our favourite time of year again. Textbook season. Textbooks sell all year as you know but it’s bumper time again.

“Summer time….. & the living is easy.”

August/September is a very hot time to be in the book business. All the wonderful students are starting or returning to college.

We know what they are looking for (textbooks) & we know when they will be looking for them (supply & demand) because of the research we have done on our KEEPA charts.

It’s like knowing the upcoming trend for Christmas season, if you were a toy seller, & you have the toys ready for sale! In fact, it is Christmas in summertime for booksellers.

So what are we doing at the moment to get ready for textbook season? We are buying as much inventory as we can, more than usual.

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Our search criteria is a little different too at this time of year because of the spike in sales and book sales price.

Often coming into textbook season a book could be selling at $30 making a small but healthy profit but by the second week in August that same book can be selling at $55.

With that in mind sometimes the KEEPA charts may show a sales price today of $25 which we would typically pass over because our criteria is to buy based on today’s market i.e. if I bought that book today & sold it today would I make a profit?

But because within a couple of weeks there is a significant bump in that sales price we are buying books outside our standard criteria.

We have been through a number of textbook seasons now so we understand the trend. We make a lot of sales. We may not sell every book right away but we can still make a profit over the next couple of months.

Worst case scenario we would have the book for the next bumper textbook season in January so we can’t lose.

“The first rule is not to lose. The second rule is not to forget the first rule.” ~ Warren Buffett

We also went through our entire inventory & removed any books that are no longer profitable so our Sales Account on Amazon is in optimum health.

This serves two purposes. The first & most critical, our IPI (Inventory Performance Index) i.e. Sales Health number will be at optimum health which will ensure that Amazon expose us to the maximum number of customers.

Second, we do not waste any time repricing books that won’t sell. We can focus all our energy on making profitable sales.

During textbook season most of our time is spent on repricing i.e. selling our books. The market is extremely dynamic & competitive and there is an art to selling books at the maximum price, not too early or you leave profit on the table or not to late or you missed the peak price.

It’s a glorious dance that is exhilarating. By the end of season, booksellers are typically pretty tired & pretty happy. Think of the end of day on the stock market on it’s busiest day & you are in the ball park except this lasts for about a month.

Because we source great quality books at great prices for our customers we love providing students with excellent books on their budget. We pay extra when we buy the books and extra to have them cleaned up to ensure quality for our customers.

“Customer service should not be a department. It should be the entire company.” ~ Tony Hseih

What we hold dear is that no matter how many sales can be made, we only deal with quality books to ensure that our customers are happy with their books & that they have a positive experience with us.

We remember a time when we were on a budget. It doesn’t mean that people on a budget should receive an inferior product or experience, in fact quite the opposite.

Quality always rises to the top. Our intention is to provide top quality products & experience no matter the budget. We would like our company to be more than about the bottom dollar.

Our mission is to be contribute to the world through every interaction & exchange and that is why we are becoming so successful.

So there you have it. That’s how our business thrives in peak season.

Next, I will discuss the excitement of mentoring others & helping others achieve phenomenal success.

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The Benefits of Challenges

What if instead of balking at challenges and being guarded about them we welcomed them as the next building block for success? Would that change our perspective and our response?

Most people see challenges as something that is happening that should not be happening i.e. this isn’t fair, this shouldn’t be happening to me.

However, when you look back on your life, it will likely be that you did not go through unscathed and unerringly and that is a good thing. Life isn’t static and neither are we.

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“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” ~ African Proverb

How could you ever learn to run faster as a child if did not you fall down or start off slow?

Yet, as adults we tend to veer away from life’s challenges as something unwanted. We seek to avoid them or desire someone else to sort it out for us. As children we just naturally problem solved i.e. got back up again.

As adults we tend to wrap a story around why we fell and whose fault it was, lol!

In our Book Arb business we have made tons of mistakes and that is how we have learned. Each time we have encountered a new challenge, we have had to learn to flex a new muscle and to eliminate the challenge and thereby become stronger.

That is why our business continues to grow because we continue to grow. It’s not an absence of challenges that brings this about but the very presence of them.

It’s called natural evolution. How could we become super successful unless we passed through the successful phase?

A life without challenge is like an ocean without a tide. It doesn’t exist. Nor do we really want it to.

scenic view of beach

What if instead of balking at challenges and being guarded about them we welcomed them as the next building block for success? Would that change our perspective and our response?

What if we celebrate the challenge as a fantastic way to grow ourselves and our business, answered prayers as it were, do you think the solutions would come easier and the whole journey would be made more fun?

“An obstacle is often a stepping stone.” ~ William Prescott

So if challenges are a good thing. Then surely the opportunity to find fun ways to interact with them is a good thing. We move forward and gain another victory – a good thing.

By eliminating them not as something unwanted but as making room for the next stepping stone our forward motion and success is assured.

When we bought books that were not that profitable, we learned to read the Keepa charts more accurately and to buy books that were more profitable. When we repriced in an unproductive way, we learned to reprice much more effectively. When we had gated books we found a solution for that. You get the point.

We have become more skilled at making money in our Book Arb business because we met challenges, not because we didn’t.

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That is why we are becoming so successful now. Plus, our road and learning curve to success has been made all the more pleasant and short by travelling this road with other book arbers who are also meeting and eliminating challenges in their businesses.

“Success is a continuing thing. It is growth and development. It is achieving one thing and using that as a stepping stone to achieve something else.” ~ John C. Maxwell

Next, I will discuss how creating financing for our business has changed my approach to life and the success we are experiencing…..

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Learning From The Best

Why struggle to figure out how to get there when someone has already walked the path you are now walking and they can help guide you along the way.

“If you ask any successful businessperson, they will always (say they) have had a great mentor at some point along the road.” – Richard Branson

Mark Zukerberg, Bill Gates & Richard Branson have all talked about the benefits of learning from mentors.

No matter what stage your business is at, a start up, established and/or expanding, learning from someone who has done it before just makes sense.

It amazes me still how some people view asking for help as a sign of weakness instead of the smartest thing to do.

Why struggle to figure out how to get there when someone has already walked the path you are now walking?

The biggest investment you ought to make by far in any business is in yourself. No business plan or any amount of money can overcome a confused mind.

Think about it. You can have a co pilot in the plane with you who is vastly more experienced who can show you how to fly a plane or you can jump into the pilots seat by yourself and either crash & burn or take a lot longer to land safely at your destination. Your choice.

“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” — John C. Maxwell

In our Book Arb community we have both coaches and mentors who are showing us the way in specific detail. Because they are in our industry and not just general business mentors they are keenly aware of the specific challenges we meet.

Their attitude to the person is “‘Let’s go do it,’ not ‘You go do it.’ How powerful when someone says, ‘Let’s!’” — Jim Rohn

In addition to all the other supports in our community this kind of mentoring delivers awesome reinforcement. Their intention as I continuously experience it is not just to empower us to make book arbitrage a successful business. They are actively developing entrepreneurs which goes far beyond this current business model.

Their vision is much more expanded than book arbitrage alone and it is a privilege to be a part of such conscious empowerment. Jon & Luke are changing lives forever.

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” ~ Jonathon Swift

They are changing the way we see ourselves and providing the practical steps to achieve our goals. It really is incredible.

If you are in the Book Arb community, in addition to buying books to grow your business, be sure to invest in yourself so that your business and you expand side by side.

That is the formula for success i.e. constant expansion and in our community success is the culture. How can we fail?

Next week, I will discuss the importance of challenges in your business and why they are a positive.

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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.

men s black blazer

“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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