Profits Everywhere

The ability to sell lots of good quality very cheaply sourced books and to turn them over for profit just makes sense.

“There are so many opportunities out there when you take a peak outside the box.” ~ Unknown

One of the areas of growing interest in book arbitrage is local sourcing. By that I mean, attending local thrift bookstores, library sales, college campuses & book fairs etc. and picking up books for $0.50c – $1.00 and selling them online for $12.00-$15.00 in a lot of cases & for $80.00-$100.00 in fewer instances but those are still available.

photo of book collection on top of table

The profit margin on the smaller priced books in themselves (in small volume) are not earth shattering after fees etc, however from a business ROI standpoint are still pretty healthy.

As discussed in previous blogs, to date some of the main reasons US based Book Arb business owners local sourced was for the benefit of feedback which is incredibly valuable in your health score but also for the benefit of velocity of sales.

In short, a busy store brings more customers. Amazon rewards busy stores with more customers.

The ability to sell lots of good quality very cheaply sourced books and to turn them over for profit just makes sense. Increasingly some Book Arbers in (and outside) our community are specializing in this model as way of creating compounding sales and profits.

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It’s a question of volume with locally sourced books but you get the picture. Truckloads of good quality cheap books sold quickly and easily every day doesn’t take long to grow into a big operation and big success.

Our US Book Arb community have the ability to physically local source, very inexpensively, adding this wing to their business. They store the books at home then when sold they pick & pack and ship the books to the customers themselves saving costs & making money.

Obviously there is more effort off-line with this model in the U.S. but this too can be outsourced & automated over time which is another huge benefit to the book business.

“Always think outside the box and embrace opportunities that appear, wherever they might be.” — Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman & CEO of ArcelorMittal

Even we as internationals who cannot physically local source are working on ways of benefiting from this avenue of income because of the ability to automate it.

We are members of a team of international sellers (from our Book Arb community) who are actively working on cost effective ways to add this structure to our business.

Initially we didn’t focus on local sourcing as a form of additional income that was feasible for us. Now we realise the potential in it for our business especially as it is something that we can set up once and then enjoy automated profits and sales on a continuing basis.

apple devices books business coffee

As internationals we have even tighter margins involved in local sourcing (they’re already pretty tight). We have additional costs of paying locals to find the books for us, the warehouse costs to store the books then the pick & pack fees when the books sell.

However, this method once set up will be hands off for us which is a huge benefit. We love automation, it’s automatic, hands free success……

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” ~ Milton Berle

In the next blog I will discuss the benefits of being mentored by the best in the Book Arb business & why it’s so important to continue learning and growing.

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Maintaining Focus

I would ask you to reflect on where you lose your focus in your business. You will find it shows up in the same ways over and over until you address it.

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ~ Mark Twain

Since no one can think for you or live your life the importance of maintaining your focus on your own horizon is essential.

photo of a woman thinking

Sometimes people around us are afraid we’ll fail and sometimes they’re afraid we’ll succeed. Either way their dominant focus is based on fear and if you allow that into your world, their focus on fear can influence you too.

For the most part we are surrounded by well meaning people. However, even when they share your goals & dreams their fears can distract you if you allow it and if you are not in charge of your own mind.

With our Book Arb community we are very fortunate to be surrounded by so many powerful leaders who are succeeding & their collective success is a persuasive example for individual success.

Since however, we are each responsible for our own journey, and there are many ways to continuously achieve that, it is possible to become distracted by other’s experiences.

It is vital to help others through your own achievement of success and not at the expense of it. It is easy to get caught up in helping others, especially when you live to serve, but it is vital to remember that you are in charge of your time and the ways in which you spend it. Period.

group of people watching on laptop

In the last blog I shared my work flow. In it you can see how important it is to prioritize achieving daily goals in order to achieve overall goals. Then you are in a position to help others. It’s about saying ‘Yes’ to the right things & equally important to say ‘No’ to other things i.e. demands by others.

This balancing act of growing my business & loving helping others is something of an ongoing challenge for me. I love love love to share what I am learning and what is working for me. It is the coach in me.

However, this is where my diluted focus can show up when this is out of harmony.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself. The other for helping others.” ~ Maya Angelou

Helping myself is as important as helping others. That’s where my learning is.

By focusing on enjoying my own journey and helping others as I go, this allows me to experience my definition of success. Maintaining my balance in this is what brings fulfilment.

Do you lose focus when you don’t know what to do next and therefore procrastinate? Or does it happen because of other’s demands on your time be they family obligations or children? Is it because you have a very active social life?

“Focus on remedies, not faults.” ~ Jack Nicklaus

There is power in identifying where you leak focus because it will be habitual i.e. automatic. You can only change it when you see it.

What one thing could you change today that will help you maintain your focus in a clear way?

Once you are clear on the change you require, consciously create a new habit to combat it. For me, for instance in not answering emails or social media in the mornings, I achieve my goals first. Then I am in a position to help others.

Next, I will discuss the fundamental tasks of this Book Arb business and how best to apply them.

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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.

person holding pen drawing on paper

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.

black board bright bullseye

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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Changing The Rules

From childhood we are all prescribed with rules to live by, be they verbal or non verbal and unless we question those rules we can live out our lives following someone else’s conclusions for what is a good life.

Sometimes those rules make sense, like be kind to others and they will be kind to you. And sometimes the rules don’t make sense at all like, this is the way our family thinks about X, it’s the way we have always thought about X and it’s the way you should think about X.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/geralt-9301/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=3256330">Gerd Altmann</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=3256330">Pixabay</a>

When it comes to owning a business the rules of the game usually state that for the first 3 years, if you make it that far, you will not make any money. What kind of rule is that? And yet people just seem to accept that as fact because someone told someone who told someone until it became accepted “wisdom.”

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”
~ The Dalai Lama

Well first of all Book Arbitrage in the way we have been taught to do it blows that out of the water. From month one, if you follow the guidelines, you can expect to turn a profit. Well now that’s a little bit different from 3 years of stress and struggle isn’t it?

But these are not the rules I am talking about changing today. I am speaking about creating the landscape we wish to create in order to make our success even more automatic and momentous. Why not, we get to approach this anyway we choose.

In changing rules I often remember the lessons I learned when we were travelling around the world a few years ago. When we were in Cape Town, South Africa, we desired to visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela had been in prison for many years.

When we tried to make the arrangements to go we were told that there was no availability and that there was no way we could visit this tourist attraction in the next week.

Because I had been in South Africa previously working as part of the Peace & Reconciliation effort I knew how important visiting this site was to understanding the history and spiritual heart of their story and I really desired to share this with Tom.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/geralt-9301/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2275729">Gerd Altmann</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2275729">Pixabay</a>

Anyway, instead of accepting the story, the rules, that it was impossible to go to the site we decided to change our approach and thereby our experience. We were staying in budget accommodation but decided to ring a a local upmarket hotel and asked to speak to their concierge.

We asked him if he had tickets to Robben Island and naturally enough he did. The hotel kindly came and picked us up at our hostel, we didn’t even have to make our way to them and we visited Robben Island the next day. Robben Island was a powerful experience as expected.

We repeat this experience over and over in our lives by not accepting what we are told as the way it is and instead creating what we desire. We can all do this anytime we choose.

“You can create whatever you want. You just have to know what you want and take the opportunities as they come you way. We are who we choose to be.” ~ Will Smith

Getting back to how we are changing the rules of the game to improve our success we decided to go right to the source and ask for what we desired.

To date, Amazon have had a 5% Cashback card on all purchases for it’s US customers (including sellers) only. This amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra funds for our US counterparts.

Not accepting that it had to be this way, we wrote and asked Amazon to consider changing this rule. To others it may have seemed like the David and Goliath story with us a small bookstore asking this multi-billion dollar machine to change their rules for us.

It was one simple polite email and now Amazon have agreed to change their policy for all internationals. Soweet!! Others had told us that Amazon would never agree to any change but we just asked and got a good result.

It’s still in process but this should make a big difference to the bottom line of international sellers.

Just because something is the way it is, does not mean it has to continue to be the way it is.

We are also working on eliminating barriers to local sourcing which is not currently available to us or particularly profitable but it does have a huge advantage for volume of book sales, access to cheaper books and brings an abundance of feedback which is so important to a healthy book store score, especially on Amazon.

Remember Amazon rates your store by activity, sales and feedback and being able to switch this on, very inexpensively through local sourcing, is a huge advantage.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/icondigital-1559658/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2714998">icondigital</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2714998">Pixabay</a>

So, we are currently sourcing book preparation centres that in addition to working with FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) the core of our business will also work with FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant).

Having access to this could bring us a step closer to local sourcing. Having an affordable FBM service also helps if international sellers become gated (blocked) by Amazon for selling some books even after successfully listing them on Amazon. To date we have had no way of storing our gated books until they become ungated. Our US friends however are able to remove them from Amazon to their own home and fulfill them themselves.

Or, if sales diminish on a certain title of a book we would then be able to change the status of the book from FBA to FBM thereby making at least some of our investment money back on that book.

Currently, as international sellers if we can no longer sell this book FBA, it means a loss of that capital. These small differences can accumulate to make a significant difference in our business over time.

There are other things in the works too. My point however is this. We can either complain about things as they are or change the rules of the game and thereby eliminate the barriers and play our own game. That is our choice and decision as individuals.

Next, I would like to share how one simple mind shift that is transforming the way we are approaching this business model and how it is leading to more rapid success. Now, we all love that!

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Success Made Certain

With our minds set for success and a phenomenal money making business model our success is inevitable. No stress, just success. It doesn’t mean we don’t meet challenges. It just means we move through them because we are on our way back to where we’ve been and we are enjoying the journey along the way.

“If you can see it in your mind you can hold it in your hand.” ~ Bob Proctor

Since we created in our minds what we desired to achieve with book arbitrage before we started we have a very clear vision of what that looks like and the ways to achieve that.

marketing school business idea

Because this vision is so clear it is easy, well much easier at least to accomplish. We created a road map and it would feel way more painful to stop now than to keep going.

That is for a few reasons. First, we are creating more money everyday so why in the world would we stop? Second, the decision and triumph has been experienced internally that this is the easiest and fastest road to wealth creation for us so that is what we are living. Third, it would cause us more pain to stop now than to continue on the road to certain wealth.

Let’s just consider that last statement for a moment. It would cost us more to stop now. I’m not talking about the financial cost here although as I said why would we stop this money machine now? The internal price to ourselves would be too high. It would be like pulling out of the gold medal race when we were set to win.

As brilliant as the system is and it is brilliant, if there are doubts built into the mind then it can sabotage and delay results. It can cause frustration and hesitation. Without a clear map then it could be easy to get lost along the way and the mind could throw up excuses when challenges come and offer reasons to give up.

Can you imagine what that would feel like? You have the prize in your reach and you decide not to cross the finish line. Now that would be painful and illogical.

It would be very uncomfortable for us to even consider let alone do. When we apply that principle to achievement of success i.e. that it would be more painful to stop than to keep going then guess what? Success is certain.

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Our minds have accepted it as done and lights up the path for us. Pulling out of the greatest opportunity we’ve ever encountered would make no sense on any level. That is the way to create certain wealth. With that kind of knowing. We’ve seen the end result in our minds so it is easy to reverse engineer the steps and then move forward.

With our minds set for success and a phenomenal money making business model our success is inevitable. No stress, just success.

We get up every morning and simply move the needle towards the next step, and the next and the next….

It doesn’t mean we don’t meet challenges. It just means we move through them because we are on our way back to where we’ve been and we are enjoying the journey along the way.

Be sure to be clear about the kind of success you desire to create with book arbitrage and every other opportunity in your life. Be certain that it brings happiness along the way as well as with the final destination.

Why go if the trip itself isn’t delicious? Time is the one thing we do not get back so it is important that you consider the time you give this as valuable and worthy of your attention and effort.

Once you are clear with this and with the outcome you desire then success is for certain for it is on your terms.

Next, I will discuss the power of going to give and the benefits of that in my journey so far with book arb.

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Mindset is Everything

Our minds are our dream makers or breakers. Having our minds tuned to expect success and happiness is the key element to a fulfilling life in every way.

As alluded to in the other blog, mindset is what separates the wheat from the chaff when it comes to success.

As easy as this system is and it is easy, if your mind isn’t tuned for success it is easy to find a way to mess it up or at the very least slow it down.

sunset spanish point

We have been on this journey with book arb since October. We have had so much support through the training and community and yet it took a while for it to really sink in that this business is less about selling books and more about flipping money. Success is achieved through the speed of turnover of sales and ploughing the profits back into the business. This is what achieves breath taking compound auto profits. We bought good books or so we thought starting off. Now, we look at them and giggle. What were we thinking and yet mistakes are part of the road to success.

For most of the world mistakes can be viewed as something that went wrong, an inadequacy of some kind or that success is not meant to be. Believe me, I used to think the same thing as I created business failure after business failure. Now, though I have come to see that building in mistakes as part of the journey makes for success.

The biggest mistakes we made with this business were not reading the sales charts (keepa charts, more on these at a later time) thoroughly enough. Also, we kept holding out for more profits on every sale i.e. we did not reprice competitively enough in the beginning. However, once we realised that profits of 30% turned over quickly on every dollar many times a year amounts to way more than of 100% ROI annually. Very satisfactorily, we are beginning to see the results in our profits with that change of approach.

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

We may have been spoiled during the one and a half bumper season we have experienced so far (there are typically 2-3 textbook seasons throughout the year, Jan-March, May to Jun & August to October when college kids do bulk buying) when we were commanding sales from 100-250% ROI (return on Investment) and expecting that to continue. Not that that is not achievable over and over again but not every day!

The other invisible impediment could well have been that I was so used to not achieving success that when it came wrapped in a big red bow, like this one did, that it took me a while to really understand that making money is easy. Of course, there is work involved but now we’re creating money that will make a life-changing difference to our families and it’s just a rinse and repeat system now that we are getting it down.

The other exciting element for us is that others in the community who are a year ahead of us time wise, using this system, are already working one hour a day and creating tens of thousands of dollars in income.

The velocity and speed with which success is possible with this has been amazing for us. It’s why we put the last of our savings into this. It’s why I walked everywhere and took buses for six months having put the money to purchase our car into the business. Now, I’m not talking a Ferrari, at least not yet, I had put aside €1,000 to put towards purchasing a second-hand car but having that money work for us to get us to where we are now has been worth it. Next year I will be in the happy position to buy any brand-new car I desire.

There will be many more posts about mindset as that is my area of passion. Our minds are our dream makers or breakers. Having our minds tuned to expect success and happiness is the key element to a fulfilling life in every way. We are finding financial success with this system transformational. Having this part of our lives squared away is clearing the way for success to show up in every other area of our lives too.

In the next blog I will describe some of the key habits I perform daily that makes success with book arb a certainty. After all, success is a habit too.

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