Selling Books on Amazon FBA (29 Expert Tips)
The world of flipping books on Amazon FBA can be difficult to browse with no assistance. There are lots of helpful tips and tricks you can only learn through experience… or by gaining from the experiences of someone who sells books on Amazon FBA full-time.
That’s where I can help. In this post, I will show you every helpful suggestion I’ve revealed throughout my years of selling on Amazon FBA.
Tips for Finding Book Sources
1. Check BookSaleFinder.com for book sales and other book sources
If you offer books you probably already understand this, however it’s too important to overlook.
BookSaleFinder is hands-down the very best website on the internet for sourcing books. It’s a detailed database of book sales and book stores in all 50 U.S. states.
I suggest examining this website for new sale statements on a weekly basis, as brand-new sales are marketed all the time.
2. Check BookSalesFound.com for book sales BookSaleFinder doesn’t have
BookSalesFound is a good enhance to BookSaleFinder. Though much of the sales on these 2 websites overlap, I’ve found a number of sales on BookSalesFound that weren’t on BookSaleFinder.
Finding a “hidden” sale on BookSalesFound is particularly profitable due to the fact that the majority of other booksellers just trouble checking BookSaleFinder for sales which indicates there’s a likelihood you’ll be the only bookseller at a sale that’s just been noted on BookSalesFound.
Now, there is a certain disadvantage to the BookSalesFound database it isn’t totally free. It costs $27/month, which is a substantial charge for access to a mere database.
But discovering a single “concealed” sale can pay off that cost sometimes over. I suggest trying it for a month and seeing whether the unique access to additional sources deserves the cash.
3. Inspect library dumpsters
This is a strange one, and I confess I’ve never ever actually done it. I understand a person who does it though, and he’s made thousands sifting through library dumpsters for valuable books they have actually thrown away.
It might be much easier (and cleaner) to simply ask the library to provide you any books they’re going to deal with, but the dumpster-diving alternative exists for those who want complimentary stock.
4. Plan your book sale schedule months beforehand
Some of the best book sales make you sign up online to secure your area. By planning your book sale schedule months in advance, you can make certain you get into these popular sales and prevent missing out.
Planning your sales ahead of time will likewise let you scout out other sources near the sale (or on the way to/from the sale) and tremendously increase your day’s revenue. These sources might include:
- Thrift stores
- Ongoing library sales
- Used book stores
- Estate sales
- Garage sale
- Flea markets
5. Source books online
If you wish to add another measurement to your Amazon FBA book-selling organization, I extremely suggest sourcing books online.
The procedure is simple:
- Get some online book arbitrage software
- Utilize the software application to find low-priced books on Amazon
- Purchase the book and get it delivered to your house
- Send out the book into Amazon and sell it at the higher FBA rate
- Profit the difference
I’ve made a great deal of cash doing this, and my time investment is exceptionally minimal compared to all the driving and manual labor that local sourcing needs.
6. Promote locally that you purchase books
Advertising in your regional neighborhood that you buy used books can be an excellent way to construct a consistent and simple source of stock.
There are dozens of ways you can get the word out. Here are a few of the most efficient techniques:
- Make a site and direct individuals to it
- Post in regional Facebook groups
- Make business cards and hand them out
- Post on Craigslist
- Make fliers and pin them to bulletin boards
- Usage word of mouth bring it up in conversation
7. Visit thrift stores whenever you get the possibility
Thrift stores are an outstanding source of inventory. Aside from book sales, they’re my best and most consistent source, and you must be benefiting from them anywhere you’re located.
The easiest method to discover thrift shops near your area is to type “thrift” into the Google Maps app. The app will reveal you all of the thrift shops near you, together with their opening hours and contact number.
This method for discovering thrift stores is particularly useful when you remain in an unfamiliar area. I typically do this before book sales to find additional stock while I wait on the sale to start.
8. Contact cleanout business in your area and tell them you’ll purchase the books they discover
Cleanout business are typically employed to remove stuff from the houses of the just recently deceased and homes that have been foreclosed on.
Constructing a relationship with a regional cleanout business is an exceptional method to source inventory unblemished by other sellers.
Numerous cleanout companies just discard any books and media they discover and would invite a bit of extra money from your acquiring their finds.
9. Discover estate sales near you at EstateSales.net
Estate sales are an underrated way to source stock for your Amazon bookstore. I admit, they can be hit or miss however when they struck, they struck big time.
The best thing about estate sales is that you can scout for stock using the pictures of the sale noted on EstateSales.net. You can qualify the sales ahead of time and avoid losing time on sales that have a bad selection of books.
Estate sales are also great if you sell on eBay. You can buy lots of valuable utilized stuff to sell on eBay after checking the books.
10. Inspect Craigslist for low-cost books and book collections
Craigslist is another excellent method to get your hands on books that other sellers haven’t touched. You should likewise make a Craigslist listing advertising that you purchase book collections Simply ensure you aren’t getting another seller’s losers.
11. Examine Facebook Marketplace for cheap textbooks and book collections.
Checking out the Facebook Market uses from time to time is another good sourcing approach. Many individuals sell their books for far less than their true value, so it can be rather successful to scout through this online source and score some fast and easy profits. Again, double-check that the person you’re buying from isn’t another seller so you can avoid purchasing a batch of losers.
Tips for Sourcing Books
12. Go to every book sale you can
Book sales are my number one source of inventory, and it’s not even a close contest.
I don’t think there’s another source where you can regularly find thousands of books that have not been sorted through by other sellers.
Hitting up every book sale within driving range is the best method to build up a solid inventory quickly at very little expense. You need to prioritize these above all other sources.
13. Get to book sales at least an hour before the sale starts
Getting to book sales early is extremely essential. An area near the front of the line can be the difference in between making $300 and $1500.
If a sale has a cluster of expensive books restricted to a little area, the very first few sellers in line will take the lot, while the remainder of the sellers are pushed into less rewarding areas.
I can’t tell you how many times I have actually made $500+ in the very first minute of a sale due to the fact that I was first to the books.
Since I quite like making hundreds of dollars in simple minutes, I attempt to get to every sale a minimum of 3 hours in advance. This might not be possible for you, however do what you can to get to sales as early as possible.
14. When you get to a book sale, ask if the sale offers numbers to hold your spot in line
Some sales identify the line order by who positions their box down first, while other sales give out numbers at a fixed time prior to the sale begins.
If the sale identifies line order by numbers, you require to know so you can be present to gather your number when they and them out. I can’t tell you how many times I have actually dropped my box off and left, only to return to find the sale offered numbers while I was gone. It’s an aggravating experience, and I have actually included this tip in the hopes that you have the ability to prevent making this bothersome error.
15. Don’t just scan books numerous non-book items are important too
Many sellers get tunnel vision for books and completely ignore all other valuable products when they source. This is a mistake. Be on the lookout for these non-book products, and scan them when you find them:
- Board games
- Puzzles (Only purchase these if they’re factory sealed).
- DVDs (You may require approval to offer these on Amazon, but you can still offer them on eBay).
- CDs (You may require approval to sell these on Amazon, however you can still sell them on eBay).
- Vinyls (You may need approval to offer these on Amazon, however you can still sell them on eBay).
16. Try to find “hidden books”.
“Hidden textbooks” are textbooks that do not look like they’re books.
You can tell if a book is a hidden book by checking the Keepa graph for a noticeable dip in sales tank throughout one of the textbook seasons (normally January and August/early September).
If you find among these, think about holding it until the next textbook season so you can make some additional money on it.
17. Learn to scan with your eyes.
Instead of blindly scanning through each and every book, use your eyes to identify the most likely books of value, and after that examine those individually.
There are a variety of informs that a book might be pricey. Here are a few of them:.
- Publisher: As far as non-fiction goes, university/academic publishers are constantly a great bet. I’m talking Princeton, Harvard, or any other college.
- Subject: the more specific the much better. If I have to select between “An Introduction of American History” and “An Anthropological Research Study of Post-Revolutionary War Siblings,” I’m choosing book number two every time.
- Dust jacket quality: Newer hardbacks will frequently have a smooth, glossy quality to their dust jackets. This isn’t constantly a sign of value, however it suffices for me to inspect the book.
- Used stickers on the spine: I have actually found that books with utilized sticker labels on their spines are often valuable. More often than not, they’re textbooks in camouflage.
- Spiral-ring binding: I have actually found spiral-ring bindings are most often discovered on books, so I scan every spiral-ring book I see.
- Three-ring binders: If you see an unmarked three-ring binder, there’s a near 100% opportunity the binder includes a loose-leaf variation of a textbook. Some of my most valuable books have been in unmarked binders that a lot of other sellers ignored.
18. At book sales, understand which areas you’re going to hit before you start.
If the sale has a map, use that to plan your initial moves. If not, try to scope out the interior of the sale before it starts.
A simple method to do this is to ask if the sale has a restroom. Numerous sales won’t let you in to hunt ahead of time, however they will let you utilize the bathroom, which you often need to walk through the sale to gain access to.
19. Get less rewarding books that other sellers might skip.
Many sellers avoid books that sell for less than $15 because they aren’t ready to put in the extra work to process them.
If you want to put in the additional hours, getting those sub-$ 15 books can net you a few hundred additional every sale.
My basic rule is that I’m willing to invest a dollar for every single dollar I make.
As most sales sell books for $1-$ 2, this suggests I get every normal-sized book with a sales rank under 1,000,000 that costs at least $11.
It does add to the quantity of work I’ll have to do, however I’m all right with it.
I justify my decision by looking at the amount of time I purchase each book compared to the revenue the book brings me.
In my experience, each book takes less than two minutes to deal with.
- Five seconds to scan it and put it in your box.
- Three seconds for the volunteer to add it to the tally.
- One minute to grade and list it.
Even taking into account the additional delivery boxes you’ll have to handle from the additional stock, the time invested handling each book is well under two minutes.
If I’m making the bare minimum of $1 every 2 minutes, that’s still $30 an hour– a pay rate that might be low for an excellent bookseller, however is incredible compared to the other tasks we ‘d be working if we weren’t doing this.
So if you’re willing to put in the additional work, get those dollar revenues.
Just remember that size and weight plays a role … if a $1 book that sells for $14 is roughly the size and weight of a mid-size sedan, it’s best to leave it on the shelf.
20. Scan books that other individuals generally neglect.
You know the books I’m speaking about. The sections other sellers prevent like the books consist of contagious diseases:.
- Children’s books.
- Trade fiction.
- Science Fiction/Fantasy.
- And most likely a lots more I forgot to discuss.
Here’s the reality: each and every single area has profitable books.
I’ve pulled books worth $50+ from each and every single area I simply noted.
The profits are out there. Sure, they’re rarer and smaller than the profitable non-fiction sections, but they exist however.
In my experience, while the benefit from these sections are smaller sized, they’re still quite consistent.
I pull a lot of books that make me $2– $10 from these “unprofitable” sections … which builds up fast when you’re the only person scanning through them.
Look at it this way: 5 minutes into a sale, you must definitely be looking for the pricey non-fiction stuff. No question.
But two hours into the sale …
… it’s most likely smarter to scan through the untouched trade fiction instead of becoming the 37th person to search through the desolate remains of the books.
Tips for Prepping Books for FBA.
21. Eliminate price markings with erasers and label eliminators.
Numerous purchasers would be understandably frustrated to discover the book they paid $80 for cost you $1. To safeguard your feedback score against this kind of dissatisfied purchaser, you ought to get rid of all traces of the deal basement price you paid for your books.
There are two primary methods people mark books with rates:.
- Writing it with pencil on the corner of the very first page.
- Slapping on a label sticker label with the rate on it.
Thankfully, it’s quite easy to deal with both of these.
You can eliminate any trace of pencil-written prices by utilizing a high-end eraser. I have actually been using these 5-star ranked Pilot Foam Erasers since I started selling books over two years ago, and they’ve shown to be among the most resilient purchases I’ve made. I bought three of them about two years back, and I’ve still utilizing among them.
When it comes to label sticker labels, they also have a quite simple repair. I use a set of Scotty Peelers to get rid of all of my labels. The set includes a round plastic peeler for simple removal tasks and a metal blade peeler for persistent stickers that won’t come off. I discover the metal peeler, in particular, to be invaluable for labels that normally tear and leave residue, like the pesky Goodwill cost labels.
22. Usage Accelerlist as your listing software application it’s considerably more affordable (and faster) than the alternatives.
Accelerlist is my favored Amazon FBA noting software application. It has an insanely fast workflow and is more affordable than its primary competitor (InventoryLab) by $15/month.
If you’re not already using this, I highly advise changing to it as soon as possible.
23. Arrange your books by grade ahead of time do not grade every one as you’re listing it.
It’s simple to position all your books right beside your computer system and just go through them one-by-one, grading as you go.
While this might be the most basic method to do things, I don’t recommend it. The smarter technique is analyzing your books and sorting them into condition-specific stacks prior to listing. It will conserve you a lot of time when you in fact start putting your books through the listing process.
If you utilize Accelerlist as your listing software, you can pre-populate the condition and description fields ahead of time. By arranging your books by condition ahead of time, you can breeze through the listing process because each batch of books will have the same condition and description.
This dramatically cuts the time required to list each book and gets rid of a lot of the workflow bottlenecks that grading while you list can cause.
24. Use Clorox wipes to tidy dirty covers.
Much of the books you purchase will have unsightly spots or layers of dust on their covers.
Fortunately, many book covers are made to push back water and secure the pages inside so Clorox wipes are a safe and effective way to eliminate this dirt and improve your books’ conditions.
Take care when dealing with older books though. Their covers might absorb the Clorox liquid instead of repelling it, which will leave your book in even worse overall shape.
25. Plan older books with fragile dust jackets in polybags.
Older hardbound books can have fragile dust jackets that don’t play well with Amazon barcodes.
When I sell a book like this, I’ll typically safeguard the cover by putting the book in a plastic polybag. I find a 10 x 13″ polybag mailer is big enough for the huge majority of books I send in, so that size needs to work for you too.
If you need poly mailers, I advise the Retail Supply Co Store brand, which can be found on Amazon.
There’s nothing special about them when compared to other mailers, they’re just surprisingly low-cost when purchased wholesale.
26. Usage detachable labels for your Amazon barcodes.
Nobody likes non-removable labels that take five minutes of selecting and scratching to leave completely. It’s frustrating, the label doesn’t even come off completely, and you’ll typically end up damaging the book at the same time.
Your main focus when prepping a book needs to be ensuring the consumer who ends up purchasing your book is as happy as possible with their purchase. Among the best methods to do this is to utilize a detachable label that doesn’t piss the customer off when they try to remove it.
I use these detachable DYMO-compatible labels from Betckey. They adhere to books like glue however peel easily when you pull at a corner. And they’re size 30252, so they’ll also work perfectly with the Accelerlist and Inventorylab label requirements.
27. Smell your books to see if any smell like mould/cigarettes.
Some books appear like they remain in great condition when you inspect them with your eyes. However you (and your consumers) also have noses, and you need to utilize them to confirm that your finds remain in sellable condition. If a book smells like mould, cigarettes, or some other unpleasant aroma, I recommend tossing the book instead of running the risk of negative feedback by attempting to offer it.
28. Use a special SKU prefix for books.
Textbooks are special because they increase in rate during so-called “book seasons”, which is what the book-selling neighborhood calls the period of time prior to college semesters begin when students buy their books. To optimize your earnings, you’ll wish to hang on to your textbooks till the next book season happens.
This can be a difficulty if you utilize an automated repricing tool to keep your rates competitive. The repricer will reprice your Amazon books, including your books unless you inform it not to.
This is where including an unique SKU prefix is available in useful. If your repricer is great, you can tell it not to reprice books with SKUs that start with a particular set of characters.
For example, I put “TX” at the start of my textbook SKUs, and I configure my repricer not to touch books with SKUs that begin with “TX”. In this manner, I do not unintentionally sell my books before the textbook season rate spike comes along, and I make more money overall.
29. Point out the benefits of FBA in your book description.
Your book description is likewise an ad for your listing. Using benefits-driven copywriting is a terrific method to stand apart from the crowd and make your offer more enticing to buyers.
While condition-specific advantages will vary from book to book, one element will constantly stay the exact same: your offers are all Fulfilled By Amazon.
Usage that to your benefit by mentioning the advantages that feature purchasing an FBA offer in your description:.
- Quick shipping with Amazon Prime.
- Guaranteed tracking number.
- Amazon’s hassle-free return policy.
Alright, that’s a wrap on this post. Best of luck selling books on Amazon FBA.