Selling Books on Amazon FBA: What Ranks to Buy and What Ranks to PASS!
I want to talk about selling books on Amazon FBA. Now, I do want to say the advice I’m going to give you will be concerning FBA sellers, so if you’re selling as a merchant, I would probably skip this information. But in any event, I want to talk about the ranks you should stick with when selling books on Amazon FBA.
What’s a Good Rank?
People are always talking about rank. They’re saying, “This was an 80,000 rank…a 2 million rank…a 5 million rank. Is this a good rank in the book category?”
Rank is going to differ per category. For example, a 10,000 rank in books is amazing, whereas a 10,000 rank in video games isn’t that great.
For books on Amazon FBA, anything that’s under 100,000 is, to me, a really, really fast moving product. The book category is huge. There are a ton of books, so you could get into some pretty high ranks, and these books will still sell pretty well.
For me, anything under 100,000 rank is a score. I’m like, “Boom! Yeah, I’m going to make some money.” Once you start getting up to, say, 300,000, 400,000, 500,000, 600,000, or 700,000 rank, the book is kind of okay in terms of rank. It doesn’t mean it’s going to not sell. It could sell in a day—rank is funny like that. But to me, when I start getting into that range, it starts to become just average and okay. It’s not bad, but it’s just average.
What about Ranks in the Millions?
Now, when you start getting up to, say, 900,000, 1 million, 1.5 million, 2 million—that’s when it starts to become long tail to me. What do I mean by long tail? I mean that you might be sitting on the book for a while. It could be a month, it could be three months, or it could be six months. It’s one of those things where I’m not going to invest a ton of money in it because it’s not a guaranteed sale—though nothing really is a guaranteed sale. It’s all about the risk and reward.
For example, let’s say I found a book that was selling for $20 and was ranked 10,000. To me, that’s a fast-turning book. That thing’s going to sell. It’s an automatic sale. That thing is popular. It’s selling a ton of books per day. So if that book was selling for $20, I might be willing to invest, say, $5, $6, or $7. And if another book was selling for $20 but had a 2 million rank, I probably wouldn’t want to spend more than $1 or $2—maybe $3. I’m not willing to invest as much because it’s a slower seller, it’s not a guaranteed sale, and it is long tail.
Overall, I’ll invest in any book that’s up to maybe 5 million or 6 million rank. I’ve even gone up to 8 million rank. But you better believe that I’m going to be spending very, very little on that book and there has got to be a huge reward.
Let’s say I come across a book—maybe it’s a textbook that’s a little outdated—and it’s selling for $60. Maybe there are 10 or 11 merchants, but there are no FBA sellers. Let’s say it’s a 7 million rank. I’ll pay $1 for that—maybe even $2—all day long because I like the risk and reward on that one. If that textbook sells, I’m going to make up to 100 times my money. That’s the way I like to think about the risk and reward when it comes to selling books on Amazon FBA.
If you’re wondering what rank is good and what rank is bad, I can only give my own experience. I’ll stick with below 100,000—that’s amazing to me. If you get under 50,000 or under 20,000, bada-bing bada-boom, the profits are coming soon. That’s a really, really fast sale right there. Anything under 50,000 to 100,000 is really, really good as well. If you start getting over 300,000 and upwards of, say, 700,000 or 800,000, it’s decent. But again, don’t discriminate. Just because the rank is saying it’s 800,000, it doesn’t mean it’s not going to sell. I’ve had 2 million rank books sell within a day.
There is no exact science to this. Just know that once you get to 1 million rank, 2 million, or 3 million, that’s really long tail to me.
Don’t Forget the Book’s Rating Too
And make sure to look at the star rating and the feedback as well. That’s very important. If there is a 7 million or 8 million rank and no feedback, no stars, or not even a rank, I’m probably not going to mess with that unless it’s super cheap. So make sure you look at the star rating. You might come across a book that is 600,000 or 800,000, but it’s got 600 reviews and a 4.7 star rating. That’s something good because it’s got a proven track record. There are people out there who took the time to actually leave a product review because it’s a good product.
You want to invest in products that are really good, that are popular, and that people enjoy because then you know there is going to be a market out there for it. Now, there might be a lot of competition—that’s a whole different story—but you know it’s a’popular product.
Books Are a Great Opportunity
I love selling books. I really do. Books are awesome. I’m super excited to hit some book sales. Books are great. There’s a lot of money to be made, it’s a very low barrier to entry, and you could get these items for very, very cheap to minimize your risk. For anyone out there looking to get started selling, books are a great option for you.
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