Why You Will FAIL Selling on Amazon in 30 Days or Less
I want to talk about three reasons why tons of sellers fail when they try to get into the book selling business on Amazon. I’ve been selling books on Amazon for a couple of years. I actually taught my mother, who recently retired, how to sell books. She’s been selling books for a couple of years as well. Now she’s doing it full time and getting great results. If I can do it, if I can teach my mother do it, you can definitely do it as well.
But there are three things in particular that stand out about why people fail when it comes to selling books on Amazon. There are some big hurdles that you’re going to have to face, and there are some challenges that are a little bit outside the box that you might not expect.
#1: You Lack Patience
The number one reason people fail selling books on Amazon—even after seeing hundreds and thousands of people succeed—is that they lack patience. When selling books, you really need to be patient.
I had someone message me the other day, saying, “Steve, I went into a thrift store, and I scanned like 30 books. There were no good books. I left. This doesn’t work.” But the truth is that you have got to scan more than 30 books. I can tell you, there have been 50 times I’ve scanned hundreds of books and didn’t find anything.
Now, I’m not a full-time bookseller. I don’t know it all. But I can tell you right now, sometimes you’re going to win and sometimes you’re going to lose. But the cool thing about books—especially if you live in the right area—is that I can tell you there have been hundreds of times that I found books that sell for $70, $80, $100, or $150. There have been tons of times I found books for $7, $8, or $9 at the thrift store and made $400, $500, or $600. With selling books, you’ve got to find the right books, especially with the fees—long-term storage fees, selling fees, etc. The fees are not minuscule anymore. They’re growing rapidly.
You’ve got to be patient to find the right book. You will go through upwards of 150 books. That’s why if you’re using the Amazon seller app—which is a great way to get started—you may want to invest in a Bluetooth scanner. It’s one of those scanners you hold in your hand. It’s just a lot quicker because you’re using a laser versus using a camera.
It’s a numbers game. The more books you scan, the more money you’re typically going to make. You’ve got to be patient. If you’re going to go into a thrift store and just spend 10 minutes picking and choosing as a beginner and think you’re going to make it work, it’s just not going to happen.
#2: You’re Using a Sourcing Strategy That Doesn’t Work for Your Area
You keep saying there are no profitable books. Here’s the thing. There might not be any profitable books in thrift stores in your area. Why? In certain areas, the thrift stores are actually sending the books off to Amazon or merchant fulfilling them themselves. That may or may not be a good opportunity for you. Maybe you don’t live around a college, near schools, or in a highly literate area.
You might not have a lot of profitable books in your area, but that doesn’t mean you cannot succeed as a bookseller on Amazon. That just means that specific business model of going to thrift stores won’t necessarily work. You might have to get into online arbitrage. There are software packages out there that allow you to scan various listings and set up various criteria. You can actually buy books off of Amazon or other websites and flip them on Amazon.
Now, there are certain rules you’re going to have to obey. Plenty of people are out there crushing it with online arbitrage of books. Thrift stores might not be best for you. It might be library sales, church sales, garage sales, flea markets, craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. Don’t say you can’t make money with books or that it doesn’t work for you. It just means you haven’t found the right recipe. There’s a recipe that works for you, but it may require a little more work. It may require you to think outside the box.
#3: You Don’t Believe You Can Succeed at This
So many people have a big limiting belief that says, “I can’t make money selling books.” Or maybe they start selling books and then say, “Oh, the fees are too high.”
Truthfully, the fees are kind of getting a little crazy lately, but you’ve got to adjust. How did we adjust in our business, my mother and me? We stopped going after the $7 books. We stopped going after the $9 books and the $11 books. Now we only go after books that are $15, $18, $20. Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Well, Steve, how the heck am I going to find that many books at that bare minimum of a price?” You’ve got to get creative. There are a lot of different tips I’ve given out to share how we find more books.
Obviously one of them is attacking the bins. When new inventory comes out, you want to hit it. There are different things you could do in terms of learning the color system if your thrift stores go by various colors, learning what’s new inventory and avoiding the old stock. Another strategy is making friends with the managers. And don’t be afraid to try out different business models. Don’t talk yourself out of succeeding.
Make sure you have a good handle on how much money it’s going to cost to ship, pay your fees, and all the back-end boring stuff. Set that up properly so you can make good decisions and not waste your time.
Don’t use the excuse that fees are too high. Just find higher-priced books. Trust me, they’re out there. You don’t have to find hundreds of books to make a good living.
It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter how young you are. None of that nonsense matters. There is money to be made out there; you’ve just got to find the way.
There’s a big demand for books. Books are pretty expensive in the store, especially textbooks for students. There’s just a great opportunity, especially with the FBA program. It’s an awesome way to be able to make some extra cash.
Go out there, stay optimistic, and make it happen.
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