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Guest post on “Book to the Future”: My recycling center bombshell

Guest post on “Book to the Future”: My recycling center bombshell
I’m thrilled to have a guest post up this week on my favorite bookselling blog: Nathan Holmquist’s Book to the Future. It’s a true story titled “How a Trip to the Recycling Center Yielded $3,000 in Books.” It...

Cracking the Code on Amazon Sales Rank

Cracking the Code on Amazon Sales Rank
Sales Rank is among the most misunderstood yet important elements of selling on Amazon. You scan a book. It’s ranked 700,000. How much information can you learn from this number? You can extract more meaning from it than you think…...

How to Add a Book to Amazon’s Catalog (And Why You Should)

How to Add a Book to Amazon’s Catalog (And Why You Should)
This is one of those things you don’t know you need until you learn it. Then you don’t know how you lived without it. Over the years I have scanned or keyed-in many hundreds (maybe thousands) of books that came up as one of the...

The story of a book ranked 6 million: A lesson in Amazon sales rank

The story of a book ranked 6 million: A lesson in Amazon sales rank
I track the sales rank of a book after a single sale, and am floored by the results. I’ve mentioned before that one of my side businesses is publishing. I have about 10 titles in print, most of which are very “long tail”...

Two quick tips for profiting off VHS tapes

Two quick tips for profiting off VHS tapes
Here’s a quick tip for media sellers looking to pad their inventory just a little with oddball “leftover” items most overlook. VHS tapes are a strange thing. They’re cheap and everywhere. They’re also very rarely...

My detailed account of a perfectly average trip to a thrift store

My detailed account of a perfectly average trip to a thrift store
I profile all the twists, turns, and finds from a perfectly average trip to the thrift store. (Or maybe just a little above average). I noticed I’ve done a lot of posts on “outlier” stories of big yields and exceptional...

It’s getting crowded in here: FBA competition surges

It’s getting crowded in here: FBA competition surges
Sellers feel the competition as FBA merchants rise 65% in one year. First, the good news: Prime memberships are up to 20 million. As an FBA seller, these are your customers. Two things to note about this figure: This is the first time...

Selling vinyl records with FBA? Yes. Seriously.

Selling vinyl records with FBA? Yes. Seriously.
The Amazon vinyl experiment. I’m really into finding the weird little blindspots and commonly available “leftover” items that most people overlook. Recently, I’ve dabbled in selling vinyl through Fulfillment by Amazon....

The Zen of Bookselling: Sourcing Books, and the Profit-Perception Equation

The Zen of Bookselling: Sourcing Books, and the Profit-Perception Equation
How two booksellers with the same tools and same knowledge achieve greatly different results. There’s a reason I write so loosely about sourcing tactics, and other things a lot of sellers won’t discuss for fear of inviting...

“Feedback Mastery,” the Amazon feedback repair guide is out!

“Feedback Mastery,” the Amazon feedback repair guide is out!
Feedback Mastery: The Amazon Annihilation Feedback Repair System has arrived.  I’m not going to take a lot of your time here, because you already know if you want this… I spent the last 3 months researching, testing, and writing an...

10 facts about Amazon feedback no one talks about

10 facts about Amazon feedback no one talks about
1) A lot of negative feedback isn’t your fault. In fact, it’s your fault probably less than half of the time. You will get negative feedback, and a lot of it you won’t deserve. To fully appreciate how unwarranted much feedback is, here...

4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Care About FBA Fee Hikes

4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Care About FBA Fee Hikes
Every time I see chatter on Amazon forums about increased fees, and how the sky is falling, and Amazon is a greedy monolith bent on destroying small sellers, I just roll my eyes. Specifically, I’m talking about the people who complain...

Sneak preview: New Amazon feedback repair manual

Sneak preview: New Amazon feedback repair manual
Update, January 2014: The ebook is out. Feedback Mastery: The Amazon Annihilation Feedback Repair System (50 pages) can be found here. Most ebook authors are liars. I’ve spent a ton of money on ebooks over the years, each of which made...

How to lose 70% of your Amazon sales in 1 minute

How to lose 70% of your Amazon sales in 1 minute
The disaster that can result from ONE customer leaving ONE negative feedback. There are the obvious effects of negative feedback (having your Amazon account suspended), and there is one VERY big less-than-obvious one. I’m going to cover...

The Library Trash Experiment: A lesson in selling obscure books on Amazon

The Library Trash Experiment: A lesson in selling obscure books on Amazon
I ship over 100 poorly ranked books to Amazon. Six months later, here are the sales results. In June, I did a post on pulling over 100 books from the university library dumpster. The library was (and still is) in the midst of a massive book...

The worst Amazon horror story I have ever heard

The worst Amazon horror story I have ever heard
I focus on original content on this site, and I don’t think I’ve ever reposted anything, but I read this article and it was too horrific not to share. I’m going to let this story speak for itself. Here’s the bullet...

Feedback Mastery ebook: A complete feedback repair system for Amazon sellers.

Feedback Mastery ebook: A complete feedback repair system for Amazon sellers.
Update: Feedback Mastery is out now. Find out what’s inside here. Drum roll…. I spent the last 3 months researching, testing, and writing an ebook that is long, long overdue for Amazon sellers. Seriously, I can’t believe no...

Selling cassettes with Fulfillment by Amazon? Yes.

Selling cassettes with Fulfillment by Amazon? Yes.
Here’s a trick that took me awhile to figure out, which I’m passing on to you: You can sell cassettes via FBA, and people will buy them. But you can save yourself huge amounts of time if you know what genres to look for. For...

My biggest library book sale ever

My biggest library book sale ever
After moving to a new town, I find a book sale my first day and score over 800 books & DVDs. I just moved to a new town. It has a population of about 100,000, much smaller than the city I came from, and in moving to a town this size I...

Update: make money promoting Amazon Autopilot, more

Update: make money promoting Amazon Autopilot, more
Two quick updates on my ebooks. I took both books off the market for over a month while I attempted to remedy some major defects in my shopping cart software that resulted in a lot of people not getting their download links. I’ve...

My epic book-buying road trip: 1,200 books in 20 days

My epic book-buying road trip: 1,200 books in 20 days
2,000 miles. 20 days. 1,200 books. I do a lot of traveling. I do a lot of inventory-buying. I even wrote a book on combining the two, and funding entire trips with Fulfillment by Amazon. But this was my most ambitious trip yet. The details of...

A trick for removing bad feedback on Amazon

A trick for removing bad feedback on Amazon
A quick trick that might resolve negative feedback that is unfair. A lot of Amazon booksellers complain that their please to Amazon to remove bad feedback fell on deaf ears. There is a lot of unjust feedback that falls between the cracks of...

How to get more for books on eBay than Amazon

How to get more for books on eBay than Amazon
The one circumstance where a bookseller can make more money on eBay than Amazon. Its inevitable if you do medium-to-high volume sales on Amazon: You’re going to end up throwing away a lot. Either you buy a lot of of 500 books on...

After a summer of traveling, I’m back

After a summer of traveling, I’m back
I just got back after spending a solid 3.5 months traveling. Two things about this (epic) trip: It was entirely funded with FBA. and It was entirely funded from inventory I acquired on the road. My travels will be the subject of an upcoming...

Taking Fulfillment by Amazon on the road

Taking Fulfillment by Amazon on the road
I didn’t realize how much I had to say about doing selling with Fulfillment by Amazon while traveling until I starting writing an ebook about it. The result was Amazon Autopilot: On the Road – detailing my system for funding US...

Amazon megaseller karma: Better World Books mega blunder

Amazon megaseller karma: Better World Books mega blunder
I’ve given a little space on this blog to rolling my eyes at some silly practices of the Amazon megasellers (like Apex_Media selling every book under the sun for a flat $4.00 via Fulfillment by Amazon), and how they are slaves to the...

How Many Copies Does It Take To Be an Amazon Bestseller?

Publisher’s Weekly article on their attempt to reverse-engineer sales rank. Original article here. “Amazon, the biggest bookseller in America, is also famously one of the most tight-lipped. Sales rankings are available on the Web...

Massive College Library Dumpster Score

Massive College Library Dumpster Score
I realize I’ve been talking about dumpster diving a lot, but it’s interesting. And gauging by page views, you seem to think it’s interesting too (these posts have been the most popular). And even if you didn’t, I would...

More Footage Taken Inside Amazon FBA Warehouses.

I love these videos. I’m really glad I took the time to watch them. Every Fulfillment by Amazon seller should, so that blank thought bubble over your head has some content when you’re packing shipments and thinking about their...

My #1 Favorite (And Secret) Book Source Vanishes

My #1 Favorite (And Secret) Book Source Vanishes
Last month I posted this article, on my #1 favorite (not necessarily most lucrative) book source: The dumpster of my local library. It’s a lot of fun, and they throw away a TON of textbooks. The books are presumably overflow from their...

VHS on it’s way out?

VHS on it’s way out?
I was very excited when I learned VHS could be sold profitably via Fulfillment by Amazon (and that anyone still bought VHS). I was making a steady $100+ a month off VHS for some time, though lately that has been on the sharp decline. It...

My biggest FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) investment yet: I purchased a video store

My biggest FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) investment yet: I purchased a video store
Recently, I purchased the entire inventory of a video store that closed down in Iowa. It was in a college neighborhood, and a good portion of the DVD’s were in the “indie” category, precisely the kind of DVDs that have the...

Biggest questions about sourcing? I want to hear them.

Biggest questions about sourcing? I want to hear them.
The subject of selling books and media with Fulfillment by Amazon is huge. There are so many facets to the business, and almost all of them are inadequately covered in both the websites and books available on the subject (including mine). The...

Amazon World Takeover: The Mother of All Statistics

Amazon World Takeover: The Mother of All Statistics
I can’t control if you assign significance to this statistic, but you should. This is the biggest beacon of complete Amazon world domination that I’ve ever seen. The following statistic was buried in a March 2012 article in...

Why FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)’s Second-Day Shipping Offers Such Huge Pri...

Why FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)’s Second-Day Shipping Offers Such Huge Pricing Leverage
A fact that often gets lost in regards to discussions of how to price FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) offers on Amazon… When deciding how far above merchant-fulfilled offers one should price their FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) offer, consider...

How to travel the US for free with FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon): New ebook

How to travel the US for free with FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon): New ebook
I’ve been teasing this for a while, and it’s finally out: Amazon Autopilot: On the Road is the new 32-page mini-sequel on how I travel the country for free using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)). What if you...

Feedback Removal: Instructions for Removing Feedback

Feedback Removal: Instructions for Removing Feedback
Here’s a quick shortcut when you’re in a position to ask a customer to remove their feedback. It greatly improves your chances of compliance if you end your email with specific, step-by-step instructions for doing so. Here are the...

Sourcing Advice: Keep a Source Log

Sourcing Advice: Keep a Source Log
One of the best oganizational advancements I made in my Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) business is to start and maintain a source log. What is it? A list of every FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) inventory source within a 45 min radius of my...

Announcing FREE ebook: Managing Feedback on Amazon

Announcing FREE ebook: Managing Feedback on Amazon
Update, January 2014: Some of the tactics in this book are obsolete, and I have updated others. Everything I’ve learned about Amazon feedback over the last year has been compiled into a new ebook: Feedback Mastery: The Amazon...

Coming soon, a new ebook: “Amazon Autopilot – On The Road”

Coming soon, a new ebook: “Amazon Autopilot – On The Road”
UPDATE: The book is out! Read more here. My heart sunk a little when I read that Steve Lindhorst had released a new ebook about doing FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) while traveling, titled “FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) On The Go.” Why?...

Barnes & Noble Arbitrage, Part II

Barnes & Noble Arbitrage, Part II
In the last Barnes & Noble arbitrage post, I told the story of buying a $900 book for $30. My latest B&N hustle is even more interesting. I purchased the second edition of a rather technical book at B&N recently for $50. For...

Barnes & Noble Arbitrage: The $900 Score

Barnes & Noble Arbitrage: The $900 Score
I’ve had inconsistent but regular success sourcing Barnes & Noble’s discounted book section for titles I can flip for a profit (although not so consistent that I’d be unwilling to broadcast this fact to a worldwide...

My Huge CD Lot Experiment: Why It May Be the Last Time I Try to Sell CDs on Amaz...

My Huge CD Lot Experiment: Why It May Be the Last Time I Try to Sell CDs on Amazon
This week I answered a Craigslist ad from someone selling “500 CDs for $100″. When I emailed for photos, it looked pretty appetizing: 10 boxes of CDs vaguely classifiable as “indie rock.” At $100, it came to 20 cents...

Repricing update: Amazon does in fact display your FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) c...

Repricing update: Amazon does in fact display your FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) competition
Major oversight in my last article on manual repricing, pointed out by a reader (he didn’t include an email address so I can’t thank him directly): Amazon does have a feature that allows you to see your FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)...

Article for the uninitiated: The huge benefits of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

Article for the uninitiated: The huge benefits of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
I really want to focus on original content with this site, but you may see me doing a repost now and then. This is one of those times. This article offers a great overview of the huge benefits that Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) offers. It was...

Editing Your Amazon Prices Manually

Editing Your Amazon Prices Manually
Update 3-21: An astute reader pointed out a new-ish repricing feature I was not aware of (and thusly, pointed out a big mistake in this article): Amazon does allow you to see your FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) competition. I reprice so rarely, I...

My guest post about sales rank on “FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Step by Ste...

My guest post about sales rank on “FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Step by Step”
Cynthia Stine does a fantastic website on Fulfillment by Amazon called FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Step By Step that succeeds where this one fails: Providing in-depth, long-form content that really gets deep into a subject. For a great example...

Sample Chapter of Amazon Autopilot in Skip McGrath’s “Online Seller ...

Sample Chapter of Amazon Autopilot in Skip McGrath’s “Online Seller News”
I love Skip McGrath. His “Online Seller News” newsletter is literally the only one I receive that I read top-to-bottom. It is just about the only thing out there that has exclusive, actionable advice that you won’t read...

Against micromanagement: No single item matters

Against micromanagement: No single item matters
One error I see FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers making is viewing their inventory as a collection of individual parts rather than a beating organism that pumps money into their bank account in a steady rhythm. The micromanager looks at...

Paperback Edition of Amazon Autopilot is Out!

Paperback Edition of Amazon Autopilot is Out!
I love books. The kind made of paper. Which is why I’m way more excited for the release of the paperback version of Amazon Autopilot than the ebook (even thought the content is identical and you get the ebook right away). Today, Amazon...

The reasons you should NOT sell with Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA (Fulfillment by ...

The reasons you should NOT sell with Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon))
With most available literature on Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)), you get one of two things. On one hand those, who oversell the ease of setting up and maintaining an FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) business. On the other,...

How to tell when an item sells, right away.

How to tell when an item sells, right away.
The feeling of making money literally while you sleep, in bed, or are out for coffee, is kind of addicting. It makes you want to just sit there and hit “refresh” on you seller’s account to watch your profits tick upward, all...

Confessons of a secretive book hunter

Confessons of a secretive book hunter
If you were to see me at a rummage sale, or anywhere used media is sold, you would see me making very subtle movements with my right hand, held very close to a book at waist level. I would glance at my phone a moment later after putting the...

Thrift store anecdote: When competition isn’t really competition.

Thrift store anecdote: When competition isn’t really competition.
Among a lot of other sources, I get some inventory from thrift stores. One reason I’ve been so successful is that I appear to have no competition for used media in this city. I’ve only seen one or two signs that there are others...

Dinosaurs go extinct: How to transition from merchant-fulfilled to FBA (Fulfillm...

Dinosaurs go extinct: How to transition from merchant-fulfilled to FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
Following up on the last post on pricing penny books for $9.99 via Fulfillment by Amazon, here is an observation about a major cause of FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)-failure for new sellers: Transitioning from merchant-fulfilled to FBA...

Selling penny books for $10

Selling penny books for $10
I wrote my book Amazon Autopilot in part as an attempt to reverse the tide of ignorant FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers pricing waaay too low. Specifically, using a destructive pricing strategy of pricing everything only $3.99 above the...

My #1 secret book source that everyone is afraid to touch.

My #1 secret book source that everyone is afraid to touch.
I’m giving away my #1 secret source for used books. I have more lucrative sources, but this one is by far my favorite for a couple reasons. One, the books are free. Two, its just the most fun. It’s a source I could even give away...

Clickbank bans my book, Amazon Autopilot

Clickbank bans my book, Amazon Autopilot
Affiliate platform and ebook megaseller Clickbank today informed me they would not allow my new ebook, Amazon Autopilot, to be sold on their platform. That is, unless I removed at least 15 pages. At issue were passages in which I explore...

Major Heist at Amazon’s Tennessee FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Warehouse

Major Heist at Amazon’s Tennessee FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Warehouse
I shouldn’t have been amused by this one, but I was. In December thieves infiltrated the Fulfillment By Amazon compound in Murfreesboro TN and made out with $20,000 worth of PlayStation 3′s. They broke into a full tractor trailer...

Video: ABC gets a rare look inside an Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) warehou...

Video: ABC gets a rare look inside an Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) warehouse
Check out this video, taken inside an Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) warehouse. Amazon is very secretive about its Fulfillment By Amazon warehouses. I’ll admit to cringing a little watching the warehouse employee tossing outgoing...

Textbook rental program open to FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers?

Textbook rental program open to FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers?
You may notice that some FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers (I’ve only seen one in fact) have listed their textbooks as being available as part of Amazon’s textbook rental program. What is the story here? Can FBA (Fulfillment by...

I know an Amazon seller who makes $40k a year from dumpster diving

I know an Amazon seller who makes $40k a year from dumpster diving
100% dumpster-sourced inventory. Two hours a night. All sold via Fulfillment by Amazon. $40,000 a year. True story. I’ll be getting a guest post from him and the full story of his operation soon, but in the meantime I’ll give you...

Wired Magazine article on Amazon sellers (that’s us)

Wired Magazine article on Amazon sellers (that’s us)
An interesting article was posted by Wired Magazine today on Amazon’s third party sellers (that’s us). Specifically, it covers the growth of third party seller’s in Amazon’s overall revenue, and how third party revenue...

If you pay for boxes you might be clinically insane

If you pay for boxes you might be clinically insane
I can think of few things more symptomatic of American excess than people purchasing cardboard boxes. This is something we are literally surrounded by everywhere we go, with every dumpster behind every strip mall in the country brimming with...

Proof Copy of Amazon Autopilot Has Arrived

Proof Copy of Amazon Autopilot Has Arrived
Big day: The proof copy of Amazon Autopilot has arrived from the printer. I’ll be making a few changes, and it should be ready for sale in a few short weeks (FYI: The ebook is available now). Here are a few photos:     Free...

Exceptions to the “3x Rule”: When its ok to merely double your money

Exceptions to the “3x Rule”: When its ok to merely double your money
Most FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers agree that it’s wise to adhere to the “3x rule”: Only buy inventory you’re sure you’re going to get triple your money back on. Some sellers interpret this as getting a...

My Failed University Guerilla Book Drop Experiment

My Failed University Guerilla Book Drop Experiment
The brief story of my failed university book collection box experiment. Textbook season has drawn to a close, so I’ll tell the story about one creative sourcing idea that didn’t exactly work, but could in the future. I’ve...

How To Monitor FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Returns

How To Monitor FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Returns
One of the cool parts of the Fulfillment By Amazon seller’s interface that most sellers don’t know about is the page you can go to to check your returns.  As you monitor sales, you’ll also be noticing deductions from your...

Boring subject: Buying FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) labels

Boring subject: Buying FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) labels
Although dreadfully dull, I have to post this to help out everyone who was making the same mistake I did for so long: paying way more for FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) labels than I should. If you buy on eBay, the cost of FBA (Fulfillment by...

Why I Make More in January Than During Christmas

Why I Make More in January Than During Christmas
I got a couple of incredulous emails after last week’s post, in which I explained why I price one-cent merchant fulfilled textbooks at $25 via FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). Its the kind of response that can only come when you’ve...

What’s the story with “Amazon Warehouse Deals”?

What’s the story with “Amazon Warehouse Deals”?
We’re in the middle of textbook season, when nearly everything used in a classroom flies out the door. This is my second year in a row making more in the two weeks after Christmas, than the two weeks before. How is this possible? As...

Textbook season: Why I make 10x more money from textbooks than you.

Textbook season: Why I make 10x more money from textbooks than you.
Textbook season is here. If I had to choose the area of greatest ignorance among FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers, it is textbooks. Specifically, a failure to understand that for FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers, THERE IS ALMOST NO SUCH...

FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Sellers: Why the People at the UPS store are mean to...

FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Sellers: Why the People at the UPS store are mean to you.
I swear no matter how friendly I am to people at the UPS store, when I bring in more than a half-dozen boxes of books, they get short and rude. I do a lot of traveling, and I’ve had this issue at stores everywhere in the country. My...

To the UPS Store…

To the UPS Store…
Busy weekend. 400+ books… I’m taking a few days off. Free report: Ten overlooked used book...