A quick lesson on why there’s more to a book’s demand than
Amazon sales rank question we’re going to answer: When is the rank not the rank?
- When is
Amazonsales rank lying to you?
- When is
Amazonsales rank not a measure of a book’s demand?
- When is there actually more demand that a bad
Amazonsales rank indicates?
We are going to talk about how to profit from “reading between the lines” of
Here’s a not-uncommon scenario:
- You’re out sourcing and you find a book.
Amazonsales rank is really bad. Like 10 million.
- The used
Amazonprice is pretty high, like $99.
- You like the price and potential profit, but you don’t want a book languishing in your
Amazoninventory for 5 years.
- You put the book down and walk away.
(Sidenote: Hat’s off to you if you’d buy the book anyway. That’s what I would do. But this article isn’t for
The question is: Is there really only one
Here’s where I’m going with this…
Often books that have steady demand don’t sell because they are priced higher than the market can bear.
In other words, its not that
With many of these books, as soon as the price on
Example: Book With Bad
Amazon Sales Rank That May Be Deceptive
Next we have the used and new prices on
Let’s say you’re paying 50 cents for this book. What do you do?
There are three types of
- The kind that would fixate on the rank and say “no way, I’m not buying or selling this book on
- The kind that fixate on the price, and say “I’ll let this sit at
Amazonfor years if I can get $90 for it.”
- The kind who say “it depends…”
This is an article for those who are #3, who are often on the fence with low-demand-high-value books, and how I analyze books like this.
How to analyze a book with a poor
Amazon sales rank and a high price
There’s two approaches to this. The “I’ll drop the price and see what happens” approach, or the “I’ll look for clues in the data” approach.
Approach #1: “I’ll drop the price and see what happens.”
So you have a book with a bad rank and a high used
All you do is cut the price in half, ship it in, and often that book that hasn’t sold in years will sell in days or weeks. I’ve seen it a thousand times.
What you’ve done is revealed pent up demand for a book – demand that was constrained because the price was out side what its potential readers will willing to pay.
(On this note, this often happens with low-demand books in your current inventory. Often its just that your price is too high. Drop the price, and they can often sell almost right away.)
Reminder: There is such a thing as a book almost no one wants
I’m not proposing this as a way to sell any slow-moving title on
Approach #2: “I’ll look for clues in the Keepa data” approach
This is where we turn to Keepa for clues this book might have that pent-up demand we’re looking for, and a book that would sell on
First stop: The Keepa “all time” sales rank chart (you have to pay for this part of Keepa, btw).
You can see that this book has sold exactly once on
But that doesn’t tell the whole story…
Second stop: The Keepa “all time”
You can see here in that same 3.5 year period, the price has barely budged from its
Here’s what we didn’t learn: “No one wants this book.”
All we learned was that no one wants this book at $80. Remember: The price has been steady for the entire duration of the book’s existence.
Does that mean the book will sell if we price at $40? Or $20?
Not necessarily, but we just got a great clue that the
Can we prove a book will sell fast on
Amazon if we price at 50% off?
There are some ways to get strong evidence it will (see my older article on “The Long Tail Test” for this formula), but we did confirm no one has ever been given the opportunity to buy this book on
My “long tail test” is probably too big to recap for this article, but one of the major questions you’re asking are:
Is this a book on a niche subject that is unlikely to be replaced by any other title in existence?
Look at our example above:
I would say that definitely applies. So there are going to be people looking for this book on
Theoretically, if you listed a low-demand book on
That’s how pent-up demand works.
Amazonsales rank can be deceptive.
Amazonsales rank doesn’t mean low-demand, it means low demand at the current price.
- Don’t pass on a book that has bad sales rank but high price, IF
Amazonbuyers have not been given a chance to buy at a cheaper price.
PS: Disagree with anything here? Are books worth 10 million always a bad idea? Leave a comment below.
PPS: Speaking of
Also, claim your free book: