Learn how to build a $10,000 Amazon book business step-by-step in 90 days.
Happy New Year everyone! It’s hard to believe January is more than half over already… I hope your book sales are rocking and rolling as the college students head back to school for the spring semester.
I was able to spend a few weeks in December back in the Midwest visiting with family, reconnecting with friends, and setting my business goals for 2016. My wife and I were blessed to be able to both step away from our jobs over the past three months, so we are now able to focus all of our time on the book business! Here are a few of our focus areas for the year ahead:
A quick story on finding free books: When I was back in Indiana, one of my college buddies asked if I would sell some books for him. He was a seminary student, so he had quite the collection of religious books (a.k.a. valuable). Since he was a friend, I offered to sell them for him on a consignment basis. Here we are, only three weeks after I listed them, and more than 50% of them have already sold! Apparently this genre sells well in January. My commission rate is 20% of sales plus all inbound shipping costs, so I’ve already profited $156 off of inventory that didn’t cost me a dime. Out of curiosity, I went back to my master spreadsheet and looked up a few other examples where I’ve sold for others on consignment:
These are just a few examples of how you can make money without spending anything to acquire your inventory. The only cost to me was a few minutes of my time to list the books, and a few dollars to ship the books to Amazon’s warehouse (which I charge back to the customer as their books sell). It’s a win-win scenario for both parties: you put money in their pocket and also make some relatively risk-free profits of your own. Of course, it’s much easier to try to buy the books up front and then you can make all the profits yourself and don’t have to deal with writing checks once a month (I use PayPal, but it still takes a few minutes of my time to send the payments). In many cases, however, the customer won’t agree on a lump sum up front, so the only way to get their books is to offer to sell them on consignment. It’s been an effective way to still make money in these situations.
Most people will shy away from trying to sell on consignment, because they don’t have any way to track the sales and pay the commissions. There are software options out there that will do this for you (InventoryLab is one of them). Or, you can build your own spreadsheet to do this for you. I’ve got one that tracks my profits by source, tells me how much to pay my scouters, and calculates the commissions earned by my consignment deals. It also spits out income statements and cashflow statements so I can gauge the health of my business. (Side note: I’m considering making this accounting spreadsheet available in the next few weeks for a small one-time fee. If you’re interested, shoot me an email and I’ll keep you updated when it’s ready for primetime.)
If you’re willing to put the work in and do what most others won’t do, that will put you in a unique place to find profits where others can’t!
In conclusion, here are a few key points to keep in mind regarding selling on consignment:
Howdy! My name is Caleb Roth and I have dabbled in selling books on Amazon for the past decade. In late 2014 I decided to approach my business more seriously, switched completely over to FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon), and haven’t regretted it for a second!