- Paperback: 344 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 19, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1466303549
- ISBN-13: 978-1466303546
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Retail Arbitrage: The Blueprint for Buying Retail Products to Resell Online Paperback – September 19, 2011
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About the Author
My name is Chris Green and this is the first book that I wrote about selling products online and sourcing them at retail stores. I first published this book in September 2011. The story behind this book was that I wanted to write a long PDF about Amazon and FBA that answered all of the most common questions that were being asked. After I started writing, it ended up being a lot like a book so I looked into self-publishing options. It ended up being really easy and this book was released. I later stopped printing the book because I felt that the book was too long and basically covered two topics. The fist being the business model of arbitrage (along with Amazon and Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)) and the second being process of sourcing products at retail stores. Not everyone who wanted to learn about arbitrage, Amazon, and FBA also wanted to learn more about sourcing products at retail stores. For them, the book was unnecessarily long and that also added to the production cost of the book. So I rewrote the book, took out the retail sourcing stuff, and just called it Arbitrage. It was published in September of 2013. It was shorter and priced at just $9.95. It’s on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1478251891 You can read the reviews here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1478251891/reviews#customerReviews It’s an updated version of this original book. It’s only $9.95 and you get the Kindle copy for free with paperback purchase. Kindle copy is only $2.99 by itself, or you can read the Kindle copy for free if you are an Amazon Prime member.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book's real value comes from;
#1 - A thorough explanation of what Retail Arbitrage is and why it works.
#2 - The variety of online resources and recommendations found throughout the book and in the back, many of which I still didn't know about until reading this book.
Over the last three years I have tried a few hundred times to explain what Retail Arbitrage is, usually to friends and family. Odd thing, each time I see them I have to explain it again. It simply is not a concept that most average joe's grasp. My family and my wife's family are well-educated, middle-class or better professionals and they simply DO NOT GET IT. It takes an ah-ha moment, and for me it was selling a $4.88 South Park plush toy to a buyer in the UK for $104 on eBay back in 2007. Without that ah-ha moment, the whole concept just never sinks in. I am grateful that Chris Green finally put it in a book because maybe, just maybe, I can get some folks to read it and our conversations at Christmas parties can be about something different.
What this book does not include -
Detailed explanation of the buy-box and it's impact on Amazon sales. This is understandable because Amazon keeps the "formula" to themselves, but certainly it still matters to most Amazon sellers
Detailed information on taking an Amazon business to the next level, above and beyond what you can scan, transport and sell. If you are a highly motivated entrepreneur you will have to find the next level of your business, probably around the $1 million mark, on your own because you can't physically scan, buy and ship that much product yourself.
A note on the author's references to the FBAPower software that he and his partner have developed and sell subscriptions to; Often when a book mentions software like this it feels like a commercial and the cynical reader becomes convinced that there are other options, which my be better, that the seller is omitting. I can tell you from spending a lot of time in this business that there are competitive offerings, but they are mostly bad. I have tried them, and I have tried FBAPower. I no longer use FBAPower or Scout because my business has progressed beyond Retail Arbitrage, but I still use FBARepricer. In every case the products where the best offerings and easiest to use, and I am always happy to recommend them. As the author says, test anything he says in this book. Another thing I can add is that most competing software solutions don't give you a cell phone number to call or a personal email address for support, you receive both in this book.
I got the book in the mail and then realized it says Throw Back Edition. I was really not very happy. It does not say this in the title of the book. Much of the information has changed and is no longer relevant. I really cannot understand why this is still being published in it's current form. It is rather dishonest to keep selling a book with incorrect information. IF you want to keep selling it than update it to be current.
I gave it 3 stars because I am hoping to piece together enough stuff to make is useful.
I considered selling from my own storefront, but providing customer service to my potential buyers is an issue for me. I'm an introverted scientist, and even the limited exposure to buyers on eBay left me feeling anxious most of the time. As if I was always one unhinged buyer or one negative feedback away from losing my Top-Seller status.
Then I found out about Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA). It was the solution I'd been looking for. Sick of being constantly tethered to your inventory and dealing with insurmountable storage and time limitations? Just ship your inventory to Amazon and sell via FBA. Customer service and return processing? All taken care of with an army of Amazon reps. Not sure what to source? There are several smartphone applications that allow you to scan an item in the store and provide you with real-time pay-out data for that item if you sold it via FBA that very same day. With FBA, I was no longer chained to my inventory.
As I began to fully appreciate the implications of FBA, it still remained somewhat of an abstraction. And then I won a free copy of Chris Green's 'Retail Arbitrage'. Once I read the book and grasped the underlying principles of FBA that Chris so clearly presents, there was no turning back. He explains the mindset of the typical Amazon buyer, going into great detail about why they're willing to pony up a premium for products that they want. His discussion of 'scalability' really hit home with me. With an unheated garage ridden with squirrels and a third bedroom cluttered with shipping supplies, he made me realize that the possibility of being able to grow my business as large as I want and compete with huge sellers was an attainable goal using FBA. Chris provides great advice about how to price your items (being an FBA seller always breaks the tie when competing against third-party sellers), how to compete with sellers who insist on cutting their prices in a 'race to the bottom' (let them), and how not to panic if Amazon.com starts selling the same item as you (wait until they deplete their inventory, or find another selling channel and then STILL fulfill the order using FBA). He unravels the mysteries of Sales Rank (just a snapshot in time), talks about risk (minimal, but not zero), and makes it clear that earning money doing retail arbitrage is real work. Chris also provides a fairly clear explanation of how margin must be the principal factor guiding all of your decisions about which products to source, and why selling at higher volumes will generally not compensate if you're operating with very low margins.
Chris's integrity, entrepreneurial spirit, and quick mind are evident on every page of this book. This guy is genuinely interested in helping FBA sellers with all of the insights he's gained during the few years he's spent as an FBA seller. He doesn't seem to view new FBA sellers as competition and neither should you, because there's an incredibly vast pool of products to sell. As long as you can find niche products and are willing to change product lines when other sellers begin to sell the same items and competition gets intense, you'll do fine.
I highly recommend this book, especially if you're a baby boomer and know you'll need a second income stream once you retire. If you have even an ounce of entrepreneurial drive, this book has the potential to change your life. Chris will encourage you to take the kind of action that will fundamentally alter how you perceive opportunity and will provide the knowledge and tools you'll need to take control of your financial destiny.