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Sourcing Books at Yard Sales and Garage Sales

I’ve recently began sourcing books at yard sales. In the past, I gave up on them because they were too “hit and miss”. It was hard to gauge whether or not the sale had potential. Now, I search on Craigslist and do a little research before I commit to the drive. For example, here is one that I attended last month:


moving sale ad (1)


There are three things that stick out in this ad.

  • It’s a moving sale. Since books are heavy, they are one of the first things to go when relocating.
  • It’s listed as “Books, books, and more books”. That sounds like a lot of books to me:)
  • The books are described as “mostly science, math, and technical”. From my experience, all three of those non-fiction categories have extremely high profit potential on Amazon.


The sale didn’t disappoint. I ended up buying 40 books and 8 DVD sets. I paid $60 for everything. That comes to $1.25 per item. Here are some of the winners.

Objects, Abstraction, Data Structures and Design: Using C++
Sold for $73.84
Rank at Time of Purchase: 426,076

Analytical Mechanics by Grant R. Fowles
Sold for $93.99
Rank at Time of Purchase: 86,418

Giant Robo – Economy Pack (DVD)
Sold for $63.92
Rank at Time of Purchase: 133,405

After one month, 18 of the 48 items have sold (38%). Here are the numbers:

Amazon Gross Sales: $527.79
Amazon Fees: ($123.50)
Cost of Books: ($60)
UPS Inbound Shipping: ($16.80)

Total Profit: $327.49

Keep in mind that it’s only been 30 days since they’ve been for sale. I’m expecting more items to sell.

If you’re interested in getting automated email alerts whenever potentially deals become available on Craigslist, please check out this video.

The total profits from this yard sale were calculated using SourceProfit.com.  The Amazon Sales Rank data was recalled using ScanLister.com




redemptionhill_new_ecover_3D400px_OKrevI recently read Bryan Young’s new Book Flipping book. Not only is this a great read, but he takes this book one step further than most Amazon FBA authors. He outsources the entire process of his FBA business including sourcing and listing. Here are the specific roles that he outsources.

1) Book-Sourcer. He hires people to go to library book sales, thrift stores, yard sales to find books for him. He gives them a scanner and trains then how to read the data on the scanner.

2) Book-Lister. Bryan also hires a person to list the books on Amazon. A Book-Lister is someone who prepares, labels, packs, and ships the books to Amazon FBA. The Book-Lister works in the comfort of his or her home using ScanLister.

3) Repricer. He uses an automated repricer to manage the prices of his inventory. Repriceit.com is affordable starting at $9.95 per month.

4) Book Sales Manager. He also has a manager that oversees the process. The manager’s responsibility is to:

  • Hire and train Book-Listers and Book-Sourcers.
  • Coordinate sourcing in an organized fashion to avoid overlap.
  • Manage and encourage Listers and Sourcers.
  • Be vision-minded and on the lookout for opportunities to expand.
  • Offer tech support if needed.
  • Be in regular contact with ownership in regards to the health and future of the business.

According to his book, Bryan averages $4100 per month in profit. The best part is that this is passive income. His contracted workers do all the heavy lifting.

This is an impressive feat considering that most sellers (including myself) would be uncomfortable hiring someone to do the listing and sourcing.

But Bryan makes a very good argument: Don’t be Indispensible.

On page 10 of his book, Bryan writes, “Many successful online sellers have difficulty with the notion of outsourcing something that they believe would be an impossible task for someone else to so at the same level of success. They’ve created an impressive business that would be impossible for them to step out of, because they have become the indispensable ‘Linchpin’ in their organization. In Seth Godin’s book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Godin lays out the compelling reasons why you should not be a replaceable cog in someone’s business machine, but instead you should position yourself in a way that you become irreplaceable in the company. Be the employee that the company can’t live without! Well, that is great for employees, but not for entrepreneurs and not for business builders.

If you want to build a company that is truly excellent, it has to be bigger than yourself, and it can’t depend on you in every aspect of its operations. It just can’t. In fact, if you really want to take your business to the next level you need to hire people that are smarter and better than you.”

You can buy Bryan’s book at his website ProfitSourcing.com. He also offers a video course as well.




Repricing Settings for Repriceit.com

I get a lot of questions regarding my repricing settings.  I currently use Repriceit.com which is affordable and does most of the things I would like.  Here’s a screenshot of one of my settings.

In this case, I’m matching the low price for my condition (whether they are FBA or not).  If Amazon is selling the product, I automatically price 10% below them.  My minimum price is $9.95.


repriceit settings #!

repriceit settings #2repriceit settings #3




Contest Winners

The winners Proven Amazon Course Giveway have been chosen!  There were 353 comments before the deadline, and the random numbers were 55, 84, and 148.

Random 84 Random 148 Random 55

…and the winners are:

1)  Verl Humpherys

2)  Maria DiFonzo

3)  Aarty Punjabi


Congratulations!  The winners have been notified via email.




It that time again…time for a comment contest.  This time I’m giving away 3 copies of the Proven Amazon Course.  This is currently selling for $300.

What is the PAC?

This was the first course ever introduced on the subject of Amazon FBA.   It started in 2010, and it has been growing and growing ever since.  Content is always being added.

Here are some recent additions:

Proven Private Label – A step-by-step course showing how anyone living anywhere in the world can succeed selling Private Label Physical Products on Amazon, eBay, Google (Or Anywhere Else).

Product Sourcing Master Class – 30+ high-profit product sourcing strategies from two of the most experienced names in the eBay / Amazon world – Dave Espino and Jim Cockrum.

Import Profitable Product From China – A complete guide to importing inventory from China (and many other countries) from a 22+ year Importing veteran.

Get on AZ – A webinar training series teaching non-U.S. residents how to get on Amazon U.S.



Here’s How to Enter:

1.      Click on the Proven Amazon Course link above and see if the course is right for you.

2.      Comment on this post.  Any comment will do.  That’s it.


How to Win:

  • I will randomly pick three winners using a random number generator (Random.org).  For example, if the random number is 4, and you are the 4th person to comment – you win!
  • There will be three winners.
  • All comments must be placed before June 19th, 2015 at 11:59pm EST Time.
  • Only one comment per person please


Good Luck!


* A special thanks to Jim Cockrum for allowing me to run this contest.