It’s already been one year since my first Book Sale Experiment. In June of 2013, I started documenting the month to month results of a local book sale that I attended. For this particular sale, my overall strategy was to scoop up all books with lower Amazon value and set a minimum FBA price of around $7.95.
My personal definition of a “low-priced” book is one that has a merchant fulfilled value of 2 cents or more. I did not include penny books because I have found that once a book drops to one penny in value, it usually has a high number of FBA competition as well.
The exact procedure was to buy any book at the sale with a merchant fulfilled price of 2 cents or more. Then set a minimum price of $7.95 on FBA. My prediction was that I would sell enough books at the $7.95 minimum to make a decent profit.
If you missed that blog post, you can view the original experiment here.
Total Books Purchased: 272
Total Books Sold: 190
Percentage of Books Sold: 70%
Total Investment: $211.86
Total Amazon Sales (after fees): $979.57
Total Storage Fees: $17.55
Total Profit: $750.16
Average Buy Price: $.78
Average Sale Price: $9.49
Average Amazon Fees: $4.29
Average Profit: $4.42
Average ROI: 567%
I would say this experiment was very successful since over 70% of the books sold with an average price of $9.49. After the storage fees, the total profit came to $750.16. I averaged about 6 hours at the sale plus another 3 hours preparing the books for FBA. That's an hourly rate of $83.
One thing I should mention: I did change the minimum price to $9.95 about 3 months into the experiment. So, it hard to gauge whether the $9.95 cap or $7.95 works better. If I were to do the experiment again, I would keep the same minimum price consistent.
I think this experiment is important because it shows the value of FBA. An Amazon Prime buyer would much rather pay $9.95 for item and get free shipping for the exact same book that sells for 34 cents plus $3.99 shipping via Merchant Fulfilled. It also shows that seemingly worthless books can be sold at a nice profit if you're willing to sell in volume.