Sourcing and Understanding the Value of a Book

Understand Used Books

Introduction to Sourcing

When it comes to analyzing data for book sourcing, it's important to use software that provides more than just basic pricing and barcode scanning. While scanning apps can be useful for weeding out low-value books, they don't provide a complete picture of the market. To make the most informed decisions, you need to consider additional factors such as seasonality, average price, and sales demand.

Using software that can track price and demand fluctuations over time will help you identify books that have the potential for long-term profitability. It's also important to keep in mind that a book's value can change over time, so it's important to stay up to date with market trends and adjust your sourcing strategy accordingly.

By analyzing data and keeping up with market trends, you can improve your chances of finding valuable books to sell. In the following articles, we'll discuss different tools and software that can help you with data analysis and book sourcing.


What is the true value of a book?

Understanding how seasonality affects prices is a crucial aspect of successful book sourcing. By analyzing sales trends over time, sellers can determine when demand is high and when it's low. This helps to identify the best times to buy and sell books. For example, during the textbook season (August, January, and June), prices typically increase due to higher demand, providing an opportunity to make more profit.

Conversely, October can be a challenging month for booksellers, as sales have declined and competition is driving prices down. During such times, it's important to remain patient and selective when sourcing inventory. Though scanning apps may suggest rejecting otherwise profitable books, experienced sellers understand the value of patience and may wait until market conditions improve to sell certain books.

Ultimately, being aware of seasonality and its effects on book prices can help booksellers make more informed decisions when it comes to sourcing and pricing their inventory.


FBA vs. FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) Evaluation



How do we determine the true value of an item? (using Keepa Graphs)

When it comes to determining the value of a book, utilizing a range of resources is essential. Keepa is an exceptional resource for obtaining in-depth product data. Keepa tracks a plethora of information, including a product's average price over time, price changes, and all sales since the item was first offered for sale. The data is presented in the form of a graph that provides insight into when the next sale may occur and at what price you should list the book. Scanning apps generally provide a link to the Keepa graph, but it's crucial to investigate the sales data while scanning. While there's no scanning app that can fully utilize this data, checking Keepa for an overall picture is recommended.




Analyzing Keepa Data and Graphs

Understanding Keepa graphs can provide valuable insights into the book market and help you make informed purchasing decisions. The green line on the graph indicates sales activity, with each drop representing a sale. The more active the line, the more confident you can be in the book's potential to sell.

The dots on the graph represent different offers of the book on Amazon by condition, with the colors indicating the condition of the book. By observing the trends over time, you can see how prices change based on supply and demand. For example, prices tend to be higher during peak seasons and gradually decrease as competition drives prices down.

It's important to note that prices can change quickly, so it's crucial to ship books as soon as possible to avoid losing potential profits. Amazon also plays a role in determining market value, particularly for new items. Repricing software is often set to stay below the Amazon price, which can result in decreases when Amazon lowers its price.

Overall, analyzing Keepa graphs is a valuable tool for book resellers looking to make informed purchasing decisions and stay ahead of market trends. By understanding market fluctuations and factors that influence prices, resellers can increase their profitability and ensure they are making the most of their investments.



Why Merchant-Fulfilled (FBM) Prices Matter

Merchant Fulfilled (MF) sellers play a significant role in the used books market. Even though they don't compete directly with Amazon's FBA sellers in terms of pricing, the MF prices can be valuable in setting the price for FBA items. The MF price is typically Amazon's lowest price, and if a book isn't in high demand, FBA sellers will usually price their offers close to MF prices.

It's important to keep an eye on MF prices and use them as a reference point to make informed pricing decisions. If the MF price is too low, it might not be worth it to sell the book at all. On the other hand, if the MF price is high, it is a strong indicator that the book has value. Overall, MF prices are an important factor to consider when selling books on Amazon, and savvy sellers should take advantage of this valuable data.

Prime Bump

The "Prime Bump" is a significant factor to consider when pricing your books. As stated before, Prime books are highly preferred by customers, and they are willing to pay more to get them faster. As a result, FBA sellers can often charge significantly higher prices than Merchant Fulfilled Sellers for the same book. The Prime price for a book is generally higher than the Merchant price, which is why the "Prime Bump" exists.

It is important to understand this phenomenon and price your books accordingly. If you are selling a book that is in high demand and have the ability to offer it through Prime, you can expect to get a bump in price. On the other hand, if you are a Merchant Fulfilled Seller, you should price your books lower than FBA sellers to remain competitive.

In conclusion, understanding the "Prime Bump" and how it affects book prices is crucial for optimizing profits as a seller.



Merchant Fulfilled Prices and Rank

It's important to analyze a book's rank and selling frequency to determine its true market value. In the case of this book, it has an average rank of 1.37 million and sells once about every 13 days. Keep in mind that a book's rank falls by about 100,000 when it goes unsold for a day. Based on its current ranking of 510,000, it's likely that the book sold 5 days ago, although these numbers are approximate.

When considering how much higher an FBA book can be priced above the MF book, it's important to factor in the presence of FBA sellers. In this particular case, there are FBA offers for $89.99 and $85.99. This book actually retails online for only $26. It's clear that an FBA seller took a shot at creating a new market price, resulting in an overpriced book that's unlikely to sell for more than $26.

If Amazon were selling the book brand new, it would likely sell for about $26, and used FBA offers would be cheaper. In general, the MF price is a more accurate indicator of a book's retail value, as many Merchant Fulfilled operations have hundreds of thousands of books available for sale and use proprietary pricing software that takes into account retail value and other factors.




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This information was last updated, June 2023.

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