Amazon has recently announced that they will now be offering retail arbitrage opportunities to its members. Amazon is one of the biggest internet retailers, and one of its most popular features is the ability to sell both brand-name and generic books at the same time. This makes it very profitable for any business with a physical store, or a huge online presence. But what kind of options does an individual have when it comes to selling textbooks?
In the past, a college student could make use of price comparison websites such as Amazon to find out where to buy a textbook. If you found one that was reasonably priced, you could then in most cases mark down the price to sell on at a higher price on your own, while still maintaining the same amount you would pay for the book in question. Amazon has now added the ability to do this within their retail environment. What is really neat is that they’ve gone to the trouble of adding an “advanced search” feature to help you out. This will allow you to filter through all of the different textbook sellers in your area. You simply select which seller has the book you’re looking for, click search, then look for up-sells (i.e., add the seller’s name to the price of the book).
This brings up a good question. Now, you might not want to sell books that are marked down so low. After all, you do want to make a profit, and there’s nothing wrong with buying a cheap textbook and then mark it up to make a profit later. You may also not want to pay the wholesale price for a second-hand book, especially if you’re only going to use it a few times when you go back to school.
One of the best ways to avoid paying too much for a used book is to look online for bargains. You may not think that Amazon offers bargains of any kind, but they do. The company loves to sell used textbooks because they can get more for their money when they sell something. And students love being able to find free textbooks just by searching for terms like “used college textbooks” or “school library books” on their preferred search engine.
So how do you go about getting an Amazon textbook at a good price? Well, you could go directly to the website, click on the book cover, and choose “buy it now.” But this could be a hassle. There’s no way to track down the book you want to buy until you actually get to the website, and then you have to wait for the book to be shipped to you. Amazon offers a better solution: free shipping.
Once you realize that you’re looking at a textbook that could sell for a lot of money, log onto Amazon and find the lowest price. You’ll probably see a drop down menu right next to the price list. Click on that drop down menu and choose “Free Shipping.” You will then be sent to a page where you can enter in your shipping information so that Amazon will ship your purchase to you for no charge.
Once you have your books, simply take them to your local college bookstore and turn in your used textbooks for credit. Amazon will even pay the difference between what the book’s new price is and what you paid for it. You can then give your book back to Amazon and keep the difference. While this may seem like a hassle, it will save you quite a bit of money over buying new textbooks.
Amazon’s textbook arbitrage program works exactly like this. The only difference is that instead of going to the bookstore, you go online and look for a used book. Once you find one that you want, you enter in your email address and your credit card information so that Amazon can begin the process of shipment. They will deliver the book to your campus in just a few days. This may make it easier for you to get your textbooks because you don’t have to worry about getting your book to your college campus by plane.