It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted on this blog but I felt it necessary. The internet is full of get rich quick money making scams but for the first time in a long time, I came across something that can actually turn into a business. What is that something? Zen Arbitrage!
I happened to be on FaceBook a while back and came across a sponsored ad for a company that was promoting trading in books to Amazon for profit. I did a bit of digging as it sounded too good to be true and sure enough it was! (REVIEW COMING SOON) However, while researching that scam of a company I came across Zen Arbitrage and I became intrigued.
I would be lying if I didn’t state my intrigue was met with my immediate skepticism. Why? The entire idea sounded absolutely insane!
The concept behind Peter Valley’s Zen Arbitrage system is to utilize his software to locate books that can be purchased and resold at a profit. Doesn’t sound crazy at all yet, right? However, most of the books being purchased are purchased through Amazon and resold on Amazon through their FBA channel as in Fulfilled by Amazon!
Let me state this once again. The concept behind Zen Arbitrage is to purchase books, primarily through Amazon and resell those books through Amazon through Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon channel for profit hence my skepticism.
Why in the world would people purchase books through Amazon FBA at a higher price when the person could simply purchase an identical or similar book for less money on Amazon itself? I was left scratching my head.
The answer to my above question was actually quite simple. When an Amazon shopper knows that the order is being fulfilled by Amazon there is a comfort level. Should an issue arise with the purchase there are safeguards in place that are not offered when you purchase through someone who is simply selling through Amazon. Additionally, if the person is an Amazon Prime member he or she can purchase the product, in the case a book, and get it with 2-day free shipping.
However, I was still skeptical. Are there people out there, specifically Amazon Prime members who would pay more for a book due to safeguards and the ability to receive a book sooner than later? I wasn’t sure so I had to do more digging.
When researching any sort of business opportunity I always check out the owner. I usually find that the owner was involved in some sort of scam company, closed it, opened another and was back at it again.
Peter Valley, the owner of Zen Arbitrage, has been an Amazon seller since 2007 and has published various books (14 to be exact) on the art of selling books on Amazon. He is well respected and people have been making money for years through his teachings. I also located his YouTube channel which is all about purchasing books and reselling those books on Amazon for profit.
I decided to take the plunge and sign up for the Zen Arbitrage free 14-day trial.
The Zen Arbitrage Software
– The entire concept is based on custom software that Peter Valley himself created. Simply put, you use the software to search for books that can be purchased and resold on Amazon FBA for profit. Simply put, you’re using the software and scanning the screen to find if there is a big enough spread between the Amazon new and/or used price and compare it to the current offers for the same or similar condition book on FBA. For example I located a book that I could have purchased through Amazon $51.73 (cheapest source) which included shipping and sales tax and could be resold for $119.99 leaving a nice profit of $33.86.
The software provides a way for you to find out if any other book sources have the same book that can be purchased for less.
The software also has a calculator function that allows you to input the price you could purchase the book for, input the price it’s selling for on AMAZON FBA and automatically deducts the Amazon’s fees leaving you with an idea of your profit margin on that particular book. However, the calculator doesn’t include sales tax so if you’re in a state where online orders are taxed you have to manually calculate the cost the book with the sales tax and enter that amount into the profit calculator.
There are various ways to search (different search parameters) for profitable books using the software and all is explained through training videos within Zen Arbitrage.
You may be thinking what I was thinking. What was I thinking? If all Zen Arbitrage members are using the same software wouldn’t most people wind up purchasing the same books? If that’s the case then wouldn’t I be competing with other Zen Arbitrage members?
The answer is actually, NO! Everyone uses the software differently so there is a slim chance that you and another member are competing against each other. However, in the slim chance that you are competing in all likelihood, you both will still both be profitable.
Will the books ever run out? With hundreds of thousands of books already available with another 600,000 to a 1,000,000 books being written every year the straight answer is again a resounding NO!
Are people making money with Zen Arbitrage? I can attest that people are making money. After I registered for the 14-day free trial program I requested and was accepted to enter into Zen Arbitrage’s private FaceBook group which is operated by Peter Valley himself.
The Zen Arbitrage Facebook group consists of people new to Zen Arbitrage as well as those who have utilized Zen Arbitrage for quite some time and are making money from it. There are people making earning a few hundred dollars per month and others who are earning thousands of dollars per month but many people are making money with Zen Arbitrage. Here’s just one example.
THE BUSINESS THAT IS ZEN ARBITRAGE
Zen Arbitrage is indeed an actual business. As with any business it takes time, patience and money to be successful. I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t go into detail about the business that is Zen Arbitrage.
The Zen Arbitrage software is great but it does take time to get the hang of it in order to find opportunities to make money and it can be cumbersome. For example, for each and every book that seems like a good opportunity you have to check to see if you’re restricted by Amazon.
Yes, Amazon actually restricts you as a seller from selling particular books. You can be restricted from selling new copies of a book, used copies of a book, may only be able to sell a book as a collectible or you may not be able to sell a particular book at all. (You click on a link within the software which will take you to a page within Amazon where you can check the restrictions.) Once you start making sales Amazon eases the restrictions but you must always check to see if restrictions exist.
If you’re not restricted you must then use the profit calculator to calculate you’re potential profit. The reason I say potential profit because that’s exactly what it is. You may have to sell the book for less than what its currently listed on FBA so you need to make sure that you can still make a decent profit if you have to lower your price.
The Cost of a Zen Arbitrage business
– There are different plans but a monthly subscription to Zen Arbitrage is $97 per month. In addition to have an Amazon FBA account Amazon charges $39.99 per month. That’s a total of $136.99 per month in cost. When compared to any business $136.99 isn’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination.
Additional Zen Arbitrage Costs
– You have to calculate your cost to ship the books to Amazon once you’ve purchased and would like to place the books into your inventory. Based on my research an average cost is approximately $17 to send a box of 25 books to Amazon. Shipping in bulk will be less expensive than shipping each and every book off individually.
Using a Prep Service for your Zen Arbitrage business – Yes or No?
– Many people choose to utilize a prep service. When you make the purchase you send the book directly to your prep service who will then inspect and clean the book. The prep service will also let you know whether the book you purchased is damaged. The prep service will then print the shipping labels from your Amazon account and send them to Amazon for you. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend using a prep service to start with. As with any business you need to know the ins and outs of the business. As such I would have to personally inspect the books, clean them and remove any labels that shouldn’t be there.
– You’re in the book business and as such you need to have the ability to build your inventory. Only you know what you can afford with regard to inventory. What I can tell is the more you spend the more you will make as with any business but especially with this business. Many of the books that will make the most money on the spread are in the $50+ price range but you can make money with lower-priced books. Only you know what you’re comfortable spending.
Inventory 1 Step Further
– The point in any business is at minimum to get the business to the break-even point. In order to break even you need to make a minimum profit of $136.99. If you’re comfortable making a minimum profit of 25% per book at a $50 price range that means $12.50 per book. In order to break even in this scenario you would need to sell a minimum of approximately 11 books at a cost of $555. Some will, of course, get to break-even sooner than others but as with any business you need to have the ability to potentially take a loss until the break-even point.
The Zen Arbitrage Marketplace
– A nice feature of Zen Arbitrage is the market place. The Zen Arbitrage marketplace consists of people who have found profitable book arbitrage opportunities and placed the book on the marketplace as a lead. For example, a book where the purchase price is $25 and the profit is $10 may sell for $1. You could run the entire business through the marketplace but not at the onset. Remember, you are going to have restrictions when you first start and the person posting the lead may not have the same restrictions on their Amazon FBA account. As such, I strongly recommend not utilizing the marketplace until your restrictions are lowered or in the best scenario when you’re restrictions are almost nonexistent.
The people who seem to be most successful have an inventory between 300-400 books at all time. In my opinion that is a rather large inventory for an independent Amazon FBA bookseller. It’s going to take time to get to that point but it is very doable.
So how much money am I making per month with Zen Arbitrage? I make $0 per month from book arbitrage as I canceled my account. Yes, I can assure you that Zen Arbitrage is not a scam, people are making money and I know for a fact I could too but I canceled my account for one reason and one reason only. I don’t have the time to run a Zen Arbitrage business. I wish I did but the sad reality is I don’t.
Often times, I have 19-hour workdays. That’s 16.5 hours spent at work and about an hour and twenty-minute commute on average to and from my job. I often barely have time to sleep let alone run an actual business regardless if the business can be run from my home or not. Sure, I could attempt to run this business on my off days but I have no desire to work seven days a week.
As with any business a Zen Arbitrage business is not for everyone and it may or may not be for you. In my personal opinion this is a perfect business for college students, stay at home moms and retired people.
However, this business can be operated by the average 9 to 5’er but I wouldn’t recommend attempting it unless you have a minimum of 2-3 hours per day to devote to this business. I said it before and I’ll say it again, Zen Arbitrage is an actual business. As with any person in their own business, the person needs to have the time to operate the business.
FULL DISCLOSURE – I AM A ZEN ARBITRAGE AFFILLIATE!
Although I decided against operating my own Zen Arbitrage business, due solely to my time constraints, I decided to become an affiliate of Zen Arbitrage. I hope you have found this honest and in-depth review of Peter Valley’s Zen Arbitrage system helpful and hope that it has given you enough information to make an informed decision as to whether or not Zen Arbitrage is for you or not.
To recap this Zen Arbitrage review, Zen Arbitrage is 100% NOT A SCAM but rather an ACTUAL BUSINESS!
– Your minimum monthly cost if you choose a monthly membership to Zen Arbitrage is $97 per month. The cost for an Amazon FBA Pro Account is $39.99 per month. Total monthly minimum cost is $136.99 – You need to have the ability to invest in inventory. In my personal opinion between $500-$800 to begin. – You must have the time to operate the Zen Arbitrage business. My personal opinion 2-3 hours per day at a minimum. – Don’t use a Prep Service until you’ve prepped the books yourself. – Don’t purchase Zen Arbitrage Marketplace leads until you have less to nonexistent restrictions on your Amazon account. – Always ship your books to Amazon in bulk (@ 25 books at a time.)
If you feel that this business is for you, I would sincerely appreciate you clicking on the below banner. If you decide sometime, later on, I would also appreciate you returning and opening your FREE 14 DAY ZEN ARBITRAGE ACCOUNT through my blog.