Zen Arbitrage - I'm doing it

If you saw my ecommerce BFCM video… this was my odd ball pick.

I’m doing it. It’s either going to be entertaining or I’m going to make some money.

Is anyone in with me? Zen Arbitrage

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It looks way too easy. Which makes me suspicious haha.

I have never done this with books, but I have purchased things on Amazon before and flipped them around and sold them on another listing for a higher price.

Amazon seemed to magically know and I lost approval to sell that item any more.

I am very interested to see how this goes for you, Dave.

My guess is that it will work for a while and then it will either get too many people doing it or Amazon will change some rule somewhere that makes it more difficult.

But there just might be beaucoup bucks to make first.

Oh, I’m 100% suspicious. :sweat_smile:

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It’s a legit method. I did Amazon FBA a while back and this was one of the avenues I used. And it worked fine. I also did AZ2AZ flips where you can take advantage of price drops due to temporary races to the bottom. I did that mostly with shoes. Find one that’s normally selling at $100 and a given size or style pops up for a minute at 30-40. Also had good luck finding video games on Ebay via auction that I could snag for 1/3 - 1/2 of what they sell for FBA that would net a profit.

But… between time and resources to scale sourcing, increased competition, AMZ gating more brands, and increasing warehouse storage fees I tapped out. That said many do make some really good money at it. Some don’t even care so much if they make a profit and just do it for credit card rewards.

Also have to remember that it’s not just finding an item that looks priced right, it has to be a product that will sell in a reasonable amount of time at the price expected. Sometimes the reason for the attractive price drop is that it isn’t selling at the higher price.

I am curious if you have ever done this exact method.

(Buying NON-FBA textbooks and then sending them in to sell via FBA).

I never did it with text books but I did it with another item.

I was immediately re-gated in the brand I did it with.

Although I have heard of others who say they have done it with no problem.

But I was too suspicious that my re-gating was more than a coincidence.

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It was a few years ago, but yes, that was how I did it. Never had a problem. That said, the platform is constantly changing.

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Ok, Zen Arbitrage is not software I’d recommend. Pulling out those 2008 style Internet Marketing moves. This side hustle stopped before it started…

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I’m curious what happened exactly?

It was a lot of little things.

First, this is not a typical product on my radar. I’ve not sold with FBA in 8 years, so perhaps someone with more recent experience would find this tool useful.

There was some interactions with the company that told me what type of people I was working with, and that’s important. I don’t want to make a video about a product and then have even one person go and use that product and feel like they’re not treated ethically.

So – they had told me they would give me longer-term use of the product to produce some content. When I told them I would make a video and document my experience, good or bad. They immediately wanted to be involved. When I refused to have their oversight (even paid sponsors don’t get to tell me what to say) they decided they could no longer-term access to the app. Strike one… like what are you afraid of? I’m not doing a hit piece.

I proceeded to use the trial, but I removed my credit card from the app so I wouldn’t accidentally forget and get charged… but you’re totally locked out of your account without an active credit card. I couldn’t even cancel the trial without re-entering my credit card. Strike two.

Finally – When you go to change your account, you get a survey about why you’re quitting. After the survey the survey wouldn’t work on Chrome. I had to use Safari. I think that’s the first time that has happened to me.

After the survey there is a nagging retention sequence, full of videos and confusingly worded and placed buttons to try to get you to not cancel.

I wasn’t necessarily going to cancel when I started the process, I just wanted to make sure I could get out easily… and while I got out, it was unpleasant enough that I wouldn’t want to recommend or use the application on that experience alone.

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Wow.

Whenever I encounter interactions like that it often seems to surprise me.

You’d think I wouldn’t be surprised any more.

Sounds like a good one to dodge.