Tactical Arbitrage has become THE software to do online arbitrage
Tactical Arbitrage ( TA) has more features than most people are actually using and the cool thing is that you can use multiple features at once.
Example: You can run a product search and run a library search at the same time.
This is huge!
In this blog post, I want to focus on the library search feature.
Well first of all most people aren’t using this feature.
Second, books are one of the last products that still have massive ROI’s
Third, you can use MF ( merchant fulfilled seller) to do the sourcing for you. Basically MF to FBA flips. There are 1000’s of MF sellers that don’t understand or care that FBA books sell for a lot more than MF books. They are constantly sourcing and adding books to the catalog. You just have to be lucky to be scanning the book listings as they pop up ( this is the magic part. Nobody can constantly see all the changes as books pop up. So there is a luck part to this but you can’t get lucky unless you are constantly scanning and that is what this post is going to be about)
And finally, with all the recent restrictions and intellectual property / counterfeit claims, books are by far one of the safest products to sell ( *** used books that is. I would suggest never listing a books as NEW even with the new policy of Amazon sharing the NEW buy box)
Add all that up, I personally love to sell books and THE tool to use is TA for finding books to flip. While you can try to do this manually, you may randomly get lucky but you will find that you can’t compete with the software and you are basically wasting your time/will get a low return for the time invested in searching.
While my examples for this post will be just for flipping from Amazon MF sellers to FBA, there are currently 9 sites that are built into the library search.
**** Before we start. If you don’t have Tactical Arbitrage, click here to get a free trial
( note it does shutdown sometimes to new sign ups and may not be accepting new member right now)
The Basic Plan
In the simple nut shell, you can and should be letting the library search run constantly in the background. Go ahead and use the other searches on TA for more specific sourcing, but let the library search run through your bulk lists ( oh what was that?)
Bulk lists are the magic sauce that make this work. Bulks list sound complicated but they are actually very easy to put together yourself. They are simple Excel files that require 4 columns and you save them as CSV files.
They only actual info you need to search for is the first column, which is basically an Amazon link to a category or as I do it, an Amazon search.
You want to niche this down to the smallest level of search possible because you are limited on how many pages you can search on each search of on the bulk list, ( in the video I had it searching 300 pages which I believe currently you can only do 100 pages. I set the default to 100 on each search even if it has only 5 pages. It doesn’t mess TA up) but more specifically Amazon’s search is screwy and doesn’t always show everything. You have better chance of Amazon showing more if the search has fewer possible results. There is no way to prove this, but it doesn’t hurt to make the bulk list this way.
For example instead of trying to do the whole “Math” category you would copy the link for the Algebra category, then the Geometry category , etc.
You may find that only certain niches are good to scan and this would be the way to scan instead of the massive main category.
Be careful to not make the bulk list too big. It will only run for about 48 hours before it times out.
In theory you could have a 200 row list and it times out on row 100 and if you keep starting it over, you would never get to rows 101 to 200. You can choose to start on any row, which in this case, you could start up on row 101.
If I am in the Mathematics category of books, the AZ link for it is
But the problem is that there are 300,000 books in this search. Way too big.
A sub category is “Study and Teaching”, which has 6000 results, which is more manageable.
I would then click back on the browser and click on the next sub category, “History” and grab that link
And so on and so on. ( BTW, this is the same way you build a bulk list for other products)
While this works, it doesn’t work great. The issue is that Amazon doesn’t show you everything. It is more hit or miss. This is what most people are doing.
I have made my own lists that I break it down differently.
You will have much better luck if you can do a search that is more specific.
Say there is a publisher called XYZ Books. If you type XYZ Books into AZ search, you can copy that link and have a much better chance of AZ showing you probably all the result for XYZ Books.
Now if you could come up with a list of 100’s of say textbook publishers, you will do much better than just choosing a bulk textbook search.
This is how I made my lists.
The other issue people have is that they don’t exactly know which kinds of books sell at best and are searching the wrong kinds of books.
I personally subscribe to the teachings of the book guru , Peter Valley. I apply the same principles that I use sourcing locally for books on my TA searches.
Actually I have list I use that is for Scholarly books ( basically non textbook, textbooks.) I would rather source these kinds of books over textbooks ( but I still love to source textbooks) because most people overlook these books and totally focus on textbooks.
This is the magic of bulk lists. You can customize it for yourself and there may not be anyone else that has what you are using.
You can have multiple bulk lists to choose from and add or subtract to them.
For example, I love to source textbooks and scholarly books, but it would be worthless for me to try to source them in late August .
At that time, I would be off running a different bulk list that didn’t focus on textbooks.
Things to Consider
Keep the search running. You never know what will be listed and when. Remember that you don’t have to buy every deal but it is nice to have options.
Some deals will be gone before you get a chance to buy them. There are lots of people running Tactical Arbitrage library searches and who know how many other softwares are running searches ( like Zen Arbitrage) .
Some of the finds on the library search are just wrong. Someone will have a book listed at $600 FBA and there is a $4 MF offer. TA can’t tell that that is a bad results because of some crazy FBA seller. Basically you will have a lot of false positives so to speak.
A few buys of the results of the library search can actually cover the cost of TA ( it isn’t exactly a cheap software). You should be using every available search to help cover the cost.
While you don’t have to be a bookseller to get lucky finding some books, you will have better luck if you understand how flipping from MF to FBA works and how money is made on people paying a premium for FBA books.
It also is helpful if you understand what kind of books are valuable. Yes textbooks are good but everyone knows that. You will make more on other kinds of books that other people over look.
Make sure you change your starting points on the bulk lists if they are too big and time out before you can run the whole thing.
Don’t source textbooks during textbook season. You need to source prior to textbook season and after textbook season which is prior to the next textbook season.
Be cautious of some MF sellers. Read descriptions and look at feedback.
I would suggest never selling a books as new. That is actually the only real dangerous area of selling books.