Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Making a Profit using Amazon

Jason Meyer and Daryl Butcher met at a boat party on Lake Washington last July. Days later, they purchased 10,000 used books from a charity, rented a warehouse in Kirkland and formed Thrift Books.

A year into the venture, the company has 300,000 used titles listed on and other online retail sites. Meyer, who oversees the company's finances, said he expects more than $1.2 million in sales the first year.

"It's all volume," Meyer, 32, said of their strategy, which is to sell a large quantity of books cheaply and to make a profit on shipping. "We sell a lot of books for a penny."


Dave Anderson started his company, ScannerPal, after his wife, Barbara, began selling used books on Amazon 2 1/2 years ago.

Anderson, who wrote software for wireless devices, had accompanied Barbara on a book-scouting trip when he saw his wife go through stacks of used books, holding up each one to determine whether it would sell or not.

When they returned home, half the books had no market value. He decided the key to running a successful business was to buy only books that sold at a higher price.

Anderson developed a software program that allowed his wife to use her cellphone, or any other wireless device, to enter a book's bar-code number. The program returned important information, including Amazon's price for the book, how many others were selling copies, the item's sales ranking and the lowest price for which that book was available.

- Information quoted from the article, "Small sellers get the edge" - The Seattle Times


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