Hi guys. Adam here. I know it’s been awhile since a post and I apologize, but I’ve got a great post for today and some exciting news! Summer is upon us and it’s time to start getting out there and finding some books to sell. I always hated scouting in the winter because of the gloomy weather but the spring and summer time was pretty fun. Since I started buying in bulk long ago I haven’t been able to get out and enjoy the weather but financially it was the best decision for me.
In any case, for all of you out book scouting hitting up those yard sales, thrift stores and FOL sales I’ve got an important announcement for you. Also, for anyone that has decided to reel in books by the ton instead of by the title and buy in bulk I’ve also got something important to share. The inventory sourcing eBook I’ve been promising forever (sorry!) is finally nearing completion! It will be available via the email list first starting on Friday, May 20th. You’re already signed up aren’t you? I’m finally setting a date so you can hold me accountable. I could give you some lame excuse at how I was too busy and that I was diligently working on it 24/7 for all this time but that would be a lie. Family, friends, work, books, eBizControl, a new inventory receiving app I’m working on and life simply trumped the project for awhile. I have, however, managed to spill my brain into this thing and literally take dozens of hours dumping every source I’ve ever used or have known to be used in this eBook.
I’m very proud of this eBook because it’s not conventional in any way. I don’t simply give you a spreadsheet and say “Here’s your list of sources now give me your money.” However you can just give me your money if you really want to. In all seriousness, I attempt to give you the tools and show you HOW to source books not just WHERE to source books. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to include what I call a ‘”cheat sheet” at the end for all of you to devour if simply want to take it and run. More importantly though, it’s all about how you should be thinking so you can come out with your own local sources on the fly. It will spark ideas in your head that you’d never even considered. I have a unique mind (ask my wife) and I tend to come up with very unconventional methods to accomplish conventional goals. I share this thinking with you in the eBook.
Enough with the shameless self promotion and whetting your appetite. I wonder if this whole lack of supply idea really increases demand. Eh, we’ll see. Just so that you haven’t read this entire post so far without some good information to go on I’ve decided to share a piece of of the eBook with you today. It’s a section from the beginning basically introducing the topic of sourcing and why it’s important. I hope you enjoy it.
Sourcing. It sounds like such a professional word, doesn’t it? To me, sourcing goes hand in hand with other business terms like strategy, innovation, logistics and procurement. However, when you break it down, it’s actually a very easy concept to understand. At its most basic level, sourcing is simply a process by where you find things. Forget selling for moment. The word sourcing simply means where you find people, products, supplies, etc. It’s a very basic concept and one that I truly want you to understand.
We can take it a step further and explain the term in a more useful manner to define it as “where to find products to sell not even specifically related to our niche of book selling”. The number of different businesses is about how many types of sourcing you’ll find in the business world. Manufacturers need to source raw materials to create products. Distributors need to source manufacturers to find products to sell to large wholesalers. Wholesalers need to find distributors to get access to products. Finally, retailers need to find wholesalers to sell products to people like you and me. It’s a huge chain in which the original raw materials come out of the earth, get morphed into a product, get exchanged hands a few times with an ever-increasing price and finally make it to you and me in the form of our new iPhone, kitchen cleaner or car part. I’m sure sourcing isn’t a foreign concept to you; after all, you bought this book. If you didn’t have an idea on what sourcing meant, I doubt you would have given the title a second look. Let’s take a deeper look into book sourcing now to give you a sense of its importance.
The Importance of Sourcing
As an online bookseller or a merchant in general, if you don’t have a product to sell, what do you have? I doubt that customers are going to throw money at you because of your good looks. You have to provide some kind of value for them and for us booksellers, that value is quality books at a competitive cost. To be a successful online bookseller there are essentially 4 different processes you need to master: sourcing, listing, order fulfillment and customer service. Each is necessary to the health of your business, but without sourcing, you have nothing to list and the cycle continues on down the line.
If you ever run into a situation where you have limited time to perform more duties that can possibly get done, you’ll need to prioritize. To give you an idea of the importance of sourcing, picture the following scenario. Realize that this doesn’t happen every day, but this is a real world example that I personally have had to overcome. It is critical to know how to prioritize.
<insert eBook content spoiling personal example here>
I don’t want to tell you that this happens everyday because it does not, so don’t get scared about the potential pressure. I only tell you this story from experience and what you must do to seize an opportunity to grow your business. It is critical that you understand that sourcing is the #1 most important arrow in your quiver for more sales.
Now that I hope I’ve given you a sense of the importance of sourcing, I would like for you to get a good understanding of how we use sourcing. To do this, it’s a great idea to paint a picture of where a book comes from and how it ends up in the hands of your lucky Amazon customer. <insert one of my only sources I get my inventory from here> Unless I’m buying direct from the publisher or from a large retailer like Borders, Barnes and Noble or Amazon where the book is still “fresh”, I’m probably only seeing a small piece of a book’s life…