Amazon – The Quick and Dirty Guide

by Steve on December 30, 2009

I have something to show you. I'm usually not one for screenshots, but I had to share this one. This is my Amazon performance summary for the past year: AMZN_performance

(Can you tell when I started taking my ADD medication?) This chart is a day or so behind by the way.

After my sales recently skyrocketed, lots of folks wanted to know the formula. They asked how I find, choose and list, and price books on Amazon. A lot of people asked...

Besides that, with the economy in the shape it is, a lot of people are really scrambling to find extra income. The problem is they can't build a website, don't have time to grow a blog or an email list, and not much to invest in schemes.

Well, I definitely have figured a few things out over the last few years. The "formula" doesn't just apply to books though, it applies to most anything you sell on Amazon. Even so, books and other media products seem to be the favorites - they certainly are for me.

You can see from the screenshot above that I was really neglecting my Amazon sales up until about two months ago. I was building websites for other people, consulting, and a variety of other things to get along. Since last Spring, I have been only selling about 3 items a month on Amazon.

Then as I got more focused, I nailed down what it takes to make it on Amazon and kicked things into gear. Over the past month, instead of 3 sales, I've sold over 257 items! All this was accomplished in a window of less than 90 days - and I'm PUMPED about it!

Besides that, I'm only spending about a day and a half on Amazon-related work per week - and most of it is shopping, which I happen to love.

Anyway, let me cut to the chase - after I got all the questions about selling on Amazon I decided to sit down and bang out an ebook that explained just what I did to go from (practically) $0 - $2000 per month in Amazon sales.

It's called Amazon - The Quick & Dirty Guide. The Scoop on Finding, Listing, and Selling Books (and other stuff)

Order Now!   Only $17

I basically pictured you, sitting here in my office with me talking about what it takes to get this thing off the ground. Then I just wrote everything down.

This ebook is nearly 40 pages and explains:

  • Where you can find LOTS of profitable books, CDs, and DVDs consistently
  • How to find thrift stores wherever you go
  • How to choose what to buy and what to leave on the shelf
  • How to use Amazon's Sales Rank to determine the likelihood of a sale
  • What to do if you find products with no barcodes or ISBNs
  • How to improve your chances of a sale
  • Why you should charge a little more than your competition - and still beat them to the sale
  • How to clean and repair books, CDs, and DVDs to pull higher prices

There's a bunch more. I say it's "quick and dirty" because I didn't spend a bunch of time on a website or fancy graphics. It's pretty much just "meaty" stuff that will help you make money.

Oh and in case you're thinking my sales went up just because of Christmas - they took a dip for about three days over the holiday. Now though, they're back as strong as ever. Every day getting better.

I'm not charging an arm and a leg for this new ebook. You can only get it here and the price is $17. I may offer it through ClickBank at some point, and I'll charge more, but for now that's the price.

As usual, if you're not happy with it, let me know and I'll refund your payment. But I think you're really going to like it. Of course I've known a lot of this for some time, but I wasn't all the parts together to make the sales hum.

So get the new year started right. Read this ebook and find out the formula for some additional income.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

William BeverlyNo Gravatar January 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I see the sales and revenue listed, but what was the COST of these sales?


SteveNo Gravatar January 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm

William – Good question.

I average less than a dollar per book, actually closer to $.50 per book when buying.

As for Amazon fees, they are comparable to the fees for selling on eBay, when you add the PayPal fees. I also figure in the fact that FBA saves me a tremendous amount of time and headaches due to shipping and dealing with customers. I’m not sure I could put a price on that.
Plus, since there is no upfront listing fees, I don’t throw money away with dead listings. That’s one part of the cost of selling on eBay a lot of people forget.
Finally, I get sales on Amazon, not so much on eBay these days.

Hope that helps.


TyNo Gravatar January 1, 2010 at 4:35 pm


Just purchased and read your Amazon Quick & Dirty Guide…great quick read with just the info you need to get started.

One question…on Page 10 you give a great resource for finding the Goodwill Outlets…I went to the URL and the GoodWill Locator only shows Retail, Donation, and HeadQuarters…I did not see any Goodwill Outlet’s identified. I am in a large metro, and used both my suburb zip code and a zip code that is in the center of the city and still did not find an Outlet. Am I missing something?


SteveNo Gravatar January 1, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Ty, It seems that if there is no Outlet in your area, the option to sort “by Outlet Store” is not available. Here is a link to a list of the Goodwill Outlets, I didn’t include it in the ebook because it’s a little outdated:


John SykesNo Gravatar January 1, 2010 at 10:18 am

Hi Steve,
New Year, new resolutions but the difference this time to keep and fulfil. Enjoyed “Selling on the River” but have downloaded “Quick & Dirty” and will now put both of them into practice. I’ll let you know how it goes. Have a safe, happy, healthy and more prosperous 2010. John


TamiNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Is your bookselling plan predicated on owning one of the barcode / scanner through the internet-type book scanner ? I would appreciate a reply ! Thanks !


SteveNo Gravatar January 1, 2010 at 11:38 am

Tami, You can certainly buy and sell books without the scanner – most sellers probably do. However, in order to do what I did over the past couple of months, I could not have done it without some sort of service. As I mention in the Quick and Dirty Guide, I use AsellerTool. I chose the monthly rental for $60 (includes the service & a scanner) and they also have a version for your cell phone for only $6 per month where you type in each ISBN. It tells you whether to buy or reject the books you find.


AdamNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 10:50 am


this is a great post and what looks to be a great ebook. I run the blog at and would like to chat with you sometime. Shoot me an email sometime.


Ishtiaq NasimNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 10:42 am

Just like John I like to know if this book is restricted to those who reside in the USA or someone like me can who doesn’t live in the USA can benefit from it too.


SteveNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 11:11 am

Hello Ish, The concepts for Finding, Listing, and Pricing your items apply to nearly any online marketplace. It definitely is centered around Amazon, and I mostly use books and media as examples. So if one is not selling on Amazon, or cannot sell on Amazon due to location, it may be a stretch.


Reg BoczkoNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 9:25 am

Hi Steve…
I will pick up a copy of your new book… Amazon has always interested me. The only thing I don’t understand is if you list a used book and you pull up the title Amazon will show the new version of the book with small type saying there is some used books of the same… See that confuses me on eBay or
yours pops up… Can you make that clear to me( you do understand what I mean)… But love reading your newsletter learn something new every time… Thanks and Happy New Year to you and your family….
Reg B.


SteveNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 11:13 am

Reg, Thanks for the compliment. The bottom line is, Amazon just has a different way of displaying products in their marketplace. Buyers understand it, and if your item is described accurately in the condition comments, and priced competitively, they will buy.


MollyNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 8:24 am

Steve -

Does this book contain information that assists with items on Amazon other than books & CDs?



SteveNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 11:08 am

Molly, Quick & Dirty deals primarily with media items, but just about everything in it applies to other items as well. Especially the thought of Finding, Listing, and Pricing your items. There is also some good resources for finding thrift stores and sales.


h.thorntonNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 7:36 am

Hello Steve I brought selling on the river,do I need this book also?


SteveNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 11:06 am

Harry & h.thornton, When writing this ebook, I had the readers of Selling on ‘the River’ in mind. Selling on ‘the River’ gives the basics of using the Amazon site. This ebook deals more specifically with finding books and other media products, and how to list and price them. There is almost nothing in this new book that is contained in Selling on ‘the River.’


HarryNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 7:18 am

As an owner of “Selling on the River”, how will this Guide help?


ThomasNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 7:09 am

Looks like everything is coming into focus! You have convinced me to try Amazon. Will this work for ebooks?

It’s all about taking action. Keep on keeping on. Thanks for the great products!



SteveNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 11:03 am

Thomas, Yes, focused is great! I know you understand that too. :>)

Amazon does not allow ebooks, but you can sell books on CD or audio. I actually turned Selling on ‘the River’ into a hard copy and I’ve sold some through Amazon. (Stay tuned for more on that in the near future.)


Radio Computer SupplyNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 7:05 am

Hey Steve,
Excited to buy the book to see where it can help me improve my eBay and Amazon sales.
Interested to see if you put the note in about the thrift stores locator in your GPS like we talked about.
Happy hunting (scouting) maybe we will bump into each other some day at a thrift store. :-)


SteveNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 11:01 am

Hi Jim – Doohhh! I forgot about that – although I did add it to my GPS. I will follow-up with a newsletter and include that information for everyone there. Thanks for the tip (and the reminder.)


JohnNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 6:55 am

Hi Steve,
I’m wondering whether the book is relevant to the UK or just the USA market?


SteveNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 11:00 am

John – This is very relevant to the UK site. (I even remembered to include links for UK thrift shops in it.) The concepts of finding, listing, and pricing are universal.


Flea Market GuideNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 4:02 am

Hey Steve,
This is what I have been looking and waiting for. The basics for getting started with books on Amazon.Your book and taking action should do it for me. Thanks also for not “stickin me up” with a great price……


Eruwan GerryNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 12:59 am

Hi Steve,
Thanks for creating this great ebook! Just what I’ve been looking for. :)


KimNo Gravatar December 30, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Steve, how is your book different than Nathan’s (Amazon FBA) book that you recommended previously? I’m trying to determine which one to buy. Thanks!


SteveNo Gravatar December 31, 2009 at 12:12 am

My new book describes in detail how I find, list, and price books and CDs on Amazon. Nathan’s book is all about the FBA program.


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