Luke Sample Review | Can Reselling Books Create a Sustainable Amazon FBA Arbitrage Business?

January 30, 2023

Luke Sample and Jon Shugart are the partners behind the Book Profits and Higher Path Ventures programs. The two are the same programs under different names. Other names they previously used for the program are Textbook Money and Book Arbitrage. These programs provide the training and tools needed to create a sustainable business in reselling (arbitrage) books on Amazon FBA. By reselling books as Prime items on Amazon, you can make as much as over 1,000% profit margin.

While the low starting cost makes it a great way to learn how to sell on Amazon, Amazon FBA arbitrage is not a long term sustainable business model. FBA arbitrage is a good low-cost way to learn how to sell on Amazon before moving on to more long term sustainable business models like private label. Read along to find out how Luke turns this model into a sustainable business.

If you are looking for a long term sustainable business, I suggest local lead generation. With this model, you only need to work to create and rank your site on Google, then rent it out to local businesses. Once it's rented, you immediately earn passive income, like a sort of digital landlord. Local lead generation is a scalable business that can create true passive income.

How to Creates a Sustainable Amazon FBA Arbitrage Business With Luke Sample

While the low starting cost makes it a great way to learn how to sell on Amazon, Amazon FBA arbitrage is not a sustainable long term business model. Your profit is the difference between the price you sell it for and the discounted price you bought it for, plus Amazon fees. This means you'll need to spend a lot of time looking for the next best deal.

A good long term business is one that can be scaled so that it can eventually replace your 9-5 income. The only way to scale your arbitrage business is by automating work through outsourcing, but with the low profit margins, outsourcing becomes impractical. This, plus other disadvantages of arbitrage, makes it an unsustainable long term business model.

Disadvantages of Retail Arbitrage

There are several disadvantages when doing retail arbitrage. Buying in bulk and reselling can take a lot of time and work and yet lose you money.

  1. High Competition - There are tons of other sellers doing the same thing as you. High competition lowers prices and profit margins. If the competition is too tough, you might end up lowering the price just to sell while barely making a profit.
  2. Time Consuming - It takes a lot of your time to constantly be looking for the next profitable deal. Success with retail arbitrage requires a lot of time and effort to be invested.
  3. Hard to Scale - The only way to scale an arbitrage business is to automate the process by outsourcing the work. This creates further risks as you create further spending. You can lose money if the profits do not cover your employees' wages.
  4. Supply Chain Problem - You do not have control over the availability of the supply. If the retailer runs out of stock or refuses to sell to you, then you will have no product to sell. Quality control is also an issue with retail arbitrage. Manufacturers rarely honor warranties if the item was not purchased from an authorized distributor.
  5. No Control of Profit Margin - Not even taking Amazon’s 15% commission and shipping costs into account, profit margins with retail arbitrage are lower than those of the original retailer. Your profit depends on how much of a discount you can purchase the product and the Amazon selling price.
  6. No Customer Loyalty - You won’t be able to create a loyal customer base since you are unable to brand your business with retail arbitrage. You’ll need to constantly find the best deals to remain profitable regardless of category or niche.

Reselling Books With Luke Sample's Strategy

Luke's programs teach you 2 methods of reselling books on Amazon as Prime items. If you sell on Amazon FBA, your products automatically get an Amazon Prime badge. Amazon Prime badge displays your commitment to fulfill orders with the two-day delivery guarantee.

Stores that sell items on Amazon Prime report an increase in sales, with 67% of consumers reporting that they prefer buying items with Prime status. Forbes reported that 48% of Amazon Prime customers buy products online once a week or more frequently, while 74% shop on Amazon at least every few weeks.

Luke's method is supposed to increase the profit margins you can earn and make it easy for you to do that you can spend only a couple of hours a day.

  1. First method is by buying non-Prime books on Amazon and reselling it back on the platform as Prime items. Luke explains you can buy a non-Prime book for $11.52 and resell it on Amazon Prime for $174.
    You may resell items purchased on Amazon as long as you do not use Prime shipping or a Prime buyer account to purchase them. As long as you order them with regular shipping, your account will not be at risk of getting banned.
  2. The second method is by using a trade-ins software to buy cheap books from outside sellers and resell them on Amazon as high profit prime items. With this method, you may have to list your items as "used" or "like new".

With his program, he makes the process easier in 2 steps.

  1. Finding books to sell is made easy by the program. You use the Book Profits custom software to easily find profitable books on Amazon or the trade-ins software to find books from other sources. 
  2. When you purchase a book, you will ship it to Book Profit's outsourced book checking service. For $2 per book, they will receive, inspect, repackage and ship it to Amazon.

Technically, with the reduced workload and increased profits, you'll be able to scale your business. This even gives you the possibility of outsourcing the acquisition of books and other processes to potentially create passive income on Amazon.

Does Luke Sample's Method Work?

Luke Sample's method can make you money. Like any other retail arbitrage business, you can earn enough to replace your 9-5 if you invest a lot of time and effort. But can using his method earn you six figures?

In theory, with the reduced workload and increased profits, you'll be able to scale your business. This even gives you the possibility of outsourcing the acquisition of books and other processes to potentially create passive income. In practice, there haven't been any real world examples.

Who Is Luke Sample?

Luke Sample is an entrepreneur from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and is the co-founder of Book Profits and Higher Venture Programs. He has been doing internet marketing since the early 2000s before creating his first coaching program, CPA Wealth Coach, in 2008.

Luke has a chemistry degree in cell biology from Southeast Missouri State University, although he decided on doing internet marketing. Apart from working as the managing partner for the marketing company Elite Clicks Media from 2010 to 2011, Luke founded several marketing programs, most of which are now defunct. In 2016, Luke founded what is now Book Profits. 

Who Is Jon Shugart?

luke sample review

Jon Shugart is an entrepreneur from Gainesville, Georgia, and the co-founder and CEO of Book Profits. He is the man behind the technical aspects, custom software, and programs that Book Profits use.

Jon has a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from North Georgia College and University and a Masters of Education Leadership degree from the University of Southern Mississippi. He taught high school math for four years before enrolling in computer science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2000. He used the skills he learned here to create the Book Profits software.

Jon and Luke both claim that they were featured on the front page of one of the Wall Street Journal’s articles, but I could not find any record of this.

Luke Sample's Higher Path Ventures

Higher Path Ventures is a program that teaches and provides the tools you need to create an Amazon FBA arbitrage business reselling books. The founders of Book Profits, Luke Sample and Jon Shugart, are behind the Higher Path Ventures program. This is basically the same program as Book Profits system.

Enrolling in Higher Path Ventures costs an upfront fee of $3,500 and a recurring monthly fee of $297. The upfront fee will cover your training and coaching, while the monthly fee will be charged as long as you use their program for your business.

What Do You Get With Luke Sample's Higher Path Ventures?

Inside Higher Path Ventures, you’ll get a comprehensive training program on how to use Amazon and other online trade-in programs that will pay you for finding books online, as well as how to resell books on Amazon FBA (arbitrage). With the training, you also get biweekly coaching calls.

Aside from the training and coaching, Higher Path Ventures includes access to the Book Profits software, trade-ins software, 3rd party plugins, access to their outsourced book processing center, access to the private Facebook group and support portal, and invites to members only meetups and events.

How Do You Make Money With Luke Sample's Higher Path Ventures?

You can make money using the High Path Ventures strategy by buying non-Prime books and reselling them as Prime items for a staggering profit. However, if you want this business to replace what you earn in a full-time job, then you need to invest a good amount of time and money into building your business.

Does Higher Path Ventures Work?

There are many video testimonials on their website that show student success stories. There aren't any real world examples of students making as much as Higher Path Ventures advertizes. Most of those who submitted testimonials are retirees who use Higher Path Ventures' method to make extra income.

There is also the issue of the rebranding of the program. The program has changed name several times throughout the years, mostly because of negative feedback from clients. Issues such as the low profit margin and 365 refund policy are mentioned.

Amazon FBA Arbitrage FAQ

Retail arbitrage Amazon FBA is the process of purchasing items at a lower price from merchants (including online merchants) and reselling them on Amazon for at a higher price. Amazon handles the storage, packing, shipping and delivery. Amazon also handles customer service and returns for those orders.

Retail arbitrage is a good way to make quick money, but its potential for large profits is limited, particularly if you don't work on it full time. While not sustainable, it is a good way for beginners to learn about selling on an online marketplace. 

Is Retail Arbitrage Legal on Amazon?

Retail arbitrage is legal on Amazon so long as you are reselling legally acquired products. There are a number of challenges when doing retail arbitrage on Amazon.

  1. Amazon requires products sold as "new" to carry the original manufacturer’s warranty. Most manufacturers do not provide warranties for items sold by third parties. This means you may have to list your products as "like new" or "used" in order to avoid breaking Amazon's policies.
  2. Amazon may randomly ask new sellers to submit invoices for any of the items on their inventory as proof that they purchased them legally. If you are unable to provide such documents when requested, you risk having your store suspended.
  3. Some brands may not want unauthorized sellers reselling their branded products. You may be faced with legal issues if you resell branded items without permission.
  4. The product quality of the items you resell will affect your seller reputation. You need to make sure the items you are reselling are legit and of good quality.

How Much Does It Cost to Start an Amazon Retail Arbitrage?

With as little as $100 to $200 to invest in products to resell, you can start an Amazon retail arbitrage business. You can sign up for the Amazon seller individual plan that has no monthly fee but charges $0.99 for each item sold.

Amazon professional plan has a monthly fee of $39.99 per month. This plan is suited for sellers who have at least 40 sales a month. In addition to fulfillment fees, FBA has other monthly fees, such as an inventory fee, a high volume listing fee, a refund administration fee, an inventory placement service fee, and optional advertisement fees.

For every product sold on Amazon FBA, Amazon takes 15% of the selling price. This is the referral fee that Amazon charges for using their platform to sell your products.

Can a Non US Resident Do Amazon FBA?

Non US residents can do Amazon FBA as there are no restrictions for sellers based on where their primary business is located. However, you do need to register your company as a legal entity in the United States and get a FEIN.

Can You Make a Full Time Income From Retail Arbitrage?

You can make full time income that can replace your 9-5 with retail arbitrage. However, you will need to work on your arbitrage business full time. You need to keep monitoring the market to constantly look for best selling profitable products.

A beginner selling on Amazon FBA can make $100 monthly at 10% profit margins for an investment of $1,000. For a small investment in time and money, Selling on Amazon FBA can be a great way to earn extra income.

What Are the Risk in Arbitrage?

With retail arbitrage, there is always the risk of losing your investment. If your product doesn’t sell as well as you anticipated, you could end up with unsold inventory. You can either wait for it to sell and incur recurring storage fees, or you can sell it for a lower price and potentially lose money.

What Are Amazon Restricted Items?

Amazon restricts listings for gated categories to protect the customer, the original manufacturer or seller, and themselves. Items that are restricted on Amazon are products in categories that require document requests, performance checks, and other qualifications to prove authenticity are restricted for new, unproven sellers.

  • Automotive & Powersports
  • Collectible Coins
  • Entertainment Collectibles
  • Fine Art
  • Gift Cards
  • Jewelry
  • Music & DVD
  • Major Appliances
  • Sports Collectibles
  • Streaming Media Players
  • Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
  • Watches

Can You Sell Restricted Products on Amazon?

You cannot sell restricted products on Amazon as a new seller. To sell restricted products, you need to first request approval through the seller central. Before you apply, you must have a professional Amazon account, build a good reputation, and hit certain metrics:

  • Last shipment rate of less than 4%
  • Order defect rate of less than 1%
  • Pre-fulfillment cancellation rate of less than 2.5%

Which Products Are Ungated on Amazon?

Certain gated categories such as Jewelry, Music, Video, DVD & Blu-ray, require the seller to get approval from Amazon before selling these restricted products. Ungated products that are available for new sellers to sell include:

  • Amazon Device
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Automotive & Powersports
  • Baby Products (certain sub-categories require approval)
  • Beauty
  • Books
  • Collectible books
  • Camera & Photo
  • Cell Phones & Accessories
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Software, Video Games, and Consumer Electronics
  • Grocery & Gourmet Foods (certain sub-categories require approval)
  • Health & Personal Care (but certain sub-categories require approval)
  • Home & Garden
  • Independent Design
  • Industrial & Scientific
  • Kindle Accessories and Amazon Fire TV Accessories
  • Major Appliances
  • Musical Instruments
  • Office Products (certain sub-categories require approval)
  • Outdoors (certain sub-categories require approval)
  • Personal Computers (certain sub-categories require approval)
  • Pet Supplies (certain sub-categories require approval)
  • Software (specific products may require approval)
  • SportsNew
  • Tools & Home Improvement
  • Toys & Games (certain sub-categories require approval, and approval may be required to sell during the winter holiday season)
  • Video Games (specific products may require approval)

Is Amazon Arbitrage Worth It in 2023?

Retail Arbitrage still works as a good online business model in 2023. It is still popular with people who are trying to have an extra income. While it is a great way to supplement your income, you should not expect it to replace your 9-5 unless you invest a lot of time and hard work into it.

Another ecommerce business model that works with reselling products is dropshipping. Dropshipping is when you list products for sale on a marketplace without keeping stock. It works by finding discounted offers from one marketplace and selling it on another for a higher price. You only buy the discounted item once you make a sale. This eliminates the risks of having unsold stock.

Dropshipping comes with other risks though and dropshipping stores are constantly banned in marketplaces like Amazon for breaching policies. There are some companies, such as Dan Cohen’s Ecom Authority, that provide done-for-you dropshipping business services that can help lessen the risks and increase performance.

How to Earn Extra Income Without Paying Anything?

It's possible to make money online without paying anything. Affiliate marketing can create income online with little to no cost. Affiliate marketing works by promoting someone else’s product or service in exchange for a commission. You can do this by running paid ads, free methods such as social media marketing, or through your own business (such as a photographer promoting cameras).

One important part of affiliate marketing is picking the right profitable niche. You need to pick a profitable niche before investing time and money into it. It will save you a lot of hassle to know what kind of niches to avoid, such as travel clubs as promoted by Affiliate Nation.

Paid ads are king in affiliate marketing. Unless you already have an established social media following that you can leverage or have excellent skills at creating ads, free methods might not get you far. Paid marketing only means more spending and higher risks.

My Top Recommendation for Making Money Online in 2023

Local lead generation is my top recommendation for making money online in 2023. The best part is that it is easy to scale. All you need to do is repeat the process as many times as you want to scale your business. Once you get your site ranked and rented, you immediately earn a passive monthly income. There isn't much competition with this method, as you are targeting local businesses in smaller areas.

With local lead generation, you create and rank a website on Google using free tactics such as SEO, then rent it out to local businesses. These businesses will pay you a predictable passive income for the leads your site generates for them. It can take years before you need to update your site. This makes local lead generation the best online business that can create time and financial freedom for you.

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