Peter Valley’s Zen Arbitrage Review: Can You Make a Full-Time Income with Online Book Arbitrage?

July 31, 2023

Zen Arbitrage is an online book arbitrage software created by Peter Valley. It capitalizes on the idea that Amazon buyers will pay more for Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) offers than Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM) offers, making it profitable to buy cheap textbooks and resell them for a higher price on the Amazon marketplace via FBA.

However, it’s hard to make a full-time income with online book arbitrage in 2024 because of low-profit margins and inconsistent returns. The market is also getting increasingly competitive, especially when selling books during textbook seasons (around January and August). Moreover, Amazon FBA fulfillment fees deduct 10-15% of your revenue, further reducing your book profits.

Peter Valley’s Zen Arbitrage Review: Pros and Cons


Web-Based: As long as you have an internet connection, you can access the platform on any device with no software downloads.

No Inventory Management: Once you get the books to Amazon, they’ll handle all your inventory for you.

Free Trial: Zen Arbitrage has a free 14-day trial where you are given unlimited access to their entire system.

Location Independent: You can run your Amazon book arbitrage business anywhere in the world.

Big Database: Their extensive database of over 21 million books can be a great arbitrage opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Prep Service Partnership: Zen Arbitrage has a prep service partner in the US that can receive and ship books on your behalf.

Price Drop Monitoring Tool: You can create a list of books to monitor and receive instant emails once their price drops below the price you set.

Training Program: A Zen arbitrage subscription comes with a training program, which is helpful for beginners.

Easy to Use: Every feature you need is in one simple dashboard.

Private Community: You’ll get access to their private Facebook group and live monthly webinars.


Time-Consuming: The business model is time-consuming. You’ll have to constantly search through Zen Arbitrage’s large database and find enough books that could generate considerable income.

Seasonality: The demand for textbooks depends highly on specific seasons, particularly at the start of a school semester.

Low-Profit Margins: The average net profit for a book is around $20-$50, so you need to find and sell many books to accumulate a significant profit.

Amazon Restrictions: You’re at the mercy of Amazon, as they have the authority to restrict certain books from being sold by any Amazon seller.

Occasional Inaccurate Rankings: There’s a possibility that a book's sales rank on Zen Arbitrage differs significantly from the actual rank on Amazon, so you still have to do research to verify the software’s information.

Not Passive: You have to constantly find books to resell in order to make money online.

Book Purchases Can Quickly Add Up: While the ideal buying price of a book is $20 or less, this number accumulates as you buy more. This makes the venture riskier as you spend more money without a 100% guarantee of getting it back.


$97 monthly subscription, $799 annual plan

Refund Policy

100% refund if the request is made within 30 days of getting a subscription




Peter Valley is a pioneer of online book arbitrage, and Zen Arbitrage is one of the best tools for the business model, with a greater array of features compared to other book arbitrage software.

What Is Zen Arbitrage?

Zen Arbitrage is an online tool for people doing book arbitrage. It helps you resell books through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) by providing a large database where you can find cheap and used books, buy them on Amazon’s Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN), and gain profit by reselling them at a higher price via FBA.

Overall Zen Arbitrage Review: Can You Make a Full-Time Income with Online Book Arbitrage?

It’s difficult to make a full-time income with online book arbitrage. The business model is better used as a side hustle or part-time project to earn extra money. While any book can be resold on Amazon, textbooks are a popular choice because they have the highest profit margins. This leads to an oversaturated market, as people doing book arbitrage compete for the same titles. Plus, the business model’s seasonality makes it an inconsistent source of income, with limited selling opportunities outside of peak seasons.

In general, online book arbitrage also yields low-profit margins. Book prices are usually very competitive, leaving lesser opportunities for significant returns. Additional costs such as shipping, FBA fees, and prep service costs can eat into your net profit. So, to generate a considerable income, you need to sell a lot of books.

How Much Money Can You Make with Zen Arbitrage?

You can make $500 to $2,000 per month within 3 to 6 months of using Zen Arbitrage to run your online book arbitrage business. The money you make will depend on the difference between your books’ buying price and selling price, so the key is to find books with higher markups to generate more profit. You should aim for 50-75% returns when you’re looking for books to resell.

According to Peter Valley, you can start with only $50 and grow your business because of the cash-compounding effect. This is assuming that you get a 50% return on every book you have purchased, which isn’t a guarantee. You won’t always get consistent returns, nor be able to resell all the books in your inventory. As your business grows and you buy more books, the risk of unsold inventory also goes higher.

Is Zen Arbitrage Legit?

Zen Arbitrage is a legitimate tool that helps you make money with online book arbitrage. However, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll make money after subscribing to the software. To make a profit, you still need to understand the Amazon book arbitrage process and put a lot of work and hours into this business.

Who Is Zen Arbitrage For?

Zen Arbitrage is for people who understand how online book arbitrage works and are willing to put in a lot of work to succeed in this venture. By starting an online book arbitrage business, you’re signing yourself up for many hours scouring the database to find profitable books. You also need to have the capital to purchase books and understand that in your first month, you won’t be able to make money for at least 3 weeks because of logistics.

Moreover, if you have what Peter Valley calls a “flipper mindset,” Zen Arbitrage is not for you. Peter took a stance against “book flippers” in 2021. He defines them as people who:

  • Have a get-rich-quick mindset
  • Fixate on how fast their inventory sells
  • Fixate on one profitable book
  • Don’t care about the process, only the results
  • Are not willing to learn

How Much Does Zen Arbitrage Cost?

Zen Arbitrage costs $97 monthly. You can also get an annual subscription for $799 in your first year. However, that only covers the cost of using Zen Arbitrage’s software and services. You also need to consider how much you’re willing to spend in buying books to resell. Consider these guidelines recommended by Zen Arbitrage:

  • If you have a low budget ($100-$500): Set the buy price to $15-$20 for each book, and resell them for $35-$40. Expect lower profits per book.
  • If you have little time: Set the buy price to $20-30 and the Amazon price above $50.
  • If you want to sell books quickly: Set the buy price to $30-$40 and average rank to 75k on Amazon. You’ll likely see more restrictions for quick-selling books.
  • If you want to double your money: Set the buy price to $50-$70 and above. This is riskier as you’re spending more to get more money.

How Many Days of Free Trial Are Offered by Zen Arbitrage?

Zen Arbitrage offers a 14-day free trial which grants you full access to their entire database. You can also extend your trial by sending them an email at

Are There Additional or Hidden Fees When Getting a Zen Arbitrage Subscription?

There are no additional or hidden fees when getting a Zen Arbitrage subscription. However, you should take note of FBA seller fees, which costs 10-15% of your revenue. Additionally, if you’re planning to use Zen Arbitrage’s prep service, it will cost you $1.50 per book.

Is There a Contract for Zen Arbitrage That I Should Know About?

No, you don’t have to sign any contract when subscribing to Zen Arbitrage. You can cancel anytime you want, even if you only used the free trial.

What Do You Get in Zen Arbitrage?

  • Complete Software Access: Even with the free trial, you’ll get access to all Zen Arbitrage features such as their massive database, transparent pricing, FBA Automator, etc.
  • Complete Training Course: The platform provides comprehensive training through a tutorial library with over 50 videos and access to recorded webinars covering all aspects of selling on Amazon.
  • Private Facebook Group: Users gain entry to a Private Facebook Group with a community of over 1,000 Zen Arbitrage members.
  • Monthly Live Webinars: Monthly live webinars with Peter Valley and the community allow for real-time learning and interaction.
  • Peter Valley’s Phone Number: You’ll receive support directly from the creator.
  • Prep Service Partner: For an additional fee of $1.50 per book, you can use Zen Arbitrage’s prep service partner for streamlined book preparation.
  • Customer Support: You can ask their team to give you an analysis of the books you’re thinking of buying and whether they’re profitable arbitrage opportunities.
  • Free eBook: You’ll be given a free digital copy of Peter Valley’s “Online Book Arbitrage: Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Money Selling Books in Your Pajamas.”

What Are Zen Arbitrage’s Features?

  • Amazon Book Database: You’ll get access to an extensive database of over 21 million books.
  • Transparent Pricing: The platform offers transparent pricing, including shipping costs, to ensure accurate profitability calculations for potential book purchases.
  • FBA Automator: This allows you to view FBA offers for all books in the database.
  • Historical Sales Rank Data: This data is presented in charts that give you insights into past book sales and pricing trends.
  • 12-Month Average Rank: This feature indicates a book’s demand over the last year, which helps you assess its market viability.
  • Textbook Database: With a curated library of over 300,000 textbooks, you can explore lucrative opportunities in the textbook market.
  • Built-in Profit Calculator: This tool makes it easier to calculate how much profit you’ll make with a book before buying it.
  • Amazon Trade-In Value: This feature will help you make informed decisions on potential trade-ins.
  • Lead Liquidation: You can earn extra income through lead liquidation by selling book leads to the platform's arbitrage marketplace.
  • Search Circumvention: The search circumvention feature enables you to pay other sellers for access to profitable leads they’ve discovered.
  • Laser-Precise Search Options: Filters such as the number of offers, condition (used/new), sales rank, and book category, enhance search accuracy.
  • Price Drop Monitor Feature: You can create a list of books you want to monitor and get notified through email when their prices drop.
  • Export Capability: You can export your results to spreadsheets to help you with data analysis and management.
  • Built-In Analytics Tools: These help you better understand sales and profitability data.
  • Automated Profit Tracking: You can track all your book purchases, sales, and profits directly inside Zen Arbitrage.
  • Save Search Feature: You can save your search criteria for future reference.
  • Automated Scan: Zen Arbitrage performs an automated scan of 40+ bookselling sites, enabling you to discover affordable books beyond Amazon.
  • Restricted Book Check: This helps you identify books with selling restrictions, avoiding potential complications during the arbitrage process.

How to Use Zen Arbitrage (7 Simple Steps)

  • Set Your Parameters: Customize your search parameters to suit your preferences and needs. Set your price range for used books, choose the desired sales ranking, and decide whether you want to focus on textbooks. Additionally, you can control the number of competing Amazon FBA offers, use specific search criteria like title, ISBN, or publisher, and save your preferred search settings for future use. Once you're satisfied with your parameters, click "Apply Filters" or "Save" to add the search to your library of saved searches.
  • Go Over the Results: Try to look for books where the difference between the FBA price and the used price is triple. Use the built-in calculator for faster calculations. Ignore the search results in blue because they’re restricted books.
  • Search for the Book on Amazon: Once you find a book you’re interested in buying, click on the ISBN and it’ll take you to the Amazon page. Pick a seller and add the product to your cart. You’ll need an Amazon account for this.
  • Buy the Book: When you buy a book, you can choose to get it delivered to you or to Zen Arbitrage’s prep service partner. It usually takes 5-7 days for the books to arrive.
  • Ship the Book to an Amazon Warehouse: If you had the book delivered to you, you’ll be responsible for listing it on Amazon and shipping them to an Amazon warehouse. If your book was shipped to Zen Arbitrage’s prep service partner, they’ll do all the work for you for $1.50 per book. Shipping to Amazon takes 3-7 days.
  • Go Live: Once your book gets to an Amazon warehouse, they’ll process your book and make it available for sale. Processing will take 3-7 days. After that, your book is ready for purchase.
  • Repeat the Process: You can repeat this process as many times as you want as long as you have the money to fund it.

Is Zen Arbitrage Available in All Countries?

Yes, Zen Arbitrage is available in all countries. When you order books from Amazon, they’re delivered to Zen Arbitrage's service partner in the US, who then ships them to FBA warehouses, streamlining the process regardless of your location.

Do I Need to Be an Experienced Amazon Seller to Use Zen Arbitrage?

No, you don’t need to be an experienced Amazon seller to use Zen Arbitrage. Zen Arbitrage provides full training that works for everyone, regardless of your level of experience in the field.

Zen Arbitrage Reviews: What Are Zen Arbitrage Subscribers Saying Online?

Zen Arbitrage has mixed reviews from its subscribers. While their website has a lot of testimonials showing that students have made money in their first month, some external reviews reported having lost money.

Zen Arbitrage has 3 stars over 2 reviews on Trustpilot. One claimed that they have lost hundreds through Zen Arbitrage because Amazon had restricted them from selling the books they bought. They lost even more when they realized that the rankings from their software is nowhere near the rankings on Amazon, making it harder for them to sell the books quickly. The other review mentioned that Zen Arbitrage was not for them and they instead made money from the platform through lead liquidation (looking for books for other people and getting paid for leads).

Have Subscribers Made Money from Zen Arbitrage?

Yes, subscribers have made money from Zen Arbitrage. Members from Zen Arbitrage’s Facebook group have reported varying amounts of profit. For their first week, the earnings of some subscribers ranged from $75 to $1300. For their first month, some of them have reported earnings ranging from $595 to $1267.

3 Zen Arbitrage Alternatives

  • eFlip: eFlip is another online book arbitrage sourcing tool that costs $79 per month with a 21-day free trial.
  • Source Mogul: Source Mogul is a retail arbitrage software that searches not only books but other profitable products that you can resell on Amazon. It costs $97 per month, with a 7-day free trial.
  • Tactical Arbitrage: Similar to Source Mogul, Tactical Arbitrage is another online arbitrage software for sourcing different kinds of products. It costs $70-$95 per month with a 7-day free trial.

If you want to find more tools for your retail arbitrage business, check out our list of the best Amazon retail arbitrage scanner apps.

Who Is the Creator of Zen Arbitrage?

Peter Valley is the creator of Zen Arbitrage. He’s an online business entrepreneur based in Boulder, Colorado. He started his career as an Amazon seller in 2007 and has sold tens of thousands of books since then. In 2015, he pioneered the online book arbitrage business model. He’s also the author of different books, such as Online Book Arbitrage, Feedback Mastery, and Outsourcing Amazon. Additionally, Peter teaches Amazon selling through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) on his website, FBA Mastery. Aside from Zen Arbitrage, Peter Valley has launched other products: PriceHack, RepriceAlytics, and TruRank.

Is Peter Valley Legit or a Scam?

Peter Valley is legit and not a scam. People can make money through Zen Arbitrage. However, Peter Valley is not really a widely recognized public figure. He wasn’t featured in many interviews or media, and his following on social media is significantly low.

How Active is Peter Valley in Zen Arbitrage?

Peter Valley is very active in Zen Arbitrage. Subscribers will get access to his phone number, allowing them to text him at any time. He also replies to comments on his exclusive Facebook group and hosts a monthly webinar with his community.

What Is Online Book Arbitrage?

Online book arbitrage is a form of retail arbitrage where sellers leverage online platforms to buy books at lower prices from one marketplace and then resell them at higher prices on another marketplace to make a profit. Typically, sellers use software like Zen Arbitrage to identify undervalued books listed on platforms like eBay, thrift stores, or other online bookstores, and then list them for sale on Amazon or other high-traffic book marketplaces where demand and prices are higher.

How Does Amazon Book Arbitrage Work?

Amazon book arbitrage works by buying cheap books from sellers within the Amazon Merchant Fulfilled Network or other platforms and reselling them on Amazon for a higher price to make a profit.

Is Amazon Book Arbitrage Profitable in 2024?

Yes, Amazon book arbitrage is profitable in 2024, but it’s not a consistent source of income and it’s one of the least profitable Amazon business models. If you want to succeed in book arbitrage, do thorough product research to discover books with a proven track record of selling well.

Is Amazon Book Arbitrage Legal?

Yes, Amazon book arbitrage is legal, as long as the products you’re selling are not restricted or counterfeit. So, ensure that the books you’re selling are original, and be critical of where you’re sourcing them.

Is Amazon Book Arbitrage High Risk?

Amazon book arbitrage is risky because it's competitive and has low profit margin potential. The inconsistent demand and price fluctuations also make it hard to get a stable income and find arbitrage opportunities. There’s no guarantee that every book in your inventory will sell, especially if you end up acquiring slow-selling books. Plus, Amazon restrictions and shipping issues could arise, making it harder for you to sell books quickly.

3 Online Book Arbitrage Courses to Learn More About the Business Model

  • Higher Path Ventures by Luke Sample: This training program teaches how to do book arbitrage as well as profit on trade-in programs. You’ll also get access to their Book Profits System.
  • Beginners’ Guide to Reselling Books on Amazon FBA by Stone River eLearning: This free 3-4 hour course will introduce you to the concept of online book arbitrage and how to get cheap books using ZenArbitrage and eFlip.
  • Book Flipper University by Caleb Roth: This is a 30-day course from the creator of eFlip. In this course, you’ll learn how to find books that you can turn into profitable Amazon flips.

So, Does Zen Arbitrage Actually Work?

Yes, Zen Arbitrage actually works, but it comes with challenges like low profit margins, high competition, and inconsistent returns. While some people have found success in Zen Arbitrage, it may not work for everyone as a full-time source of income.

If you’re looking for a more profitable business model, consider local lead generation. It involves ranking your lead generation website on Google and renting it to local businesses. Compared to online book arbitrage, local lead generation provides higher profit margins and a more stable income. Check out this local lead generation course to take charge of your financial future today.

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Ippei Kanehara

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