Does Zen Arbitrage Actually Work? An Honest Review

does zen arbitrage work

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The Zen Arbitrage marketing claims seem too good to be true, right?

I mean, come on… Can you really make money flipping books on Amazon?

Does Zen Arbitrage actually work?

The short answer is yes. Zen Arbitrage does actually work.

I’ve used it to successfully source books online for much of the 2+ years I’ve been selling books on Amazon.

There’s no trickery or B.S. involved ‒ You can absolutely make a significant amount of money sourcing books online with Zen Arbitrage.

The caveat is that you need to know what you’re doing.

It’s not as simple as the Zen Arbitrage marketing makes it out to be ‒ some books seem like good buys, but end up dropping in price or taking way too long to sell.

I’m going to be honest in this article, and share both the pros and the cons of sourcing books online using Zen Arbitrage. 

If you’d like to skip my analysis and just try it out for yourself, you can claim your 14-day free trial and get started right now.

Try Zen Arbitrage for FREE

The Benefits of Using Zen Arbitrage

Benefit #1: You can make money using Zen Arbitrage.

Online book arbitrage genuinely works.

The price gap between FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) offers and FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) offers can be astronomical, and savvy entrepreneurs can take advantage of these discrepancies.

As proof that it works, here are some examples of successful flips I’ve made using Zen Arbitrage.

Click the underlined links to see proof that I actually bought and sold these items at the prices shown.

Note: If you’re a mobile user, the table formatting might be off. You can view a properly formatted table at this link.

Book NameBuy PriceSell PriceDays until SaleNet Profit
Contract Law Fundamentals (6 copies)$5.79$79.9916 days $314.46
Urban Economics$25.56$123.3924 days$70.45
Understanding Post-Tonal Music$31.89$144.3152 days$66.03
Finite Mathematics$43.99$138.4119 days$63.79
Student Activities Manual $19.94$94.9918 days$51.71
Cognitive Psychology and Instruction $39.18$110.0543 days$46.72
Introduction to Learning and Behavior$14.39$111.0060 days$72.32
Research Methods in Education$51.79$124.0030 days$45.45
Major Problems in the Early Republic$17.55$82.5654 days$45.00
Microsoft Office 2016: A Skills Approach$25.63$88.6168 days$41.00
Foundations of Earth Science$19.27$90.0053 days$48.70
Government by the People$11.03$75.0045 days$44.54
Writing in the Health Professions$29.10$93.9934 days$43.18
Human Behavior and the Social Environment$21.44$74.4958 days$34.25
Educational Psychology$26.29$139.9955 days$84.14
Managing Classroom Behaviors$28.09$74.9539 days$30.29
Introduction to Developmental Psychology$10.80$52.9942 days$25.64
Chemistry: A Guided Inquiry$12.70$49.9511 days$21.40
Play, Development and Early Education$28.76$95.0026 days$44.35

All of these profitable flips and the many others I’ve done required only a couple of minutes of effort from me.

I found the books in Zen Arbitrage, bought them, and had Amazon ship them to my FBA book prep center. That’s it.

No lugging books in and out of my house. No checking conditions or scanning barcodes into Amazon Seller Central. No driving to the UPS store. Everything was out of sight and out of mind.


Benefit #2: There are more profitable flip opportunities than there are people.

I have zero trouble finding profitable flips when I search through Amazon’s book catalog with Zen Arbitrage.

The truth of the matter is that there are far less people sourcing books online than there are profitable books to be sourced.

If you’re persistent and you know what you’re looking for, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll run out of money to spend on books before your first day of sourcing is over.

Benefit #3: There’s zero physical effort involved.

The Zen Arbitrage business model requires zero physical effort.

Here’s the process:

  1. Find profitable books using Zen Arbitrage.
  2. Buy the books on Amazon.
  3. Have the seller send the books to a prep service who will handle the manual labor of listing, processing, and shipping for you.
  4. Amazon receives the books at one of their FBA warehouses.
  5. Amazon stores the book until it sells.
  6. Amazon ships the book to the buyer and deposits the profits into your bank account.

As you can see, you can handle every aspect of a book arbitrage business from your computer.

Benefit #4: Online book arbitrage is completely location independent.

The proliferation of FBA book prep services makes online book arbitrage a completely location independent business.

You don’t need to physically handle the books, as you can pay other people to do that for you.

All you need is an internet connection, a computer, an Amazon Seller Account, and access to Zen Arbitrage.

The Downsides of Using Zen Arbitrage

Downside #1: It’s hard work.

This is not a free lunch.

It’s hard work arguably harder than buying books locally at book sales and thrift stores.

I’m sure many will disagree with me when I say that.

And they have a point ‒ sitting at a computer is physically much easier than driving to a book sale and scanning books for hours on end.

I think using Zen Arbitrage is harder than local sourcing because of the long hours you need to be staring intensely at a computer screen, checking thousands of Amazon product pages, and scrolling through countless Zen Arbitrage search results pages.

This kind of work is not for everyone.

If you can’t stand being on a computer for hours on end, you’re probably going to hate using Zen Arbitrage.

But if you prefer sitting at home on your computer to your current job, you should give Zen Arbitrage a try.

Downside #2: It’s somewhat seasonal.

I’m going to be honest I tried to make full-time money sourcing books online year-round.

I legitimately stopped sourcing books locally and attempted to go full-time sourcing books online… and I just wasn’t able to swing it.

I had to resume sourcing locally at book sales and thrift stores to make sure the bills got paid.

I wasn’t able to swing it for two reasons.

First of all, I was reliant on textbook season price spikes to make significant money.

Note: “Textbook season” refers to the times of year that college students buy their textbooks.

There are two primary textbook seasons. One aligns with the spring semester, and the other aligns with the fall semester.

The first season runs from January to early February, and the second season runs from August to September.

As the demand for textbooks spikes dramatically during these times of year, so does the prices of these textbooks.

It’s fairly common for books that were selling for $10 before textbook season sell for $100+. You can see proof of this in the table of profitable flips I showed a bit earlier. 

Buying books at a low price before textbook season and selling them during the peak of textbook season is where you’ll make the majority of your money in book arbitrage.

Anyway, once textbook season died down, I found it harder to sell the books I purchased.

Many of the most profitable books have lower demand outside of textbook season, and I often found myself competing fiercely with other sellers to nab that elusive next sale.

This would inevitably drive the prices of the books down, and I would end up selling for less than I wanted to.

While I was still able to find plenty of profitable books outside of textbook season, I typically had to wait longer to sell those books.

This isn’t a huge deal. There are still plenty of profit opportunities outside of textbook season.

It’s just easier to make money during textbook season than after it ends.

Downside #3: You need money to make money.

This is the second reason I wasn’t able to swing a full-time income with online book arbitrage: I didn’t have enough startup money to generate a return substantial enough to live off of.

One of the biggest differences between online sourcing and local sourcing is that books online cost way more than $1 – $2. When I’m using Zen Arbitrage, my buy costs can be anywhere between $5 and $80.

That adds up extremely quickly, especially when you’re spending multiple hours a day sourcing.

If you don’t have a stockpile of liquid cash (or a decent line of credit) to make these purchases, it’s going to be hard to earn a full-time living from it. 

If you’re operating in the textbook off-season, it can take anywhere from two weeks to several months for you to see a return on any books you purchase.

This is absolutely fine if you have the funds to bankroll a bunch of book purchases, but it’s a long time to wait if you need those books to sell in order to fund additional inventory purchases.

I believe making a full-time living doing online book arbitrage is definitely possible.

It just requires a substantial amount of startup capital and a willingness to put in long hours on the computer sourcing books.

But here’s the best part: you don’t have to do this full-time.

Zen Arbitrage is an incredible source of part-time side income.

You can spend as little or as much time sourcing books with Zen Arbitrage as you want.

And you can source when it’s convenient for you, making it easy to fit it around your current work schedule.

Final thoughts

Zen Arbitrage works.

You can honestly make a lot money using Zen Arbitrage.

Sourcing books online is a legitimate and profitable venture, and many Amazon sellers will find it to be a welcome addition to their sourcing arsenal.

And even if you’ve never sold on Amazon before, the Zen Arbitrage money-making process is extremely simple and easy to understand.

That’s not to say it’s easy or automatic.

To be successful at this, you’ll need to put in the work to learn how to differentiate the profitable books from the duds.

Fortunately, your Zen Arbitrage subscription comes with a massive library of free training videos.

As long as you’re a hard worker who is willing to learn something new, you’ll be making money in no time.

To reiterate one last time: Zen Arbitrage works.

And because it works, I genuinely believe everyone looking to replace their job with a location-independent source of income should at least give Zen Arbitrage a try. 

If you want to start making money with Zen Arbitrage today, click on the affiliate link below to access your 14-day free trial now.

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Steve Rajeckas

Hi! I'm Steve. I've been selling books using Amazon's fulfillment service for more than two years. I love learning new things about the online bookselling world, and I hope my tips help you build and expand your own bookselling business.

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