The Authoritative Guide on How it Works...
Sometime ago, I reviewed a book titled Online Arbitrage by Chris Green. Given the response the book elicited, I decided to review another book on arbitrage. Interestingly, when I was researching the right book to review, I found another book on arbitrage by the same author. So this is going to be a book review of that book: Arbitrage: The authoritative guide on how it works, why it works, and how it can work for you by Chris Green.
I believe arbitrage is an exciting concept, especially in the case of ecommerce. Arbitrage is a deal where you get two matching orders, one of which wants to buy, and the other that wants to sell the same object. You match the deal and gain the profit, which is the difference between the buying and the selling price.
Ecommerce is not necessarily conducive to arbitrage because it is not as efficient a market as one would have required for arbitrage to work. However, in a sense, online marketplaces do allow you to do that. That is the theme of the book that I am reviewing today.
Naturally, arbitrage between the offline and online worlds will create many opportunities, which would not as easily be replicable in an online-to-online arbitrage. Let me explain: if you buy goods that are not easy to locate, you could make a neat sum if you could find buyers online. You could do the same by buying from an ecommerce store and selling on an ecommerce marketplace, but that may not offer the same amount of margins, as online arbitrage opportunities tend to thin out fast.
This book is especially useful for people who would like to sell on Amazon, using FBA, i.e., "Fulfilled by Amazon service." Since Chris Green is an expert in arbitrage, one would expect that he might do some self-promotion for his website or digital business, and that has happened in this book. If this bothers you, then you may not want to buy this book.
One of the problems I have with ebooks, as opposed to physical books, is that they do not seem to go through the same rigor of editing, proofing, and formatting. That is true even for this book. If you like an author to write in a friendly conversational tone without being too bothered about the accuracy of language, then this book could work for you. However, if you like books to be in the classic format where a lot of effort has gone into formatting them, then this book may not be suitable.
Overall, my verdict is that this book is worth a read. It, however, does not measure up to the expectations one would have from an "authoritative book." I will continue to seek the Holy Grail, i.e., a book that would truly make you the "dragon warrior" of online arbitrage. Nevertheless, at the end, as in the case of the movie KungFu Panda, the secret to success may not be in the dragon scroll, but within you. I know that sounds all mushy, but that is the conclusion I ahve reached.
Some More Books That Ecommerce Professionals Will Enjoy Reading
- E-commerce Get It Right! by Ian Daniel
- Ecommerce Best Practices by Thomas M McFadyen
- Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords by Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd
- By Invitation Only by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson