Friday, November 14, 2014

The secret strategy to buying and selling used textbooks

It seems like it is all in the timing. See Textbook Arbitrage: Making Money Off Used Books by David Kestenbaum of NPR. Click here to see the definition of arbitrage.

 Excerpts from the NPR post: 
"... he guessed that the prices of the textbooks were going up and down with the college calendar. His theory was that prices would fall in summer (no one is looking for a nice textbook in July to curl up with on the beach) but then rise when classes begin and students really need the books."

"Over a year Bob and Kenny gathered data from Amazon on sales of all kinds of used textbooks, and they found the pattern was there for lots of textbooks — prices fell in the summer and jumped back up as classes started at the beginning of a semester. It was as if they'd found a stock that went up and down at very regular times, so that they could know exactly when to buy it, and exactly when to sell it."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

as far as NPR goes, that's just basic economics, right? the following proof seems relevant in this case:

In September the students come back and the bookstores are full. Let X equal the month of full bookstores. The number of books approaches infinity as the number of months of cold approaches four. I will never be as cold now as I will in the future. The future of cold is infinite. The future of heat is the future of cold. The bookstores are infinite and so are never full except in September