InterviewsA Conversation with Book Profits Founder Jon Shugart and Luke Sample on Amazon FBA Success

Jon Shugart, CEO of Book Profits, obtained his Bachelor of Science in mathematics with honors from North Georgia College & University. Mr. Shugart received his Masters of Education Leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi. However, after teaching high school mathematics for four years, Mr. Shugart caught the technology bug and enrolled at the Georgia Institute of Technology to study Computer Science in the year 2000. It was that decision that has led him down...
Sarah Olray3 months ago50923 min
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Jon Shugart, CEO of Book Profits, obtained his Bachelor of Science in mathematics with honors from North Georgia College & University. Mr. Shugart received his Masters of Education Leadership from the University of Southern Mississippi. However, after teaching high school mathematics for four years, Mr. Shugart caught the technology bug and enrolled at the Georgia Institute of Technology to study Computer Science in the year 2000. It was that decision that has led him down the path he is currently on.

Over the past 19 years, Jon Shugart has followed his passion for technology and entrepreneurship and he has built several multi-million dollar businesses from scratch along the way. But more important to him than just the revenue is that they have helped improve the quality of their customers’ lives.

It takes a lot of talent, passion, creativity, dedication, discipline, hard work, and leadership skills to build several multi-million-dollar businesses from scratch and to reach the top of several fields in a single lifetime. Luke Sample has been able to do that and much more in his early life.

Luke’s success in so many diverse areas comes from a combination of his insatiable desire for excellence coupled with an unrivaled ability to never give up until the goal is reached.

One doesn’t get featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal as a 23 year old entrepreneur, or generate more than $50 million in online sales without putting everything together successfully.

Whether it’s his early successes in life as an athlete, a student, an artist, a musician and band founder, or in later years a successful founder and builder of companies, Luke is always striving for that next big goal or achievement in life.

But what is most unique about Luke and the thing he is most proud of is his ability to create success in other people. Creating success for himself is one thing, but the ability to help someone else achieve their own dreams and reach their own goals with his help is what really drives Luke now. He has been able to help thousands of people quit their jobs, make hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in several cases millions of dollars.

Creating several millionaires from humble beginnings or scratch is no small task yet it’s one Luke has been able to do over and over again, most recently with his partner Jon Shugart and the Book Profits training program.

We recently found a moment to interview the founders of Book Profits, Jon Shugart and Luke Sample, and learn how online entrepreneurs are achieving FBA mastery by realizing the profit potential on the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon.com.

What is Book Profits?

Book Profits is an online training program along with sophisticated software created by Jon Shugart and Luke Sample to allow you to work from home and build a solid business using book arbitrage strategies on Amazon.com, the world’s largest retailer.

How do you find books for resale on Amazon?

You can do this manually, and you can make some money, especially at certain times of the year. I mean, when it comes to trading in, there are deals every day. So don’t take what I’m about to say as, “Oh, it only happens certain times of the year.” There are deals every day because we have people that are doing it every day. But there are seasons, just like think of like Christmas season, right. There are seasons, and there are about three seasons every year, because of college semesters and quarters. At the end of the quarters, people, the companies that want to buy the books to resell next quarter or next semester, start raising their prices that they’ll pay based on their inventory levels.

What we did is we wrote software, and our software is basically a tool that we use and other people that we are teaching that they use to make it super easy for anything to find opportunities. And you basically click a button. It’s a Chrome extension, one of our tools. It’s a Chrome extension, and it analyzes the page on Amazon, and it shows you all the different books that are available right now that are profitable. It shows you historical trade-in pricing, so you can know, well, maybe it’s not profitable today, but it might be profitable again soon, because the highest trade-in value is $50 higher than it is right now. So it gives you some insight into how the market moves, basically.

And so we have alerts. So in our software, you can set alerts. So if something’s not a profit today but it has a high history of trade-in values, you can actually set an alert to be notified if that trade-in price goes up. So you don’t have to sit there and watch it all the time. So we’ve just done a lot to automate how to do this, basically.

What type of strategy would you recommend for somebody starting out?

This is a business that you can either do as little or as much as you want to in. We really have a person that started with $100. I wouldn’t recommend this, because it takes a long time.  The more capital you have, the faster you can go, but it’s not needed. What we tell people is this. If you can apply for, let’s just say, an Amazon, they have a credit card that gives you 5% back. If you can apply for the Amazon store card, and they also have one that’ll give you 3%. that’s a Visa card. You can apply for that, and let’s just say you get a $500 or $1,000 limit or more if you want, but it’s still $500 to $1,000 to start with. Just use that and the books, do the trade-ins because that’s guaranteed risk-free, and then just start cycling that money. And that’s it.

Make the minimum payment. You don’t need to pay it off every month, because what you’re going to find, what we teach people and show them mathematically, your return on that money is so much better if you’ll just use that money. Even if you’re paying 29% on it, whatever, you’re going to make 1,000% on that 1,000 bucks in a year. So paying 29% a year, as long as you make the minimum payments, that’s all you really need to do.

What you’re really doing is you’re going to take that 1,000 bucks.   Let’s say you use all of it for one session of books and you buy 10 books for 100 bucks each. And let’s say you trade them all in for 120 each. So now you’ve got $1,200, but you don’t have $1,200 in cash. You’ve got an Amazon gift card balance. So you take that $1,200 Amazon gift card balance, and then you buy $1,200 worth of books, and then you roll that over. So you start with that 1,000 bucks, but you just make your minimum $50 a month payment on it, and you’re taking it and you’re rolling. You’re building this.

So I’ll give you a perfect example. We had a recent college graduate. He had no money, but he was able to get a credit card for $5,000.  It was an Amazon store card. He took that $5,000 and with the trade-ins, in his first month he made an extra $4,800. So he had $9,800 in his first month. He took that $9,800, and then he started buying to resell. Let me make sure I do the math. In his first year, starting with just the $5,000 credit card, his first year he ended up doing over $150,000. And about half of that was profit, he said. About $75,000 to $80,000 was profit in his first year.  You can’t get a job like that getting out of college.

And look, that was his first year. Here’s where it gets even, I mean, it gets a little crazier. So that was September of last year, of 2017. So then he goes into this year. I don’t know his whole stats, because he hasn’t shared recently, but I do know as of just the month of January 2018, he did $58,000 in sales with about 20, 28, $30,000 of that being profit just in one month, in January of 2018. So think about that. He started with just 5,000. He’s paid that off, by the way, is a $5,000 credit card, but he didn’t for a while. He just left that alone, made minimum payments and he kept using the money and rolling it over, and it took him a year and he had turned it into $80,000.

And he told me he would only take a little out that he needed because he was driving Uber. And this is what I tell people. “Look, this is a business.” He didn’t touch the books, by the way. We really didn’t get into that, but he uses what’s called a processing center or prep center, and he has all the books shipped to somebody else and they package them up and ship them to Amazon. And it’s easy to do.

What’s the cost of that?

I think they do it on a per book basis, and it’s probably like a dollar a book or something like that.

So as long as you account for that in your margins, I mean, you never have to touch these books. And so all he does, he’s traveling and he’s young. He’s 25, I think, and he’s backpacking, hiking, camping. And he has a laptop and a hotspot and he checks his books and he buys books… I mean, he’s living the dream, really.

It makes a lot of sense to use that processing center because you’re saving a lot of time.

Oh, yeah. We encourage people as they move through the program, the sooner, the better that they can use the prep service. Some people like to do it. I guess they feel like they like to see the books and they like to inspect them and make sure they’re good and all that. But really, to scale the business, yeah, you’ve got to use the prep. I mean, why would you want to, like you said, waste the time handling the books when for a buck a book, you could have somebody else do it and just enjoy your life.

Maybe you could break down a couple of action steps on what people can do to get started and what can they do to learn more information about what it is that you’re doing and even information about the software, because I think that’s a pretty important key, too.

100%. Let’s go back to the time question, right? Everything that we’ve done, someone else could do. I’ve given them the information. We’re trading books in, looking on Amazon, finding things that you can trade in higher than what you can buy them for. We’re buying books low and we’re selling them high. All those things someone can do. If they want to invest the time manually, you can do that. However, if you want to just ride the coattails of people that have already done it for the last three years and have a system in place and everything really just handed to you, then that would be my recommendation. Yes, we have software that people can pay for. It’s SaaS software. We have a community of people that we live help sessions twice a week, get on, people would ask us questions.

And so here’s what I would say. We actually have a public Facebook group that’s for anybody that’s interested in doing this. And we have our current members are part of that group, and then we have people that are not members part of the group. And you can go in and you can talk with people because I’m not here to sell you anything. My own father does this to make extra money. So I know it works, and every month he makes supplement to his retirement. So I’m not here to sell anything. So we let people come into that group, and they can ask questions. They can talk with real members who are really doing it. They can see real screenshots of the members. It’s as easy. There’s no hard sell. There’s a video that they can watch if they want to that goes into a lot more detail. It shows the software and all that.

So anyway, if they want, if they’re interested and they want to find out more or just talk to some people, I would go to this link: onlinebiz.tips/group. All right. And if you go there, it’ll take you to a Facebook group and you can request to join, and we’ll approve that. And I mean, you can find out all you want to do in that group, 100%.

I don’t think we’ve had anybody that’s actually done it that it hasn’t worked for. Now, we’ve got people that don’t do it, that will join the group and then they don’t do anything. But anybody that actually does it, we’ve seen success. They may struggle a little in the beginning, because there’s a little bit of a learning curve, but I wouldn’t even tell you that if I’m trying to pitch you something. I’m just telling you straight up. If you’ll stick with this, there’s no way you won’t have success with it. I mean, we’ve just seen it from too many people.

I want to thank Jon Shugart from BookProfits for spending some time with us today and showing us how anyone can achieve Amazon FBA Mastery.




Sarah Olray

I am writing and a journalist based in Singapore. My passion is journalism and PR coverages for small and medium-sized businesses around the world. Since the start of my career, I have been in Content Marketing and have proven record by featuring businesses, products and technology on various news outlets like Forbes.com, entrepreneur.com, vizaca.com, inc.com, businessinsider.com and thriveglobal.com