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Customer Discussions > Textbook Buyback forum

Why do some sellers list ordinary books for truly exorbitant amounts?

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Showing 1-25 of 97 posts in this discussion
Posted on May 14, 2016 4:37:11 AM PDT
I am receiving no royalties from any of these vendors. Are they actually purchasing my books from Amazon and reselling them at high profit?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2016 11:06:08 AM PST
Swim Swim says:
Thank You Mary, It just should not be ignored!

Posted on Mar 7, 2016 6:33:47 PM PST
Mary says:
I am glad I looked this up. Now I understand more. I was curious because I came across a book I just purchased from Amazon in November for 16 that 3rd party sellers are now asking over $2000 for. Are they serious? LOL.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2016 8:37:12 AM PST
Ben Gilbers says:
the penny sales eliminate the amazon percentage thus the shipping becomes pure (or almost pure) profit if you are a pro seller and you sell in volume. I wonder if someday Amazon puts a limit on this. I listed a book for $60 while the other three offers were $300 which I thought was ridiculous. The other postings for this book were around 10 with lots of penny sales. I got flagged by Amazon and my listing cancelled because it was too low. Crazy. They are forcing me to list at either 10 or 300. I am going to try to create a new listing but will probably fail. I also notice the very high prices have brackets and parenthesis in the title which must mean something to a search engine? I think i will just list this one on ebay. Crazy...

Posted on Jun 7, 2015 8:19:00 PM PDT
D.D. Maurer says:
My book was listed for sale at 60% of its cost on its Amazon listing as "new" or "used", but here's the thing: *it hadn't even yet been released by the publisher.* HOW IN THE WORLD IS this possible? I feel like Amazon is royally screwing authors.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2015 11:34:19 AM PDT
I just saw a basic travel guide for Oslo and Bergen listed at £999.10, and twice at £999.11. Are these people having a laugh!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2015 8:19:07 PM PDT
Sue says:
No. As an academic librarian for 9 years, I can tell you no way. Libraries use their own vendors, you know, publishers' discounts (because of volume) and all that. I can't see any library buying anything from Amazon, except for very very small public libraries. Or perhaps if an item is very rare, and a faculty member or student really wants such a title, but then typically the book is obtained through interlibrary loan. Libraries are very frugal with their purchases; believe me there are enough items any library needs that makes buying anything at an inflated price just to spend money, ridiculous. We welcome and encourage faculty opinions in developing library collections.

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 7:11:02 PM PST
LaughingRain says:
I'm an author and I don't want to be associated with sellers who make a "killing" off of the ignorance of others. those "ignorant" others are my friends who also happen to be my readers. I am not flattered my work may sell for a price I had nothing to do with fixing and nobody could possibly be stupid enough to purchase my work for that high of a price..maybe next century.

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 3:32:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2015 3:48:15 PM PST
I have been scanning the various answers (and perplexities) in this discussion. I don`t think it is a "problem" per say; third party sellers of books and/or other items can charge whatever price the like - since everyone and their brother are into the game of undercutting prices, and driving it down to zero, this price war will eventually crash and burn. You have to consider first that it is a Free Enterprise, YOU, personally, have NO CONTROL over the decisions others make in setting their own prices, "and" there is no Price Guide"" like there would be if it were a Comic Book. FYI: If you walk into a walmart or outlet, you will find reasonably priced items, but those are not the rock bottom prices you could get for the very same product. Look at prices for a single product across the US, are they all identical? Of course not! How would the supplier make a profit off buyers if those willing to pay the exorbitant price-(s) didn`t pay the higher value? You would go NOWHERE!! Hello? Are you listening?? Are you going to charge half of the value when you sell it and come up short when you get a sale? Why would you only want to only get a percentage of the price to acquire it from the supplier? You`d be so far down the totem people - it would take years to get out of the hole unless you have thousands of products to list, and not every one of them will sell. That would be ridiculous, no, you`d charge double, so that you get a profit and are able to reinvest. All those "under-cutters" may be getting the "quick penny", but those who want to make a slow-dime profit by choosing their own prices and holding out. You can`t decide for others what "their price should be" just because YOU want to stay low and sell fast. Those who disagree, simply do not know economics that well, and profiteers like DSD are making a killing off of the ignorance of others.

Posted on Jan 31, 2015 3:10:23 PM PST
Pam L. says:
I'm very perplexed as to why any bookseller would list an ordinary used paperback for $500, because I can't imagine anyone ever buying that book when there's a long list of sellers listing the same book for one cent. Are these booksellers (who ask $500) stupid? Every buyer on Amazon can see all the prices listed for the book. I just looked up the paperback novel STILL MISSING by Chevy Stevens. I could buy it for one penny or I could buy it for $500. Oh my gosh, what a hard decision that is. I can't imagine how they can scam or swindle a buyer, because NO ONE WILL BUY THE $500 USED PAPERBACK. I wouldn't buy it even if it was hardback, new, and signed by the author. In defense of the majority of Amazon booksellers, almost everyone I have bought from (several hundred) has sent books in great condition, very quickly, and for a very fair price.

Posted on Jun 29, 2014 9:57:41 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 29, 2014 10:00:34 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2013 6:32:22 AM PDT
Blinken says:
As to the "why don't they go after the [obvious drop-shippers]"? Big shrug from me. I'd assure you there are tooooooooooons of posts discussing this over on the sellers' fourm. It annoys legitimate bookseller operations (perhaps "annoys" isn't even a strong enough word.) Have you participated in the discussions over there if this is a topic that interests you? I mention it because I assume you'd get more info on it over there, than in the textbook buyback forum.

I think it was from there, lately, that I read those sellers celebrating the fact that a couple of the largest offenders in recent history had disappeared. There was a big upload error in the catalog awhile back, and in trying to figure out the source, some noticed couple of these store names seemed gone - so maybe Amazon finally had the data on their side and were able to ban them. (Then again, you have to watch out for the guys who do this and change names/re-open.) Or actually did an audit. Who knows. They'd never tell us publicly action like that taken on a suspicious account.

And I have seen pictures of entire warehouses full of pallet sized bins that contain nothing but remainder mass market paperbacks. Imagine steel racks 5 pallet 'stories' high, and forklifts. They buy them by weight. So, while I agree that storefront's particular number is probably inflated by 'listing hogging' (the different conditions thing you mention), and it is highly unlikely - there are actually (some) book operations out there than can approach *something* like an inventory number that seems inconceivable to fit in a retail store.

Posted on Aug 16, 2013 2:56:38 PM PDT
Swim Swim says:
Excellent Point Bill Entwistle, excellent point, Thank You.

Posted on Aug 16, 2013 10:53:53 AM PDT
If Amazon has a policy against selling "fake" inventory, then why don't they even go after the most painfully obvious cases? If they're using some cancellation ratio metric to identify these sellers, then it must be an inadequate measure, as I demonstrated about a year ago, way back around response #35 to this discussion. That seller is still active, by the way.

Take seller "thebookgrove" for another example. Are we really to believe that they have approximately 8,700,000 items in inventory? An average book store packed to the gills probably wouldn't hold more than 100,000. So this dealer has space for the equivalent of 87 packed bookstores?

And we're to believe that they just happen to have every item they own in four different conditions? (All of the ones that I looked at did.)

And that there are dozens if not hundreds of other sellers with similar immense inventories?

Patently ridiculous.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2013 6:54:56 AM PDT
Swim Swim says:
Delos: This is one of the most believable reasons for this discussion I have read thus far. It takes into consideration both sides, Amazon and the other "Survivors" ( the grey area sellers) so to speak.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2013 3:42:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 16, 2013 3:42:53 AM PDT
Blinken says:
Yeah - but don't forget - if they did, in some cases this is the same thing as price fixing. Price fixing is illegal. I get that it annoys you guys, but Amazon could get in trouble for setting a rule saying something like "no listings allowed for 20% higher (or lower) than the price bar we set."

However, they do have a rule for sellers that they are supposed to only list inventory they physically have ON HAND. Now, since it's their rule, *that* would be enforceable - but just imagine the manpower required to do so? There are hundreds of thousands of marketplace sellers - what are you going to do, visit each one? So, instead, they rely on order cancellation rate. If a seller has to cancel a certain percentage of their orders without sending them, they shut down the seller account.

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 5:52:29 AM PDT
As posted on another thread:

Delos, thank you for your response. "Doctrine of first sale" does not apply here because these people have never bought a copy of my book, therefore I never gave up my rights to the material to them. Nor did anyone give them a copy to do with as they will. I fully understand the right to sell a used copy of any book once it is purchased and that is not in dispute. My point was that they had NOT purchased the book from me initially and that I knew for a fact that they didn't have any used copies on hand as I know my numbers. Your second reasoning was far more on point. Yes, they are drop shippers. But, so are all the ones listing new copies of the book. I understood this to be the case when I saw new listings popping up on my product page. I understood that these were retailers offering my product for sale and if someone purchases from them, then they purchase from me. I signed up for expanded distribution and I got it. Not a big deal and the way the market place works. What confused me is the "used" listings. I didn't understand why a retailer would list a "used" copy but then price it well out of range for the book and how could they claim they had a used copy in stock when I knew exactly where my used copies are. Createspace was able to shed some light on this for me. From what I now understand, they list it as "in stock" because to do otherwise might jeopardize their ability to sell a product when the customer goes elsewhere due to lack of immediate availability. Just savvy business practice there. The reason for the "used" listing to begin with is because often times a drop shipper will have two listing for the product to further their visibility in the market place. They post an actual listing which is the "new" listing and then post a high priced "used" listing to funnel traffic/sales toward the cheaper "new" listing. It apparently also gives them a larger presence over all on the Amazon market place. In the case of any_book (one of the listings) this is obviously the case as they have the book listed as both "new" and "used" and both listings are the same price. The two that I find odd have listings that are for "used" copies only, with each listed for $108, which is utterly ridiculous since a brand new copy bought from amazon is currently $11 and change. But, whatever. If they don't actually want to sell any books, so be it. Who am I to argue?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2013 5:04:11 AM PDT
Swim Swim says:
Acumen, Thank You, and I sincerely hope, and I believe they(Amazon) are on top of all these discussions to these "Grey" methods of abusing Amazon. Good Luck.

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 3:52:51 AM PDT
Acumen says:
I have self published two books. I know every sale as all stock comes from me. Yet on Amazon I find a number of sellers claiming to sell my book for very high and inflated prices. Interestingly almost every seller has 2 copies in stock. I've never supplied any of them. I thought they had obtained a copy of the book and were offering a 'print on demand' type product and they would illegally print off a copy if they ever made a sale. I've seen my book for sale in many places such as India and they aren't selling copies I've shipped. After reading this post it would seem that many of these high price sellers may be just computer robots and customers will eventually be told the book is out of stock.
There is one seller though with a price 10 cents below mine. This seller could be taking orders from me.
I've written to Amazon several times and without any resolution. They claim they will not advise the outcomes of any investigations (privacy reasons?). Whereas I think they are allowing crooks to do business. Amazon should take a brave stand and put and end to it.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2013 2:50:32 AM PDT
Blinken says:
This is pretty easy to explain.

#1 - doctrine of first sale
#2 - drop-shippers

You can google both, and I think then (hopefully) get how each applies here.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 4, 2013 8:31:46 AM PDT
Swim Swim says:
I can never believe that each case is "FOR PROFIT " in each case, nothing else, period.

Posted on Aug 3, 2013 11:02:17 PM PDT
I know this is an old discussion, but I thought I would add to it just the same. I'm a brand new author. My book went up for sale last week. I've only sold a total of 6 paperback copies of my book and it's only been family and friends who have copies at this time. Yet, I noticed yesterday someone listing MY book used for $108.00. Then today, two more used listing. another at $108 and one at $32. They also state the book is used - very good condition and in stock. Now, this is not physically possible, because again, I've only sold SIX physical copies of my book and they are ALL safe and secure in the hands of loved ones. Hell, the physical book wasn't even in existence until the 23rd of July. I wrote Amazon and they put it off on Createspace to deal with. I haven't heard from Createspace as of yet.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2013 5:38:21 PM PDT
Blinken says:
Doctrine of first sale. Google it.

Posted on Jul 18, 2013 7:32:02 PM PDT
LaughingRain says:
I'm an author who has no control over the price set on my book at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble. it's the right price here on Amazon, around $18, and over at Trafford self pub. it's around $20. I didn't know when I signed up with Trafford I wouldn't have control over the pricing. my fault. I do have control when making it an Ebook. Over at B&N I noticed they are asking $43. I was greatly upset, as my circle of friends don't have that kind of money to toss around on the kind of book it is. are people that impulsive really? I don't think so. In 5 yrs I've sold maybe a half dozen books and certainly not at anything over $21. Trafford gave me maybe $1.20 each kick back. They just looked at me and kept asking for more money to promote it. If I'd have known what I know now, I would have just went with the Ebook market only. I am reporting the price gouging to scambusters, as I for one am not flattered by it, and I'm not winning any popularity contests for sure for a high priced book. Amazon was doing it once, it was priced at $89 whatever. but eventually those discrepancies disappeared here on Amazon. it's like it's a virus program and it does hurt the author who wants to be read at a fair and reasonable price.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2013 7:14:07 PM PDT
LaughingRain says:
I was a used book seller on Amazon once. If a book seller become a paid member with annual fees, then they are told they are allowed to sell the book for a penny. usually these certain books have been mass produced and if you list is for $2, hoping to make money, there is sure to be a bunch of sellers who are in this club with Amazon and the same book is listed at a penny. I got out of the book selling business consequently, beaten out by professional book sellers. I had 400 books and gave them to the Salvation army (except for the rare ones) I did not want a membership in their club and didn't want to ship all these book to Amazon so that they could do their own shipping of the material. I couldn't figure out how I was gonna pay all that shipping cost to Amazon of my books and how we both could make a buck from that deal. so much for the little guy's book store business. I guess it's working ok for a bookseller that does nothing all day but sell books and are good with numbers. it was a hobby that was costing me.
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Discussion in:  Textbook Buyback forum
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Initial post:  Mar 1, 2012
Latest post:  May 14, 2016

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