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Customer Discussions > Textbook Buyback forum

What's with the really HIGH prices by some used book sellers?

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Showing 101-125 of 350 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2011 6:26:36 PM PST
Yes, an author Caroline Brown wrote about 36 so called hardback books that are now listed at $36 used. She is now publishing adult books in paperback for $7.99. I wrote her and questioned how an ordinary story in phony hardback and only 90 pages long can be selling for that. Well, they are still for sale. Guess they make the $7.99 ones look good. She never bother to answer.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2011 6:29:18 PM PST
S. M. O. says:

Posted on Dec 9, 2011 9:15:13 AM PST
shmoopatties says:
Did no one read Paul Johnson's post of Oct. 25? It answers the question completely and should have been the final entry in the thread. Another mystery is history.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2011 9:57:08 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 9, 2011 10:01:29 AM PST
I still recommend to check prices. Depending how long ago the book was published, you may, of course, find fewer sellers. MovieMars works better for me when buying CDs, but not books. But I buy little fiction, for which I use the public library.

Example: Naming Infinity: A true story of religious mysticism and mathematical creativity [not the sort of book most of you would be interested in, I know] lists for $25.95. I printed out only 1 (ONE) of 3 (THREE) pages of listings. The cheapest new copy is $15.94 ; cheapest used -- $9.51; cheapest rental -- $12.01. All these prices include shipping. That's a 38% discount; not bad in my opinion. The book was published in 2009 by Harvard's Belknap Press.

Now, Deal.oz will also take your wants and notify you when one or more copies turns up. As with stocks, if you don't like the price, you can wait until it falls within the range you're willing to pay. Many of the bookshops listed are also rated.

Readers may already know about Amazon prime. For about $70 you can get free shipping on any item that is eligible. At about $4.00 a pop for shipping books, that means you can buy 17 books with no shipping charge if you see the words "Eligible for Amazon prime."

I assume most, if not all, of you know about Daedalus, Book Culture and other shops that sell mostly remainders. It's a craps shoot -- the odds are against your finding a particular book, but their selections, esp. Book Culture, which specializes in "academic" books, are rather good. Both are most reliable vendors.

Lastly, if you think books are pricey in the US, try buying books in France or Germany. Not only are they more costly than in the US [used books from France are often quite reasonable), but the shipping cost of about €10, even with the € falling, is a killer.

Posted on Dec 9, 2011 8:55:15 PM PST
Jigen says:
Scalpers, plain and simple. A bit sad that Amazon condones the practice. (Yes, same with the toy scalpers.)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2011 10:11:48 PM PST
riedmur says:
It's preying.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2011 4:26:27 AM PST
S. Kapustka says:
It is not preying. It is simple commerce. They have it; you want it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2011 2:50:50 PM PST
In selling a book, I will start with a price that is lower than the price shown on I almost, always lower my asking price after the book(s) have been posted for a few days. To me, the HIGH END price is just a starting point.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2011 7:40:40 PM PST
Kevin Corn says:
B. Challenger- what is separating Amazon from EBay, you ask? You might be surprised to learn that the bidding process at EBay often gets buyers to pay more for books than those listed on Amazon .

Whether priced high or low, books on amazon sell for one price rather than putting buyers in a bidding war.

Other factors? I will definitely bypass lower priced books on Amazon if I have greater peace of mind buying from a seller with 99 or 100 percent positive fedback. I have had far too many disappointing experiences with poorly described books,etc...with other sellers.

Posted on Dec 10, 2011 7:55:53 PM PST
Brandie says:
People may be trying to wash dirty money.

Posted on Dec 11, 2011 8:39:41 PM PST
I have wondered the same. One of my books was once listed by a used book seller for nearly $5,000. I clicked on the link to send them a message thinking it was a posting error, but the link was broken. Currently, the highest price I am seeing is $39 from one seller, which is still outrageous but definitely more acceptable than the other price. Why would anyone want to pay $39 for a used book they can find new for $10 to $15?

The Book of Obeah

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2011 11:00:50 AM PST
Skriker says:
"Scalpers, plain and simple. A bit sad that Amazon condones the practice. (Yes, same with the toy scalpers.)"

This is where voting with your wallet comes into play. You can't complain about toy scalpers in the like if you don't feed them at all. Obviously there is enough of a market of desperate parents who's children are spoiled enough to have their holiday ruined if they don't get "big toy of the year X" so they will spend whatever they have to to make it happen. :P

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2011 11:04:39 AM PST
Skriker says:
"B. Challenger- what is separating Amazon from EBay, you ask? You might be surprised to learn that the bidding process at EBay often gets buyers to pay more for books than those listed on Amazon .

Whether priced high or low, books on amazon sell for one price rather than putting buyers in a bidding war."

But both instances can be avoided by "smart" consumers. Don't want to pay $99 for a book then don't buy it flat out for that and don't bid that much for it. Even when I am bidding on something I really want on ebay I will set a limit to my bids. There is a point where the price is just ludicrous, even for an out of print/out of production item and given the nature of ebay I know in the future, maybe a day a week or even a year I will be able to bid on that item again and likely get it for the price I want to get it for.

The only people to blame for paying more for books in an auction that from a straight sale are the bidders themselves. As an ebay seller I have been amazed that things I expected to make me serious money didn't even come close and then something I expected to sell for like $10 came through to be sold for $100+. It all depends on who wants it and what they want to spend for it. I have no control over what people will spend to fulfill their desires to get something.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2011 8:42:41 PM PST
That could be, but they actually have high numbers of ratings. How can they be rated if they are not actually selling anything?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2011 8:46:11 PM PST
I think so. Some books are out of print and can command high prices to collectors who can't possibly visit all of the thrift stores out there.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2011 8:47:15 PM PST
Yes, they can certainly be selling with different names.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011 9:09:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2011 9:28:26 AM PST
C. klauber says:
well, this has been a very interesting experience in internet activity. Clearly people post in discussions they do not read. People think they have answers to questions that they don't know a thing about...
Hernan Reyes asks a good question: some sellers with both reasonable and ridiculous prices have large # of sales. So is there a way to falsify the number of sales an online seller lists?

READERS: this is not about stupid consumers or greedy kids, not about out of print or limited editions...This is about a book being listed for both several $ and several HUNDRED $ for the same book, edition, etc. And if you contact them to buy the expensive book they won't sell it to you. (no reply, tell you it is out of stock,etc...) Can we get someone from a large bookseller to reply?

BTW: did read about the algorithm theory and that does make sense for books in the Thousands, but doesn't answer why one bookseller consistantly has books for 5-10 times the average price, doesn't respond when you try to contact them and buy a book, has lots of books listed as sold and lots of ratings and any sensible person would say "This is not a legit business." I think it is about $ tranfers, laundering and insurance scams.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 9:55:57 AM PST
I don't understand this answer. The seller has to reply within two days from when she is notified of the sale. It can take weeks for a book to arrive. Who is going to risk that? And then the buyer cancels becuase of the delay? There are a bunch of people who made this suggestion, and I can't believe any of them every ordered anything from Amazon, otherwise they would know how long it takes to get a book delivery.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 10:00:26 AM PST
Right now, libraries around the country are dumping their books, and there is a glut of books on the market. Our library received solicitations several times a year from big Amazon sellers who want to buy hundreds and thousands of books at a time.

In a few years, this inventory of books will be depleted, and you will see the price of books start to go up, especially, I've noticed, of technical books or books with hard information.

This discussion is a bit off-topic, since it's not about the discrepancy between the low prices and high prices on the same item, it's about the high price of some books.

My prediction is that you will see many many more books over $100 in the coming years. Just part of the general dumbing-down of America. But most people, who are just interested in the mass market best-sellers, won't notice, anyway.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011 11:43:39 AM PST
How do Books Sellers, acquire copies of other author's books to sell???
For instance, I self-published 200 copies of MY SANKOFA, 5 years ago and minus the 7 sold on Amazon, I've sold 195 via EXHIBITS and private book signing, yet I just notice some are still being sold via I mean my (self-published) book is selling from $9.98
to $78.00 when my price is $14.95. (???)-:

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 5:32:59 PM PST
Smallcat says:
My library said they're not accepting any more donations.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 7:58:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 1, 2012 8:01:15 PM PDT
richard says:
Two sellers (off the top) MovieMars and Quick & Easy Marketplace, are selling the 24 DVD set of the oldie TV show "Route 66".

Moviemars ........................... $998.98
Quick & Easy Marketplace ....... $999.99

... while Amazon and a gaggle of other sellers are offering it for around $80 - $100.

That this is going on with books only piques my curiosity more.

I have written both sellers judiciously inquiring with regard to the nature of their respective "strategies".

As of yet no reply.

I have a gut feeling that something is up and that we would all find it most interesting to know exactly what.

I suggest we (one and all) contact Amazon and ask directly and clearly what this is all about.

If Amazon notices that this issue is getting an inordinate amount of attention from customers, they might just well address it.

The unscratched back only stops itching.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 8:45:21 PM PDT
KnyteOwl says:
There are some instances too where it is just straight up price gouging because the seller is trying to exploit an item's rarity. Case in point: I recently purchased the videogame "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey" on Steam, and got to wondering if there was a strategy guide available for it. Turns out there is--it's by Prima. It is not available on ebay. It is not any sort of special/limited/collector's edition. Amazon has two listings for it, but one is "currently unavailable", and the other is being offered by a marketplace seller for $97.64 When I contacted the seller, and told them they were exploiting the rarity of the item, and that it would take them years to find some poor sap desperate enough to throw down that kind of money, but that I would have considered purchasing it for a more reasonable price, I never got a response. The item's price has not changed. I sort of collect rare videogame strategy guides, and I have seen unscrupulous marketplace sellers who shamelessly price gouge rare items (or just items they BELIEVE is rare, regardless of whether it actually is, or not). My best hope now is that maybe I can back order it from a bookstore, and maybe get around this exorbitant price that way. If not, *fumes* . . . . guess I'm stuck with lousy internet walkthroughs . . . .

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey 2 (Prima Official Game Guide)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 6:02:42 AM PDT
Thank you for posting the ref to P Johnson's of 25 October. I seldom read through earlier posts but am glad I did today.

Posted on Jun 2, 2012 10:29:05 AM PDT
R. L. Herron says:
I think sellers with abnormally high prices are using it as a 'come-on.' They know very well the books list for far less on Amazon, and hope to lure people to see what is they're offering that makes it worth so much more. The hope, I'm sure, is once you are on their site, you will purchase one of their more reasonably-priced offerings. As a seller on Amazon (and elsewhere), I know these high-priced sellers are picking up my books at the wholesale rate. If they get buyers for other books, great. If they actually get someone to pay the outrageous price, super! Good for them...shame on the fool who bought. :-(
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Discussion in:  Textbook Buyback forum
Participants:  208
Total posts:  350
Initial post:  Oct 20, 2011
Latest post:  Jun 18, 2016

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