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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 76-100 of 350 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 14, 2011 7:18:19 PM PST
David Ames says:
Look for The Ultimate Frontier by Eklal Kueshana using bookfinder.com. One link gives you copies at upwards of eighty dollars. The other links offer the book at reasonable prices.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2011 2:10:41 AM PST
David Ames says:
If I were in dire straits I might list a book that I don't want to sell. My copy of a particular 50+ year old book is in excellent condition and I would Ask a prettypenny for it if I put it on the market.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2011 9:30:00 AM PST
John Wagner says:
I have noticed that the rediculously high prices don't usually apply to a book's antiquity or condition. Just pick some random book, even a paperback, and get a listing of all new and used, and then sort by price. You might find the range from $10 very good condition to $300 fair condition. Many times there are dozens of listings so availability is not an issue. I agree with many posters that there is something strange going on, but what???

Posted on Nov 15, 2011 7:24:01 PM PST
C. Lee says:
It may be a place holding because they are listing many items at a time and don't have time to stop and research how much they should sell it for. I oftentimes list products at 999.99 initially, then go in as soon as possible when I have time and change the prices. I don't actually expect someone to buy a 10 dollar toy for $999.99! Although I'm certain that would be nice.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 12:25:55 AM PST
Derek says:
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Posted on Nov 16, 2011 6:05:25 AM PST
Skeets says:
The reason us sellers do this is because we ran out of stock and instead of going through the hassle of relisting we simply make it an unreasonable price so no one buys it.

I know I made a book like $5000 when everyone else was selling it for $50 as my shipment hadn't come in yet.

Posted on Nov 16, 2011 1:52:14 PM PST
Sometimes they're out of print editions. Sometimes they're signed/numbered.

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 5:53:26 PM PST
I just have to say I am mainly disapointed with Amazon got allowing these types of sellers. What is separating Amazon from EBay?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011 7:32:14 PM PST
David Ames says:
When times were tough I worked for a bookseller who had offpriced paperbacks in new condition. He drew on his business association with a firm that specialized in remaindered merchandise -- not just books. A co-worker told me that he watched for books that fit in with his collecting specialty.

Posted on Nov 18, 2011 5:35:21 AM PST
I can sort of understand the booksellers point of view for some of these reasons, but I still say it wastes my time as a buyer. Above someone stated the outlandish pricing was so that no one buys it, my question is why not just not list it on amazon at all?
The other thing is why list a book for a crazy amount when with a bit of searching a person could get the book somewhere else for a reasonable price.

Also I find it amusing the buy back amount that Amazon posts. Buy the book for $250, and then sell it to us for .90 and a gift card! Woo hoo!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011 5:37:41 AM PST
Definitely not a computer glitz, these are people who have determined in their own tiny brains that a book is worth some arbitrary amount. If you go to Ebay oft-times you'll see the book list for similar amounts.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011 6:11:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 18, 2011 6:16:18 AM PST
Kcorn says:
Have any of you walked into are retail store or looked at a catalogue and noticed an item priced at 5 times the price of the same exact product elsewhere? I certainly have. Not knock-offs. The same exact product!

There are many ways for potential buyers to determine the fair price for a book. When I buy books, including academic books, I'll gladly pay more for one without underlining,etc. Consumers need to do some research and get an idea of a fair price for a book.

Sellers can ask what they want. But buyers need to be savvy, too. It isn't a one way street. Also keep in mind that some buyers, for reasons, beyond me, feel they are getting a "better" book if they pay more for it than the same book,same condition, at a lower price.

Having noted that, there are books I've been lucky enough to find which are extremely rare. There aren't always existing copies for sale to make a comparison. In those cases, sellers have to make difficult judgment calls.

Posted on Nov 18, 2011 6:12:48 AM PST
I agree with earlier posts that the sellers posting such high prices for even the most common books are doing this with the hopes that the buyer will not pay attention and use 1-click buying or a child on their parents computer is buying the item. I feel that Amazon should monitor these activities and offer a "scam protection" so we can feel safe buying from them again. The advantage to buying through Amazon verses EBay has always been Amazon is more trustworthy. Now because of this, I am beginning to wonder. eBay may have just gained another customer!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 18, 2011 7:26:47 AM PST
I think that you may be right -- it might be a software issue. I know that on the other end many of the one cent books are a software issue.

Posted on Nov 18, 2011 8:05:46 AM PST
There's an online store (I've bought from and been very happy with) MovieMars, that has really good prices, in general, on new books. So these are realists competing against other new book sellers in the real world. But they had some book list as (approx) $22 new, AND $47 used. I wrote to them and asked, and they told me they don't sell used books.

Inscrutable...... I guess that may be the way they do it on Mars.......

Posted on Nov 18, 2011 9:01:06 AM PST
C. klauber says:
I am still going with the theories that a) sellers use a high price to placemark a book they don't have but either did have or hope to restock, and b) some sellers are using high prices as a tax/insurance scam. I contend no one buys those books listed for hundreds of dollars when there are the same books listed for a few dollars (one click shopping or not).
I understand fully about 1st editions and clean copies, but this is not what is going on. But I love this discussion.
Anyone else ever try to contact a seller regarding a ridiculously high-priced book? Anyone ever see the BBC series Life on Mars? Could be...

Posted on Nov 23, 2011 1:55:13 PM PST
David Krause says:
Incomprehensibly high prices for books may be a result of feedback loops on automatic pricing algorithms.

For a more complete explanation, please see:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2384102,00.asp

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 11:23:03 PM PST
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Posted on Nov 24, 2011 1:14:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 24, 2011 1:48:54 AM PST
I noticed this issue several years ago but rather than just looking at books FOR sell I researched further and found MANY books SOLD for crazy amounts. After many hours over a very long period of time of researching the whos the hows and the whens (the books I researched seemed to have buyers before they were listed), I am quite convinced it is sometimes used as a very simple way of laundering money. No muss no fuss and nobody notices. I chatted with agents of the FBI about it at an e-bay convention several years ago...they didn't hear me. Se la vie!
signed
an old forensic accountant

Posted on Nov 24, 2011 8:44:54 AM PST
C. klauber says:
Thanks Abuela Debora. Sellers keep trying to tell me it is about 1st editions and special circumstances. Glad to hear someone researched the books sold. There is NO WAY this is about the true value of these books (1st ed., signed copies or prisine condition .) I would also contend there is a pretty limited market for fine books anymore altough I believe there are buyers and sellers out there.
And regarding the automatic pricing loop explaination: if you were a book seller, wouldn't you try to make sure your bookswere competively priced if you actually wanted to sell them...You've got a book priced 999.99 next to the same book for 5.99, you must know that book is not going to sell. So what good is having such a large inventory you can't keep track of and actually sell the books you have listed?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2011 7:10:47 AM PST
S. Kapustka says:
I wanted an audio book of Harry Potter in Spanish. I wanted to pay under $50. A few were listed, and they were hundreds of dollars. I wrote a letter. One seller responded and said he did not have it in stock, give him time to correct his inventory. The second guy just ignored me. If they do not have the item, they should use a special price ($1,111) so we all know what is going on, and to check back later.

Posted on Dec 4, 2011 1:52:28 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 4, 2011 7:38:53 AM PST]

Posted on Dec 4, 2011 10:25:14 AM PST
whats with the 90 dollar price on a wonderword treasury puzzle book. i bought a copy of it from amazon a while back for 15. now they want 90 for the same puzzle book, it must be a misprint. i really cant imagine any other excusandra guessse for such a ridicously priced puzzle book. sandra guess

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2011 7:02:34 PM PST
You are not the only one, Della, who doesn't get the point of listing something you don't want to sell. It strikes me that the sort of person who does that in fact wants to sell, but wants to compensate her/his loss of something of which s/he is fond by charging for the value of the sentimental attachment.

Posted on Dec 5, 2011 10:34:05 PM PST
Al Pier says:
You guys are all wrong. High priced book comes on the scene just because it is a very rare book and/or it is out of print. Other than this, someone who lists a book with high price is just a dummy.
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Discussion in:  Textbook Buyback forum
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Initial post:  Oct 20, 2011
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