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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 26-50 of 350 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2011 10:07:19 AM PDT
http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=358

Posted on Oct 26, 2011 12:00:27 PM PDT
Annie says:
Publishers - look at the price of the books on Amazon. It is just ridiculous what they want for one book that is read by one person!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2011 12:52:22 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 26, 2011 12:53:12 PM PDT]

Posted on Oct 26, 2011 1:07:37 PM PDT
I've often wondered about this also. I've seen books, CDs, VHS tapes, DVDs, etc. priced outrageously, like 1000% higher, when many identical copies are available, in the same condition, or better, for far, far, less. It's not a rare edition, signed or out of print most times either. I thought about the idea that these are people hoping to sell to foreigners at hugely inflated prices, but the prices of the other items are listed right there in front of everyone, so I don't think that's it. I think it a tax evasion scheme: when filing for your home business, you are asked to enter the value of your inventory that is "at risk". I believe this is just a tactic used by some people to evade taxes. I suspect that they don't actually have ANY inventory, or a real business, as they never sell anything; it's just a scam that Amazon.com allows.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2011 2:46:35 PM PDT
Kcorn says:
Terry - never thought about that. But I do know that I have seen very high priced items in catalogs and then seen the same thing (same exact thing) at a local store for 1/4 the price, not on sale. The reason I know this is because I ordered the high priced item first, not knowing it was being sold elsewhere. I returned the high priced one. So I am wondering about how stores can do that, even if not an Amazon storefront, and online sellers can not? I had no idea that this could tie to inventory and taxes. I do know that even if a person doesn't yet have an operating business the start-up costs (or perhaps part of them, not a tax expert) can be deducted even before the business is officially up and running or selling inventory.

I would think that an astute tax person would catch such a blatant scheme.

Posted on Oct 26, 2011 2:55:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 26, 2011 3:04:11 PM PDT
As a Print on Demand book author and Publisher I can tell you that 99% of the "used" copy sellers of my book are actually selling "new" books that they've add a percentage onto the retail cost to in order to make a profit. They do not have access to the book at wholesale cost, so they go this route. I believe that these companies may be directly connected to, or a branch of Amazon. I've only had one book listed at $99 or something similar... so I can't speculate on that, but the tax evasion theory is an interesting one.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2011 4:43:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 26, 2011 4:45:30 PM PDT
Kcorn says:
Annie- this may be one reason that ebooks now outsell paperbacks and hardcovers. Some of the most popular books are the ones offered free weekly for the Kindle and Kindle owners can split the cost of new books which aren't free and lend copies to other users, generally friends or relatives.

Compare the prices of many Kindle books and they are often several dollars cheaper than " traditional" books and with no shipping fees!

Don't get me wrong. I love all sorts of books and even collect some but if I am likely to read a book only once I get it in ebook form and then delete it from my library or lend it to someone else afterwards. Leaves valuable space on my bookshelf. I still haunt bookstores,online and off,

and have mixed emotions about ebooks.

But the average buyer probably realizes that avid readers can save money by buying an ebook reader. Perhaps sad but true and some bestselling authors only sell ebooks. Readers took a chance on them when they priced books for .99 cents and stuck with them when their
prices rose ( slightly) .

Posted on Oct 27, 2011 7:42:53 AM PDT
J. Grosner says:
Some of the sellers you are referring to become "out of stock" when someone they are not expecting responds to their listing. They are listing items for specific purchasers to spend lots of money on. The money then moves between the people who are in on the game. Amazon's cut is still less than some other ways of transferring money.

Posted on Oct 27, 2011 8:34:02 AM PDT
C. klauber says:
Scams all over the place. But it's all very interesting. Also, I see people in the thrift stores with a computer checking used book prices. Are any of those people making money?

Posted on Oct 27, 2011 8:50:57 AM PDT
Kcorn says:
C. Klauber - Yep. I know they make money by checking used book prices in bookstores. Not all of them are selling textbooks but with textbooks it is partly supply and demand. For some editions, they sell out quickly and students are desperate to get them before the semester starts so orders tend to come in a rush during the beginning of each semester or term or school year.

Some universities are experimenting with ebook "textbooks" which also play short video clips and lectures, allows students to immediately share notes, etc. Intriguing option but traditional books seem to be the route now. Ebooks also allow instructors to personalize classes and update editions without charging for a whole new edition. Share option also possible but NO buy back option that I know about.

Posted on Oct 28, 2011 12:54:58 AM PDT
vibert1 says:
I've noticed it too. As long as it oop it's marked up hundreds of dollars. As soon as one seller lists it for that all the lemmings follow, but none of them get sold. I think it's funny and frustrating at the same time.

Posted on Oct 28, 2011 12:57:02 AM PDT
vibert1 says:
I've noticed it too. As long as it oop it's marked up hundreds of dollars. As soon as one seller lists it for that all the lemmings follow, but none of them get sold. I think it's funny and frustrating at the same time.

Posted on Oct 28, 2011 6:50:36 AM PDT
lns500 says:
My own book isn't even in the stores until November 1st, although it's already available on Amazon at an introductory price of, like, $11:50. Yet it is being sold as 'used' at prices that go as high as sixty dollars! I am really baffled, as the book can't be 'used' as it's not even out yet, and...sixty bucks?! But I suppose it makes it look like the book has some special, mystical value only known to used book sellers. Hee hee.

Posted on Oct 28, 2011 7:31:56 AM PDT
Betsy Butler says:
I thought there were sellers specifically overpricing books to drive up the "average" sales price. You will notice it is always the same seller with outrageously high prices. They may not actually be selling any books at all, but by listing items at such high prices, they drive up the "average" sales price and therefore motivate other sellers to charge more.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2011 11:02:06 PM PDT
I'm an author and publisher. It's nothing to worry about. The books are not used, they are new copies and the sellers don't have the book on hand to sell. It happens to all of us when book first gets listed.

Posted on Oct 29, 2011 7:15:15 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2011 7:22:25 AM PDT
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Posted on Oct 29, 2011 4:03:08 PM PDT
I have noticed this extreme divergence in prices for years and not just on
Amazon. If there are many copies of a book for $10 or less, who in the world would pay $150? I have always suspected that it's either a money laundering scheme or a way to sell drugs mailed inside the books but maybe I just have a nasty suspicious mind.

Posted on Oct 30, 2011 1:33:30 PM PDT
C. klauber says:
Hey, I like the money laundering theory. Some book sites have legit prices and then they will have some really crazy prices. Drugs mailed in books. That could be a plot line there...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2011 7:21:03 PM PDT
I'm on the same thought track as you. These $999.00 listings probably have nothing to do with book sales? Some kind of outside of Amazon scam going on. I contacted a seller with a 900 listing and got a response with a link to an Amazon listing for a book over a million dollars. I didn't think that was even possible. The response seemed canned to me. The person said it was a typo from "being in a hurry.". But that seems far fetched - I enter prices. It's not that easy to make such a double digit mistake. SOMETHINE else seems to be going on...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2011 8:26:22 AM PDT
Emme says:
Why would you list a book if you don't want to sell it? That makes no sense to me.

Posted on Oct 31, 2011 12:41:37 PM PDT
This is just a theory, but here goes. Some small publishers have limited press runs, especially of books that are more "academic." They expect to sell mostly to libraries and have to price the book to make a profit on a short print-run of 1,000 books or whatever. That's why they charge more.

Posted on Oct 31, 2011 12:47:16 PM PDT
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Posted on Oct 31, 2011 2:22:40 PM PDT
Some folks that sell in larger on-line portals (Amazon, E-bay, BN) use software to push their offerings to storefronts based on an inventory of everything they have. To avoid keeping separate lists, they wildly overprice books that they don't want to sell. If they get the offer, they will ship it (caveat emptor!!). It's just a lot easier to manage a big inventory table that way.

Posted on Nov 2, 2011 12:29:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2011 1:40:42 PM PDT
Kit says:
These sellers that list items for a very large selling price, usually do not have any items in stock. If the item is purchased they purchase it from another seller and send it through that seller to the buyer. No inventory, no shipping cost, just pure profit.
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Discussion in:  Textbook Buyback forum
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Initial post:  Oct 20, 2011
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