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


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Showing 151-175 of 313 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jul 16, 2012 10:04:47 PM PDT
Denni says:
I mostly just buy books at Amazon, and some of the prices are just stupid. For a used paperback that sold new for $7.99, some venders will charge 475, $150, $300, or even $600. No idea what they are up to, but it probably isn't honest.

Frankly, I think Amazon should cap Vender book prices at say $200. If a book is more valuable than $200, it should really be inspected (in person) by the buyer prior to purchase. Continuing to enable (whatever it is that's happening) is just asking for trouble or a lawsuit (or both).

Posted on Jul 17, 2012 9:11:34 AM PDT
I would hazard a guess that they do it, as some others have sugested, to increase the value of their inventory, either for tax reasons or to obtain financing or some other financial reason...

Posted on Jul 17, 2012 11:25:30 AM PDT
It's ridiculous!

I got a set of 6 books on ebay for 30 dollars, while amazon sold them separately. Each of those books cost like, 30-50 dollars.

I don't know what sellers are thinking. Maybe they just want to sell it for a high price then not give them the product at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2012 3:41:19 PM PDT
Cheney says:
Do you mean that someone buys a book at a high price from a buyer in collusion just to transfer money obtained in illegal ways?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2012 12:57:00 PM PDT
Ben There says:
There is another reason some sellers list ridiculous prices and that some people feel the need to pay more for their things. I know this sounds silly but I have family members that think if it cost more it must be better but I like bargains.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012 3:00:19 PM PDT
I am a dealer and have been for several years. A dealer lists a book 5 years ago. At that time the book is selling for $50.00. Each time another dealer lists that same title, they list it for a lower price. Eventually the site has several copies listed, each at a lower price than the one listed before. Now the book is selling for $5.00. Most dealers have 1000's of books listed, work at home with no other help and do not have time to keep up on the current price. This is why there is such a wide discrepancy in prices for the same book.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2012 9:25:47 PM PDT
There are those ignorant collectors who see a high price on a standard release and make the assumption that "there must be something special about it." [for those newbies, if you don't see things like S/N or Ltd. Ed. or "proof" ("artist's proof" for images) you should be asking the seller to justify the price. And sometimes, even if the item is signed, you can haggle]

Posted on Jul 25, 2012 12:55:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 25, 2012 1:32:07 AM PDT
jpl says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2012 1:34:36 AM PDT
jpl says:
C. klauber says: I notice sometimes a book will range in price from literally a few cents to lots of money. I understand the low end sellers. Who are these high end sellers? Ex. a book that most people are selling for say 3.00-8.00 range and them a seller listing it for 115.00. What's the deal?

jpl: Figure it out newborn: politics and the EPA. Brainwash! Can you overcome it? Doubtful.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2012 1:38:58 AM PDT
jpl says:
SRP means nothing.

Posted on Aug 6, 2012 9:47:41 AM PDT
mommyindy says:
I think it is a fake listing for something illegal.

Posted on Aug 8, 2012 11:05:54 AM PDT
If we price books low, they may sell better. If we price books high, they may not sell quickly, or may not sell at all. We can bring the price down later. But, if we have sold books at a low price, and have no more copies in stock, we will not have that book on hand to sell when it is requested--then the buyer goes to another seller if they want the book. Some books may be signed by the author, and may be priced higher because of this fact. Some books have sentimental value to the owner, so they also may be priced high. Some books are signed by the author, are in high demand, with only a few copies available in Amazon, may be out of print, not available on Kindle, have sentimental value to the owner, and are in brand new condition, and the books may also be of great interest to the owner, either as a favorite book or as one he/she wants to read, but would sell at high price. Guess what? Those books could be priced very high indeed. (The price might be brought down later.) Some books are sold using the "match low price" system on Amazon--that may be a good way to sell books more quickly, but personally I don't want to have the lowest price on Amazon for any books in my stock--I might rather have a way to "match the average price," or "match the average price minus 20 percent" or something like that.

Posted on Sep 3, 2012 7:45:34 PM PDT
It's an algorithm. The sellers are not even pricing their books, rather it's all done automatically, by computer, based on whether the book is in or out of print and how many copies are available. I read about this theory here:
http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=358
See? Makes sense.
Now my question is, I have a book that I no longer use, which was originally about $19. I want to sell it. The lowest price on Amazon is $76.99. There are 22 used copies. They go up to $272 (!) and then jump to $999 (hah!). How should I price my copy? I want someone to buy it, of course. I don't want to rip anyone off. I also want to make a profit. It is an out of print book but not antique, leather, with gilt pages or anything! It's just a paperback book. Someone did buy a copy of it for $43 on Ebay which still surprises me since that's over double the original price...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2012 8:12:03 PM PDT
Why not just list it at your regular price, $19.00? I did with mines until I soldout, now I've re-published it (MY SANKOFA) as a KINDLE.. Question is, will SELLERS somehow hi-jack kindle books???

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2012 7:50:36 AM PDT
I have noticed that sellers that ship overseas will price their books really high. I just thought the high price offset the high price of shipping overseas.

Posted on Sep 6, 2012 12:19:42 PM PDT
D HW says:
As a book seller, I can tell you that some books are worth that kind of money especially if they are first editions, extremely rare books in pristine condition, or leather-bound signed editions (like Franklin or Easton editions). Any buyer should due his or her due diligence before buying a collectible. I really can't speak to mass market books that are marked up to extreme prices.

Posted on Sep 6, 2012 2:40:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 6, 2012 3:16:20 PM PDT
I found this issue several years ago. I researched it from several directions. I found that of those books that DID sell at outrageous prices for what they were, the book was listed ONLY AFTER there was a ready buyer. Now tell me how this isn't used as a means of money laundering.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2012 5:03:54 PM PDT
K. Uyak says:
I agree it sound extremely fishy. I think it would be perfect for any potential drug dealer, money launder, or gun dealer to claim to be selling a textbook for $1,000 but for a $1,000 and a password you get the other item instead while everyone thinks it just a case of a really dumb shopper.

Posted on Sep 7, 2012 6:53:42 PM PDT
I think people do it sometimes to get their stores name noticed. Helps people remember their name and can help drive traffic to look at their other stuff. How many of us have gone to look at their other prices to see if they are jacked up too. If they do large volumes they probably have multiple copy's and most will be listed at reasonable prices.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2012 6:43:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 8, 2012 6:52:07 AM PDT
SheriC says:
It's psychological bait. There are some people *out there* that *must have* something that is *unavailable* whether it's true or not and will not do the due diligence to see if what they are told is true or not. They're in their lonely homes with their lonely mouse clicking and buying random crap to stockpile on shelves. They name drop they bought the last copy of such and such that's been out of print for years on Amazon at the next party. Big Whoop. WGAS. I've watched people buy my crap on ebay and get hooked on bidding for a used phone getting into a bidding war when they could have gone out and bought a new one CHEAPER. People are just silly sometimes. Human nature is predictable and that is why people post those books at ridiculous prices. For those to wonder at their stupidity. People do DO DUMB THINGS... all the time.

(My own father just got conned out of $5,000.00 by talking to a close friend that was called buy their friend, who signed them up with a of a friend that "said that she made "a ton of money on the Internet by placing one ad a day by 11 p.m. every night'". NO. She's making money by conning old people's friends out of $5,000.00. No matter how many times I have warned my Dad of online of scam artists, phishing, and told him to think of them as "strangers at the door, don't let them in" (as he taught us as kids).., well, look what happened! People do dumb things. Even your parents!

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 7:22:13 PM PDT
Sylvie F. says:
Recouping Amazon fees and shipping costs does not explain why a Garfield and Friends DVD is selling for $100,025.48. C'mon, over a hundred thousand dollars for Garfield??!!! An administrator from Amazon should weigh in on this discussion. Any thoughts Amazon??
Garfield and Friends, Volume Five

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2012 7:53:55 PM PDT
richard says:
The seller is probably hoping that eventually they will have the very last one on Earth and that there will be someone out there obsessed enough to pay it. Amazon only pretends to care ... after all their percentage of that sale would be quite the folding money.

Call Amazon and ask them about this DVD.

I am really curious what their response would be.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 16, 2012 8:40:42 PM PDT
Except that you're never going to get anyone on the phone by calling Amazon who is able to speak officially on such an issue. You call, you get a low-level grunt. Not someone that can be asked for any authorized response on behalf of the company. Also, why on Earth SHOULD they care? There's no evidence of any crime being commited or anything. If someone freely and knowingly pays thousands of dollars for something they could get for a fraction of the cost, it's their choice. I don't think Amazon is under any obligation whatsoever to police the selling prices set by third-party sellers in order to make sure they are what an average buyer would consider "reasonable".

Posted on Sep 16, 2012 9:56:26 PM PDT
richard says:
I agree ... it would be very silly to expect Amazon to care.
However, there are over 170 posts on this topic and if everyone here were to tweet them 5 times on this topic, they might develop an itch. I actually challenged a seller once over an incredibly over-priced item, threatening to contact Amazon (which I never intended to do). The seller quickly changed the price of the item. That told me that something was fishy. There is something afoot here, folks. Keep up the good discussion.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2012 5:50:59 AM PDT
A. E. Nugent says:
Thank you!! I have been wondering about this too. I am an author with a book marked $18.95 in paperback, $28.95 in hardcover. Reduced now to $14.95, etc. HOWEVER, there are some sellers offering it at $58+! I don't get it and I wrote to the seller but did not get a reply. Too weird.
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Discussion in:  Textbook Buyback forum
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Initial post:  Oct 20, 2011
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