I'm using my own book as an example in this posting, but so you don't think it's merely for shameless self-promotion, I won't use the title. But, seeing copies of the book for sale online has me wondering how this online used bookselling game works.
My most recent book carries a cover price of $19.99 and that's what you'll pay at bricks and mortar shops. Some retailers sell it a little more inexpensively and online-only vendors go even lower. The latter is also true of bricks and mortar megastores like Costco.
I get all that. What I don't understand is the trade in used copies of the book. For example, from Amazon, you can buy the book new for $15.16. Amazon vendors sell new copies for $11.16.
The cheapest used copies from Amazon vendors sell for $12.86. Who wants to pay nearly $2 more for a used copy than a new one?
And even more baffling are the two vendors selling used copies for $30.77 and $31.41! Who in their right mind would pay $31.41 for a used copy of a book that retails new for – at most – $19.99?!
And on top of it all, you get the pleasure of paying about $4 in postage.
I see this all the time at online used booksellers. There will be multiple copies of a title available, ranging in price from under $1 to sometimes more than $100.
Considering no one is likely to buy these insanely overpriced copies of books, why do vendors even bother listing them? Can someone please explain this to me?
And if you want to buy my unnamed book, I recommend you go to Boswell Books on Downer Avenue and support local independent retailers.
I like it when your book's promo copies turn up all over creation as used for sale online. Or, when you see your book on an end cap at the Goodwill (I guess at least its on an end cap?). Or when Amazon lists it discounted right away when you have a wholesaler. Tough to get into traditional book sales. I'm curious about eBooks and self-publishing on demand to see if that's any better. No matter what, authors are almost always losing 40%+ on retail for new sales unless they sell direct themselves. Tough business unless you're JK Rowling or something. I don't get it either Bobby.
There are weird robots that game the Amazon system, and when you get two of those robots competing with each other it can really drive down prices. The places that list the books more expensively (the $30 seller, for instance) is just hoping that some poor sucker stumbles upon the book and buys it without thinking about it further. That seller may not even have the book. They'll list it higher, wait for someone to buy it, then they'll purchase a cheap copy later and send it out to the sucker.
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published Sept. 27, 2016
Driving past, you might not really notice the changes at the Elite Sports Club-River Glen, 2001 W. Good Hope Rd., in Glendale, which was built as Le Club in 1972 and purchased by Elite in 2012. But on the inside, it seems that everything is changing.
Published Sept. 26, 2016
You know the old saying, "it takes a village." Well, that village is what's currently fueling the Milwaukee Public Museum's push to get its vast collections digitized and online. That and some funding from grants, too, of course.
Published Sept. 26, 2016
One of the oldest watering holes in the city, the White House, 2900 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., is celebrating its 125th birthday on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2 with drink specials, games, raffles, food and more, as well as a food drive for Hunger Task Force.
Published Sept. 22, 2016
There was a time when removing a building was a dramatic affair: buildings imploded with a boom or were pounded by a wrecking ball. These days, thankfully, there's a growing approach that seeks to keep as much waste out of landfills and reuse and recycle as much material as possible.
Published Sept. 21, 2016
Did you know Milwaukee Public Schools has what might be the largest group of public Montessori schools in the world? Now, led by school board member Tati Joseph, there's a push to add a new South Side dual-language program to that group.
Published Sept. 20, 2016
Even in a neighborhood full of vintage architecture, there's no mistaking it. The Italianate Cream City Brick building at 1704 N. 4th St. looks old. If the area has had a long, varied history (and it has), then Baasen House is perfectly at home here.
Published Sept. 18, 2016
There's no better way to get a peek inside Milwaukee's most interesting - and often most historic - sites, many of them typically off limits to the public, than Historic Milwaukee Inc.'s annual Doors Open Milwaukee event. Here are 10 must-see sites.
Published Sept. 15, 2016
This is Brew City, so it should come as no surprise that we value Milwaukee's beer-soaked history. And Regano's Roman Coin has been a part of that tradition for five decades. In honor of it Regano's is throwing a party and we asked Teri Regano about it.
Published Sept. 13, 2016
Yesterday morning, a group of kindergarteners from Milwaukee Public Schools' Rogers Street Academy visited BMO Harris Bank to judge auditions by local sports mascots for roles in the upcoming production of Milwaukee Ballet's "The Nutcracker."
Published Sept. 12, 2016
This past weekend a Tosa resident staged a huge party at Red Dot on North Avenue in East Tosa with Public Enemy, Run-DMC, Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Rakim, EPMD and others. I was there for the first night of the two-day jam. Here are some images.