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 Dec. 6, 2013
It's not every day a business pulls up stakes in Chicago and replants them in Milwaukee, but that's just what's happening this week as Distinctive Guitar Boutique Guitar Gallery opens in Bay View this weekend at 2505 S. Howell Ave.
Published Dec. 6, 2013
Last month, 88Nine announced the finalists of its annual Radio Milwaukee Music Awards and last night the winners were named at an awards event held at the station's new Walker's Point digs.
Published Dec. 4, 2013
A new Colectivo cafe and a new grand cafe concept from the owners of Cafe Benelux restaurant - the first by each of the locally owned dining groups in Waukesha County - will open in The Marcus Corporation's open-air mall called The Corners of Brookfield, located east of Barker Road near the intersection of I-94 and Bluemound Road.
Published Dec. 2, 2013
Tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 3, Milwaukee's Stone Creek Coffee celebrates its 20th birthday. And to honor the occasion, the local roaster will serve up its new Anniversary Alchemy blend all day. And if you get to one of the cafes before noon, you can join the celebration by getting a 12-ounce cup of it free!
Published Dec. 2, 2013
Don't feel bad if you've never seen the plaque affixed to 100 East Wisconsin, explaining the historical relevance of the northwest corner of Water and Wisconsin. It's on the lower level of the building, facing the RiverWalk. I've passed it countless times and never noticed. But one day it caught my eye. I took some photographs and spent some time digging to fill in a bit more of the story of this corner that is the birthplace of Milwaukee.
Published Nov. 29, 2013
Miles Davis once compared the jazz violin playing of Milwaukee native Sonya Robinson to the work of Stuff Smith. If you follow jazz, you know what kind of praise that is, especially for a young musician. Nearly 30 years later, after a recent return home to perform at Blu, atop The Pfister hotel, we took the opportunity to chat with Robinson about her career, about her Milwaukee ties and about her new record.
Published Nov. 27, 2013
Thanks to the early frigid temps, ice skating begins Friday, Nov. 29 at Red Arrow Park's Slice of Ice rink, 920 N. Water St. You may recall that unusually warm weather delayed the opening of the rink last year.
Published Nov. 26, 2013
Thanks to fond memories of going to gawk at holiday lights and window displays with my mom and brother as a kid, I'm still a fan of this stuff, especially now that I can bring kids of my own to see them. One of the most enduring in Milwaukee is the Holiday Busytown, which sets up each year in the lobby of the bank at 770 N. Water St. This year's display kicks off on Monday, Dec. 2 and is free and open to the public. And your visit will benefit Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.
Published Nov. 26, 2013
In the low, dimly lit space beneath St James Episcopal Church, 833 W. Wisconsin Ave., there's a hissing sound and a horizontal geyser of steam shooting out of a pipe. It immediately grabs your attention. Until you see the tall thin grave stone leaning up against a brick column. St. James is built atop the former Spring Street Burying Ground. They think all the human remains were removed when the church bought the property in 1850, but a few scattered headstones mark a lingering doubt.
Published Nov. 25, 2013
If there's any figure on the contemporary dining scene in Milwaukee that needs no introduction it is Sandy D'Amato. D'Amato, who is best known as the founder and former owner of Sanford and Cafe Coquette, has cooked around the world and might almost be single-handedly responsible for the current restaurant boom in the city. We caught up with D'Amato as his hardcover memoir and cookbook, "Good Stock: Life on a Low Simmer," is published. Enjoy this Milwaukee Talks with Sandy D'Amato.