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Thread: Curious if you've run into crazy resale $$ on your books?

  1. #1
    Easily Amused ebbrown's Avatar
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    Curious if you've run into crazy resale $$ on your books?

    So I checked Amazon this morning and was happy with how things are going, but I noticed that my paperback book is being offered by other sellers at 3x the original price!
    Is this normal, and why on earth would anyone think it was worth that much? I admit, I am confused.

    Perhaps is has to do with the cover change? It went into effect yesterday for the eBook and I saw a spike in sales, but the paperback will not catch up with the new cover for another day or two.

    Has anyone had this happen, and do you think I should be holding onto the last copies I have of the 1st cover, haha?


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  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW
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    Yes, it is normal. Sellers will sometimes put up high prices for items that don’t cost that much and aren’t out of print. It’s not a matter of what they think it’s worth; it’s what they want to sell it for

    Check out the Throne of Glass hardcover. Under the used section, you can find a few listings for $24 (Good to Like New) and $126.53 (used). Actually, I think that last one might be a wrong listing...

    The point is, the book sells for $10.50 ($18 normally) on amazon right now.

    Under the Never Sky Hardcover: $7.20 on sale ($18 normally). There are a few used books at $34-38.

    Sellers of used books usually have more reasonable prices, but sometimes they don’t I would keep those last few copies for myself anyway. It’s always nice to have them.

  3. #3
    Easily Amused ebbrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorky View Post
    Yes, it is normal. Sellers will sometimes put up high prices for items that donít cost that much and arenít out of print. Itís not a matter of what they think itís worth; itís what they want to sell it for

    Check out the Throne of Glass hardcover. Under the used section, you can find a few listings for $24 (Good to Like New) and $126.53 (used). Actually, I think that last one might be a wrong listing...

    The point is, the book sells for $10.50 ($18 normally) on amazon right now.

    Under the Never Sky Hardcover: $7.20 on sale ($18 normally). There are a few used books at $34-38.

    Sellers of used books usually have more reasonable prices, but sometimes they donít I would keep those last few copies for myself anyway. Itís always nice to have them.
    Very interesting! I had no idea re-sellers operated that way. I guess more power to 'em if they can sell it for 3x what the original price is, haha. I should probably stop checking Amazon, I think it's making me insane.

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    Writing my way off the B Ark Becky Black's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebbrown View Post
    Very interesting! I had no idea re-sellers operated that way. I guess more power to 'em if they can sell it for 3x what the original price is, haha. I should probably stop checking Amazon, I think it's making me insane.
    Amazon is the most crazy-making thing ever for writers. I see me ending up in a rubber room in a straight-jacket shouting "Let me out! I haven't checked my author rank today!"
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  5. #5
    I'm already a real writer. Katrina S. Forest's Avatar
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    Sometimes the prices set by re-sellers on Amazon aren't even set by human beings. Case in point, a book that was offered for sale for over $23 million because two computer programs started playing off each other: http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=358

    Pretty sure no one bought any copies, though. ^_^
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  6. #6
    Easily Amused ebbrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky Black View Post
    Amazon is the most crazy-making thing ever for writers. I see me ending up in a rubber room in a straight-jacket shouting "Let me out! I haven't checked my author rank today!"
    Seriously!! I'm right there with you, haha!!

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  7. #7
    Easily Amused ebbrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katrina S. Forest View Post
    Sometimes the prices set by re-sellers on Amazon aren't even set by human beings. Case in point, a book that was offered for sale for over $23 million because two computer programs started playing off each other: http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=358

    Pretty sure no one bought any copies, though. ^_^
    Ha, $23 million! Holy smokes. Gotta love computers!

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  8. #8
    Huh. kkbe's Avatar
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    Oh, man. I really have nothing pertinant to add to this conversation. All I keep thinking is, Oh, man. If I only had that problem. If I had that problem right now I would be flipping ecstatic--

    Please, carry on.
    From EFFIN' ALBERT:
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  9. #9
    Easily Amused ebbrown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkbe View Post
    Oh, man. I really have nothing pertinant to add to this conversation. All I keep thinking is, Oh, man. If I only had that problem. If I had that problem right now I would be flipping ecstatic--

    Please, carry on.
    yeah, I am truly thankful and thrilled anyone bought it at all. Very, very grateful indeed. Did I mention very, very grateful??

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  10. #10
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    It's basically a scam. There are high ball sellers on most books, hoping to hit a consumer who does know that they need to shop around.

  11. #11
    Huh. kkbe's Avatar
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    yeah, I am truly thankful and thrilled anyone bought it at all. Very, very grateful indeed. Did I mention very, very grateful??
    No need. I was being funny. Or, shall we say, I was attempting to, ahh. . .

    Really, I am happy for you. Thrilled beyond measure.
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  12. #12
    living in the past ishtar'sgate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebbrown View Post
    So I checked Amazon this morning and was happy with how things are going, but I noticed that my paperback book is being offered by other sellers at 3x the original price!
    Is this normal, and why on earth would anyone think it was worth that much? I admit, I am confused.
    Oh it's normal alright. When I looked up some of the resellers for my novel I thought, "Are you people crazy? Who's going to pay THAT much for ANY novel?"

  13. #13
    Boldly going nowhere in particular. Jess Haines's Avatar
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    I saw someone trying to sell the third book in my H&W Investigations series for $900 the other day. All I could do was laugh.

    I would just ignore it. I doubt anyone will be paying those crazy prices.

    Though I will admit I once spent $80 on an out of print paperback that I had to have. Loaned the copy I owned to someone who, of course, lost it. It was one of my favorite books, one I loved to reread, so the money felt well spent. It's the only time I've ever spent that kind of money, so I suppose there may be the occasional (rare) instance where someone else will get so desperate as to spend a ridiculous amount, too.
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  14. #14
    Easily Amused ebbrown's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by kkbe View Post
    No need. I was being funny. Or, shall we say, I was attempting to, ahh. . .

    Really, I am happy for you. Thrilled beyond measure.

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  15. #15
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Ignore Amazon.

    Write your books. Sell them to the best publisher available.

    Which isn't Amazon.

  16. #16
    Freelance Writer Orianna2000's Avatar
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    If a book goes out of print or comes out with a new edition, sometimes the marketplace sellers will raise their prices, thinking the older version will be more valuable. But secondhand book prices fluctuate wildly, even without those sorts of influences. If I see a book I like, but it's out of print and too expensive, I'll add it to my Amazon wishlist and keep an eye on it. Several times now, I've managed to grab a normally expensive book when the marketplace sellers had a price war and the cost dropped to something more reasonable.

    About ten years ago, Phantom by Susan Kay was out of print, extremely popular, and very hard to find. Prices were insane! One day, I discovered a seller on eBay who was asking over $800 for their used copy, an absurd amount, even given the rarity of the book. I was curious, so I actually wrote them and asked why on earth they would charge that much for a book that other people were selling for less than $100. Their reply was something like, "Don't worry, I'll sell it." Well, a few months later Phantom was finally reprinted and secondhand book prices plummeted. I'm pretty sure that guy never did sell his $800 book.

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW KSavoie's Avatar
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    I can't wait to check my writers rank on Amazon! Not that it matters, it'll just mean I'll finally have published something! haha
    New day, new blog.
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  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW areteus's Avatar
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    A friend of mine released a free ebook as a publicity thing. It was only ever intended to be free and would never have been offered at any price other than that. She was surprised to find that Amazon were selling it and putting a price on it (I think it was their minimum price...). My concern was 'are they paying you anything for any sales they get on this?' but she was more concerned with making sure that the free links were shared as widely as possible so that readers did not get ripped off (which is a valid concern in my eyes too...). She is hoping that eventually one of the pricing algorithms will step in and adjust the price to free...

  19. #19
    Sophipygian AW Moderator Alessandra Kelley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katrina S. Forest View Post
    Sometimes the prices set by re-sellers on Amazon aren't even set by human beings. Case in point, a book that was offered for sale for over $23 million because two computer programs started playing off each other: http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=358

    Pretty sure no one bought any copies, though. ^_^
    I have a friend who owns an antiquarian bookstore and also sells online. He told me about those algorithms, how sometimes a program will pick up a book offered in the US, more or less double its price, and offer it in the UK. The reverse also happens. I guess it's a "transatlantic premium" or something.

    Anyhow, this makes it fairly easy for the same exact copy of a book from the same seller (if you look closely at the lists) to turn up multiple times at twice the lowest asking price, or four times, or eight times, and so on.

    And yes, lots of booksellers offer books they do not actually have. A friend of mine did a self-published POD book. More booksellers are offering it than copies were printed (and most of the printed copies are accounted for). I'm guessing none of them actually has a copy in hand.

  20. #20
    DenturePunk writer bearilou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    Ignore Amazon.

    Write your books. Sell them to the best publisher available.

    Which isn't Amazon.
    Yeah, but it's still fun to talk about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phaeal View Post
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