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View Full Version : Amazon. Iím curious. How does selling a book for 1 penny work?



The Lady
01-08-2009, 11:04 PM
I went to buy a book on Amazon (from an AW member no less. Iíve been meaning to check it out for a while now) and I was amazed to find sizable numbers of the book for sale for 1 penny. Some of them were new and some were used and in good condition. Being a natural sceptic I goggled the phenomenon and saw that the margin between what they receive for postage and what it actually costs them to post it, gives them a sixty pence profit, if they get the book for free. But how do they get the book for free? That is what bewilders me. There is actually only one copy of the actual book at a normal price for sale on Amazon. Does this mean the author gets nothing for any transactions involving the new books for sale at 1 penny?

smoothseas
01-08-2009, 11:17 PM
Right, the author doesnít get anything.

Itís kinda like buying a used paperback at a boot sale. New doesnít translate to Ďoff the shelf brand new.í Itís been preowned. Maybe gently read.

ĎLike newí condition is, of course, relative. Some sellers take liberties. Others are honest.

Shipping price is fixed, so the sellers might make a small profit there.

Bottom feeding is all it is.

The Lady
01-08-2009, 11:27 PM
But how are they getting them for free even? :)

alleycat
01-08-2009, 11:28 PM
Well, some of the "new books" really are new. They are what's called in the trade "remainders"--books that the publisher can't or doesn't sell through the usual channels and gets rid of at bargain basement prices. They will often have a mark on the edge of the pages to indication it's a remainder.

The Lady
01-08-2009, 11:36 PM
Well, some of the "new books" really are new. They are what's called in the trade "remainders"--books that the publisher can't or doesn't sell through the usual channels and gets rid of at bargain basement prices. They will often have a mark on the edge of the pages to indication it's a remainder.


Seems silly as they're only hurting the "real" money making sales by having those books appear on Amazon for a penny.

And about the mark. Yes, there are often mumblings in the description about a slight "mark" so that must be what it is. I would never have known.

smoothseas
01-08-2009, 11:41 PM
Thereís thatÖ

I used to sell used books on eBay. The Salvation Army here would hold auctions. Culled merchandise that hadnít sold in their retail outfits, items that their sorters deemed wouldnít sell in those same storesÖ

Often I could load my car for $10 for $15. Never really factored for price per item there, but would always find a couple of things that would bring BIG bucks.

Like water, the books, and anything other item for that matter, would seek its own level.

Havenít you ever gotten a book as a gift that you never read?

p.s. The books arenít listed on AMAZONís site. Theyíre only list the books for individual sellers at a fee.

Not sure about Amazon, but on eBay thereís an insertion fee and a final value fee.

alleycat
01-08-2009, 11:42 PM
And about the mark. Yes, there are often mumblings in the description about a slight "mark" so that must be what it is. I would never have known.
Yep. The "slight mark" is just a line marked across the botton of the pages. If you see that on any book, the book was a remainder.

Red-Green
01-09-2009, 12:28 AM
If it seems wrong that these books are being sold with no money going to the author, consider the fate of most remaindered books: pulping. Then the books are wasted, recycled, the author still doesn't make any money, and no one gets to read the book. As sad as it is, the "one penny" gimmick seems preferable to me.

JAlpha
01-09-2009, 12:38 AM
I get a number of books for free when I'm contracted to write a review and or judge a contest, and it's always made clear to me that I can do what I want with the books after I complete my assigned editing or judging task--including selling them . . . which I have done a number of times.

Sometimes I have the opportunity to sell the books for nearly their original price, and sometimes I'm only able to cover the shipping cost. Books I can't sell and or don't want, get donated to a local senior center and or library.

smoothseas
01-09-2009, 01:32 AM
I get a number of books for free when I'm contracted to write a review and or judge a contest, and it's always made clear to me that I can do what I want with the books after I complete my assigned editing or judging task--including selling them . . . which I have done a number of times.

Sometimes I have the opportunity to sell the books for nearly their original price, and sometimes I'm only able to cover the shipping cost. Books I can't sell and or don't want, get donated to a local senior center and or library.


Then there's book collectors who only want ARC's or Firsts...