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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 15th November 2011
Jim Ford Jim Ford is offline
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Strange Amazon Pricing.

I've ordered a second hand paperback book from an Amazon seller. The book is coming from America with the P&P costing 2.80, which is fair enough. The book though, only costs 1p (there were several sellers of the book, all with the price of 1p)!

How can this be commercially viable? Is it some kind of scam, that I haven't 'tumbled' yet, or a way of getting my postal and email address for 'spamming'?

Jim
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Old 15th November 2011
meach meach is offline
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Re: Strange Amazon Pricing.

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Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
I've ordered a second hand paperback book from an Amazon seller. The book is coming from America with the P&P costing 2.80, which is fair enough. The book though, only costs 1p (there were several sellers of the book, all with the price of 1p)!

How can this be commercially viable? Is it some kind of scam, that I haven't 'tumbled' yet, or a way of getting my postal and email address for 'spamming'?

Jim
I've noticed this myself. Have bought a few and received them ok and never heard from them again so I don't think there's any cause to worry. Can't see what they get out of it though.
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Old 15th November 2011
Internaut Internaut is offline
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Re: Strange Amazon Pricing.

Odd. In terms of Amazon themselves, they probably view it as in their interest to run a vibrant marketplace over their infrastructure. There may not be much money involved (I'm guessing the 2.80 covers the seller's cost) but it keeps you coming back to Amazon, and that matters a great deal, to Amazon.

As for the seller, unless they're selling many thousands of books (unlikely), surely leaving it on a park bench for the next person to read is less effort than driving down to the nearest USPO?
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Old 15th November 2011
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Re: Strange Amazon Pricing.

Ah but think of all the inteest sparked by posts like this to get people to go and look on Amazon?
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Old 15th November 2011
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Re: Strange Amazon Pricing.

I think the money is made on the difference between the postage charge (minus Amazon's cut) and the postage actually paid, but at 1p that aint much.

The real losers are the authors who won't see a penny in royalties from the second hand sales, and the publishers who sell fewer copies.

This is why advances for novels are usually less than 1000 nowadays, that's if you're lucky enough to get published. It's not a good return for your money and it's getting worse.
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Old 15th November 2011
gphemy gphemy is offline
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Re: Strange Amazon Pricing.

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Originally Posted by LMGruchy View Post
I think the money is made on the difference between the postage charge (minus Amazon's cut) and the postage actually paid, but at 1p that aint much.
Partly as you say - but the bit you missed is that by pricing at 1p, you get to the top of the list, with the greatest chance of getting the difference in postage. In other words 50% of not much is better than 100% of nothing.

Piers
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Old 16th November 2011
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Re: Strange Amazon Pricing.

I've bought dozens of 1p books through Amazon, normally second-hand but sometimes new out-of-print. I presume there's enough profit in the postage - after all, it's less than 1 to post a book in the UK.
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Old 16th November 2011
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Re: Strange Amazon Pricing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Internaut View Post
Odd. In terms of Amazon themselves, they probably view it as in their interest to run a vibrant marketplace over their infrastructure. There may not be much money involved (I'm guessing the 2.80 covers the seller's cost) but it keeps you coming back to Amazon, and that matters a great deal, to Amazon.

As for the seller, unless they're selling many thousands of books (unlikely), surely leaving it on a park bench for the next person to read is less effort than driving down to the nearest USPO?
A quote from Martins money tips "You may get 3 for a paperback in good condition, though this usually must cover postage costs, so factor that in. "

I assume that is from Amazon UK.
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Old 16th November 2011
DerekW DerekW is online now
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Re: Strange Amazon Pricing.

If you look at the pricing structure for selling on Amazon


http://services.amazon.co.uk/services/sell-on-amazon/pricing/#politics http://services.amazon.co.uk/services/sell-on-amazon/pricing/#politics

you can see that the cut Amazon takes is about 25% for low cost items and about 10% for mid price items. So trying to get a fair return on a low price item is difficult. If you are selling remaindered or surplus books which are one step away from being pulped the value of the book is just their pulp value less the cost of storage so if you can make a profit on the posting and packing then you have won.
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Old 16th November 2011
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Re: Strange Amazon Pricing.

I know it is not quite the same, but I have purchased DVD's from Amazon for 1p each. Strange thing is that the postage was just 1.24, which seems to be the standard rate for postage on a DVD. I cannot beleive that there was any profit in these transactions - maybe the seller was just having a clear out.

I also purchased a broadband modem for 1p a couple of years back. Again, postage was nominal...
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Old 16th November 2011
maccabeej maccabeej is offline
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Re: Strange Amazon Pricing.

I have occasionly bought through ABEBooks, which works similarly to Amazon on second hand books. Good value, I think you will find that the sellers buy in bulk and take what they can get for poor quality, unwanted etc and make their money on the more valuable stuff.
Jim
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