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Can someone explain the used book pricing from certain companies on Amazon?


bnbacademy
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I have been puzzled about this for a long time... the completely inflated prices of books on the used book side of Amazon and Half.com sold by specific companies?  Where do they come up with those prices?

 

And yet the companies actually have ++ feedback?  Do these companies actually sell paperbacks for $75?  Are those who buy just accidentally clicking wrong buttons and then paying out of obligation?  Are they waiting for me to do that, because there is this uneasy fear that I just might one day...

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I think I read somewhere that companies put those crazy prices on there when they don't have a copy to sell at that time but want to save their place in the line. I guess maybe they think that at that price no one will try to buy it and when they get an actual copy to sell they lower their price to a normal amount. Now this could be completely wrong because I can't remember for sure.

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I suspect that some people actually pay those incredibly inflated prices (often much more than the price of the book, Brand New, in "Gift" condition, from Amazon), because they do not take a few minutes to look at all of the listings. They click, without using their eyes or their brain.  And, some of those listings are probably "place holders", for books they do not have, but expect to have in the near future.

 

There is another side to this and I've just seen that on eBay, for a Laptop battery we purchased from a company in California. We paid $15.29. They sold about 63 of them at that price, but now it is $61.29.  Same listing.  Same battery. Same eBay Seller.  My belief is that they hope people will see how many they've sold and that they will assume they were sold at $61.29...  The battery we received from them is defective...

 

I need to buy one more textbook for DD (8th grade Science) and couldn't believe how the prices for that one shot up as I was hoping for the price to drop. I am waiting for more vendors to list that book, and hope that will happen by the end of May or the end of June.

 

In general, my belief is that the  worst time to purchase used textbooks is in late August and early in September. Lots of demand and high prices. 

 

The other side of these pricing issues is that the textbook we bought on Amazon for DD, for one cent (USD$0.01) + shipping, and the one we bought that same night (from the same Seller) for 58 cents (USD$0.58) + shipping are in extremely beautiful condition, although described by the Seller (HPB-Dallas) as "Used-Good".  They could have been listed as "Very Good" or "Like New"

 

OT: In the past 2 or 3 weeks, I have received two (2) emails from Amazon, asking if we want to sell our copy of "Texas and Texans".  DD isn't done with that textbook, and we don't live in the USA, so we can't sell it to Amazon. At this time, they will pay $28.50 for that textbook and I think they pay for the shipping  (within the USA) too. We paid just over $30 + shipping (Used-Good) to HPB-Dallas for that textbook.

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Someone once explained to me that many of them are done by a computer algorithm.  It gets it "right" a lot, but messes up and sets some things way too high sometimes.  But the businesses using these don't care because they're selling so much.  This is just a few random items for them.

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Someone once explained to me that many of them are done by a computer algorithm.  It gets it "right" a lot, but messes up and sets some things way too high sometimes.  But the businesses using these don't care because they're selling so much.  This is just a few random items for them.

 

Yes. Some of the Sellers use computer programs to set their prices. They seem to have other companies they consider  to be  their competition (or enemy) and they get into price wars on some books and their prices drop down to as low as one cent. The flip side of that is that sometimes their competitor will raise their price (or create a new listing for a book they are selling, at a price higher than their listing price) and then the computer programs will keep raising prices. I saw that recently on the 8th grade Science textbook we need to buy for DD.  When they get into those pricing wars, the higher the listing price, the more the price will change each day. When the price is very low (less than ten dollars for example) the price only drops a few cents each day. They lower (or raise) the price by a fixed percentage, every day, in relation to the price of their competitor.

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Yes, it's the internet.

 

Some years ago when many WTM groupies were using Spelling Workout, I saw a copy on Amazon for over $1000.  Now what kind of homeschooler is going to spend that on a paperback, consumable spelling book that can be bought any number of places for less?

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