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Thread: How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?


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Permlink Replies: 10 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Oct 6, 2017 6:38 PM Last Post By: cdalebrittain
v f kerton

Posts: 4
Registered: 07/10/17
How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 3:16 AM
 
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Has anyone encountered this before? I recently published a paperback, and I know where every one of the (few!) copies are. Yet I see on Amazon that it is being offered at around £1 less by a seller who claims to have it in stock, both new and used - the seller has a 99% rating from 24K reviews. I'm just curious what would happen if I bought one. Presumably they would have to get a copy printed, so where is their profit? I can't see the logic behind this.
Donna St Felix

Posts: 5,667
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 3:19 AM   in response to: v f kerton in response to: v f kerton
 
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v f kerton wrote:
Has anyone encountered this before? I recently published a paperback, and I know where every one of the (few!) copies are. Yet I see on Amazon that it is being offered at around £1 less by a seller who claims to have it in stock, both new and used - the seller has a 99% rating from 24K reviews. I'm just curious what would happen if I bought one. Presumably they would have to get a copy printed, so where is their profit? I can't see the logic behind this.

It is pretty simple. They get an order. They order the book and have it shipped to the buyer.
They make a bit less than you would at retail price.
They order it at a business discount which is assuming you did sign up for that.
You make a royalty, but not at retail price (distributor).
Notjohn

Posts: 23,269
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 3:48 AM   in response to: v f kerton in response to: v f kerton
 
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Don't worry about the Marketplace sharks! If they can't make money, they'll just cancel the order. I suspect those listing are all done by software, which picks up new books and checks the asking price for Marketplace copies and sets a price a bit lower than that.

Same thing with the thousands of used books being sold on Amazon for a penny. I have bought many of these books (net price $4 with shipping) and every one has been fulfilled. Typically the book comes in a cheap plastic bag and can be mailed for something like $2.80, so there's maybe a dollar to be made there. It could be worthwhile if you run a secondhand bookstore and drive by the post office on your way home. Ten books a day, $10 in your pocket, no extra time spent at the store, why not?

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Edmund Fen

Posts: 16
Registered: 10/05/17
Re: How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 9:14 AM   in response to: v f kerton in response to: v f kerton
 
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v f kerton wrote:
Has anyone encountered this before?

No, I'm pretty sure no writer has ever had his book offered to customers by a bookseller.
Scott Marshall

Posts: 3
Registered: 10/05/17
Re: How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 10:15 AM   in response to: v f kerton in response to: v f kerton
 
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My new book has been available for only 6 days and already new, unopened copies are being sold under the "sell yours here" lists at less than retail. Are copies being stolen from the print on demand facility?
Donna St Felix

Posts: 5,667
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 10:31 AM   in response to: Scott Marshall in response to: Scott Marshall
 
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Scott Marshall wrote:
My new book has been available for only 6 days and already new, unopened copies are being sold under the "sell yours here" lists at less than retail. Are copies being stolen from the print on demand facility?

Quick answer: NO.
They go after the list of new releases and get them for sale quickly on their listings.
Edmund Fen

Posts: 16
Registered: 10/05/17
Re: How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 3:33 PM   in response to: Scott Marshall in response to: Scott Marshall
 
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Scott Marshall wrote:
My new book has been available for only 6 days and already new, unopened copies are being sold under the "sell yours here" lists at less than retail. Are copies being stolen from the print on demand facility?

Yes. I was able to buy a copy of your book from a dude in a raincoat under the 17th Street Bridge. I also got a coverless Harry Potter at 50%, a Czech edition of It with Korean subtitles, and a Rolexx still in the box.
Scott Marshall

Posts: 3
Registered: 10/05/17
Re: How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 4:42 PM   in response to: Donna St Felix in response to: Donna St Felix
 
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I'm still not seeing what's in it for them, and feel like they are picking my pocket. somehow How are they making money this way? Is it costing me royalty?
Donna St Felix

Posts: 5,667
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?
Posted: Oct 5, 2017 5:42 PM   in response to: Scott Marshall in response to: Scott Marshall
 
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Scott Marshall wrote:
I'm still not seeing what's in it for them, and feel like they are picking my pocket. somehow How are they making money this way? Is it costing me royalty?

Lets say you own a shoe store. You see a pair of shoes you want to sell in your store.
You buy them at 40% to 50% off of retail.
You sell them at retail price, maybe a little discounted.
SO if the shoes retail for $10, the wholesale price is $4 to $5.
The shoe store sells them at $9 or $10.

The manufacturer (the shoemaker) sells and makes a profit. This is where you are if a business buys your book.
The store sells and makes a profit.

It is no different from any other product you buy, that including your groceries.
You will receive a royalty at the 'distributor' level.
Apparently, you have not read the information that Amazon has provided for sellers.
Scott Marshall

Posts: 3
Registered: 10/05/17
Re: How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?
Posted: Oct 6, 2017 5:16 PM   in response to: Donna St Felix in response to: Donna St Felix
 
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OK, let's see if I have this right. My book goes up on amazon for sale. Some reseller sees the listing and is able to buy the book at wholesale, but before he physically buys it, puts it up for sale on the same amazon page where it's for sale at retail but for slightly less, competing directly against amazon's retail price. When someone buys the "used" copy, the reseller buys a copy at wholesale and resells it at less than retail, robbing both me and amazon of some of our cash. Is this what's happening? Using your analogy of shoes, that would be like someone sitting outside a shoe store offering a pair of shoes at less than retail, and when a person gives them money for a pair, he goes inside the store, buys a pair at a privileged wholesale price, then gives it to his customer, robbing the shoe store he's soliciting customers right of some of the markup. Is this something like what they're doing with our books?
cdalebrittain

Posts: 11,296
Registered: 03/05/11
Re: How would this seller of 'used' book be making a profit?
Posted: Oct 6, 2017 6:38 PM   in response to: Scott Marshall in response to: Scott Marshall
 
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Yep, that's basically it. You can turn off "extended distribution" at CreateSpace if you don't want resellers to be able to sell the book, but you'd be depriving yourself of sales at places like B&N, and readers wouldn't be able to order through regular bookstores. Having extended distribution means you're making sales you wouldn't otherwise make at all, well worth it to lose a dollar here or there on a sale through Amazon.

If the print book is published through KDP-print, there is no extended distribution. The third-party sellers have to pay full Amazon price, but then your book is not available anywhere but Amazon. They will try to undercut Amazon hoping to make it up in postage (there's a $3.99 shipping charge for the third-party sellers, and Prime doesn't cover them, so they figure if they can ship for $2 they come out ahead).

In practice, most people will pay the regular Amazon price and get free shipping with Prime.
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