The Seedy Side of Selling a Book on Amazon

The Seedy Side of Selling a Book on Amazon

You’ve probably seen books sold on Amazon that display “other buying options.” It often looks like this:

Amazon's Marketplace Sellers

What you may not know is that most of those are generated automatically by less than honorable retailers, hoping to cash in.

You see, the moment my book, Repped: 30 Days to a Better Online Reputation, hit Amazon, they started showing up. What’s interesting, is that you’re practically guaranteed that my book is in stock on Amazon–so there’s no need to order from anyone else.

So, why do they do this? Well, they’re hoping the book will end its print run, and therefore you will have no choice but to pay their higher price. A price that is hardly reasonable–take a look at this:

Amazon's Seedy Marketplace

So, when you see those additional buying options, know a few things:

  1. The author/publisher likely has nothing to do with these merchants.
  2. They are there to prey on the naive and desperate.
  3. Amazon appears to be happy to let them exist.

Now you know.

ByAndy Beal

Andy Beal is The Original Online Reputation Expert™. A bestselling author of two critically-acclaimed reputation management books, a keynote speaker at dozens of events, and brand consultant experience with thousands of individuals and companies.

    4 Comments for “The Seedy Side of Selling a Book on Amazon”
    1. I have to take offense at “What you may not know is that most of those are generated automatically by less than honorable retailers, hoping to cash in.” I’ve been a 3rd party seller on Amazon since 2006. Amazon holds very high standards requiring shipping within 2 business days and for us to maintain high ratings or have our accounts suspended or banned altogether. While some disreputable sellers do slip thru the cracks at times, most of us are very honest folk trying to make a living. Some sellers buy stock of newly published books from wholesalers and other sources to list as soon as the books are available for sale speculating they will be good sellers for them.

      As to the “wtf” price, some sellers list a book at a ridiculously high price not intending to
      sell it, but as a placeholder in their inventory to list in the future. It’s a fairly common practice and simply the way some 3rd party apps to list products for sale handle such products that are not really in stock yet.

      1. Thanks for your insights Lori. I totally agree that there are some very honorable retailers on Amazon–I myself have sold many items via Amazon.

        However, I know for a fact that most of those I list are probably not in that category. The listings appeared automatically–and I know for a fact they did not actually have any copies of the book. Also, the fact that they are listing the book at a higher price than I am selling it, by default, shows that their intentions are less than honorable. 😉

    2. Well-put, Andy.

      Funny that the seller of the $999.11 book is “DailyDeal USA.” I’d hate to see the regular price.

      I’m really enjoying “Repped” so far, BTW. Thanks for a good and useful read.

      1. Hah, good point!

        Thanks for the feedback on Repped. I hope you continue to enjoy it and I’d love to read your review, if you have time to post one.

    Comments are closed.