“Bones Buried in the Dirt” Gets It’s First Third Party Seller On Amazon

I’m trying to decide whether to be happy or not upon the discovery that Bones Buried in the Dirt has its first third party seller on Amazon. This isn’t a seller I worked to place the book at, so it means that someone who bought a copy (or someone who I sent a review copy, or even one of the Goodreads giveaway winners) must have sold their copy. That’s cool and all, as long as she/he/it read the book first, but there’s something else that puzzles me.

The seller is someone called Open Books out of Illinois. It purports to be a non-profit that uses proceeds to support literacy, which is definitely cool. More importantly, they are selling the book for $9.01 plus $3.99 shipping. To do the math, that’s a used copy for $13.00 of a book that retails new for $12.99.

Oh, I know that the price for new copies doesn’t include sales tax or shipping (though you also have to consider that Open Books will probably use media mail for the $3.99 shipping). However, you can always buy the book on Amazon and get free shipping with Prime or just get super saver shipping if you buy something else that costs at least $12.01. Whether or not they charge you sales tax right now depends on where you live.

Also, you could also buy the book at Tattered Cover in Denver or The Bookworm in Omaha in person (Tattered Cover you can also order online, but I don’t know what shipping is because I always just walk over there) and just have to pay $12.99 plus applicable sales tax for a new copy.

As such, $13.00 for a used copy just doesn’t seem like that great of a deal. I realize with taxes and/or shipping for a new copy you might save a couple of cents by going for this used one. However, that just doesn’t seem like much. I guess I just don’t understand how some of the used sellers do their pricing.

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About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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5 Responses to “Bones Buried in the Dirt” Gets It’s First Third Party Seller On Amazon

  1. Jon Konrath says:

    Is the book distributed through Ingram? (I.e. the publisher used LightningSource POD or something?) If so, a third-party can get the book at a wholesale price less than retail, sometimes as much as 40% less. So there are third-party sellers that are basically robots, that list the entire Ingram catalog and do some freaky arbitrage calculations to price their stuff, but they don’t actually stock the books. When someone orders it, they order it from Ingram, then send it to you. Sometimes, these get out of control, like when a book is discontinued but there’s a brief window where the seller still has it listed. Their automated pricing will go out of whack, because they will think they can buy it from another third-party seller and tack on x%, which makes other automated systems do the same thing. If you order one of those books, it will stall, and three months later you’ll get a message from the seller saying it’s unavailable. If you look, the first edition of Summer Rain (which was published by iUniverse and wholesaled through Ingram) has a robot offering new copies for $99.41. There’s also a first edition Rumored to Exist for $61.99. (Note – if anyone really wants one, I’ll beat those prices significantly…)

    Or, it could just be a used copy, and I wasted my time typing all of that. I routinely buy up all of the used copies of my books I can find, for some insane reason I have not determined.

    • I don’t know if my publisher is set up to distribute through Ingram or not. If so, I’m imagining they’d list it as new instead of used.

    • Maybe it’s like you were saying after all. The book went on sale on Amazon and Open Books adjusted their price to $7.71, with $3.99 shipping coming to a total of one cent more than the Amazon sale price of $11.69.

  2. Lx says:

    What Jon said. I had the same experience: a used copy of SLC selling for $99.

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