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Why a 2009 Romance Novel Costs $2,812.48 on Amazon

The 'New York Times' takes a look at what some third-party sellers are doing
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2018 10:40 AM CDT
In this May 9, 2017, file photo, a package from Amazon is loaded for delivery in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(Newser) – With most Amazon articles focused on Prime-Day deals, the New York Times is out with a story focusing on the opposite end of the spectrum: the astronomical prices some third-party sellers are attaching to books sold on the site. It zeroes in on romance author Deborah Macgillivray, who in June tweeted that one retailer was selling a used copy of her novel One Snowy Knight for "$2,630.52 & FREE Shipping"—never mind that you can find the 2009 paperback elsewhere on Amazon for just 99 cents plus shipping. As for the how, the Times notes the "wild book prices" tend to be found in more obscure corners of the bookstore that Amazon isn't overseeing as actively.

A rep for Kensington, the book's publisher, says Amazon's "willingness to allow third-party vendors to sell authors’ books with zero oversight ... is driving us insane." Amazon, for its part, says it is actively taking down offers that don't align with its policies, though the paper found that prices of $600 and up were commonly found for secondhand copies of books. And the Times points out that after Macgillivray's tweet, the price of the priciest copy of One Snowy Knight went upward, to $2,812.48; the listing is live as of this writing. Read the full story for more on the practice. (Read more Amazon stories.)

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