I love rip-off sellers on Amazon.com. I know my readers are too smart to fall for such a blatant inflation of price for a book the scam artist of a seller doesn’t even have; but still it makes me irate that someone would try to rip off my readers.
When I first started publishing, I was leery of opening up all the sales channels. I didn’t like that I would lose half my royalties for the privilege of allowing Barnes & Noble to have my books on their site. I didn’t see why that should come out of MY end and MY end alone.
But I lived with it. That is, until the day my books popped up with all these “USED” copies for sale. I knew damn well those sellers didn’t have a used copy. I monitor my sales. I know what I’ve sold and what I’ve haven’t. And at the time, I hadn’t sold ANY print copies of several of the books that this list of ten sellers claimed to have in stock and USED, with descriptions of “light wear.”
How in the bloody hell can you claim used with light wear when you don’t even HAVE a copy of the book? Talk about a scam. If someone orders it, then the people on the other end of that scam company have to place the order with Create Space. CS then prints it and mails it either direct to the customer or to the scam company who then remails it in their own envelope with their own label.
What do you care? someone out there is bound to ask. You’re still getting your royalties.
As I said, through the “expanded” channels that allows online merchants to purchase direct from Create Space, I’m losing half my royalties. And they are turning around and charging $28 for a $10 book of cartoons. They are charging $71 for a $14 book of crochet patterns.
I took my books off the extended channels that minute. Every one of them.
So today, as I’m looking at the crochet book to see how much of a sale Amazon has put it on today (19%), I see 1 used copy for $71 dollars. And I see who the company is. I wrote them asking to see a picture of the actual copy of this book they are claiming to have IN STOCK and are selling for the complete rip off price of $71.
I double checked to be sure the book wasn’t overlooked when I took them all down from expanded distribution. Nope, I’d not forgotten it. There were the icons all faded out.
There’s probably not much else I can do except report them to Amazon for the ridiculously inflated price. But since people are free to set whatever prices they want (like the $5000 128 gig flash drive or the $60 price on the $24 toy cotton candy maker), I’ll probably have more luck suggesting that sellers of used items MUST provide a picture of the actual item.
That one requirement would stop these people in their tracks.
Dearest Readers, when you are looking at the long list of used books for sale under a title, look carefully at the prices and shipping terms of those used books in comparison to the actual price of the book and common sense about shipping times. Buy the version available through Amazon.com itself if you want to be assured the item is actually on hand. Don’t let yourself be fooled. If it’s going to take two weeks or more to get to you, that means it has to be printed first and the seller does NOT actually have the item on hand.
They are advertising a used, in stock product they don’t actually have. This makes them a book broker, not a reseller. Lingerie sellers do this on Ebay quite frequently. Collect orders through the week and make their purchase at the end of the week or beginning of the next, get the order and then ship out to customers.
Don’t be fooled. Buy from the legitimate sellers. For my books, for now, that is Amazon.com and Create Space.