Amazon, it seems, has entered the used book trade in a bigger way. How bigger is bigger? With BIG YELLOW BUTTONS that offer used book prices and Prime shipping with fulfillment via Amazon.
In a word: OUCH.
This seems like Amazon’s answer to the “publishers set this price and it’s too goddam high” conundrum presented by the “agency model:” they’ll provide fast shipping for Prime members and sell books “used” at a lower price.
The example tweeted by Angela James shows Lynne Reid Banks’ “The Indian in the Cupboard” available for $11.53 in hardcover new, or $4.00 in “good condition” fulfilled by Amazon and Prime-eligible. Huh. Which one would you choose?
Plus, if you send in a copy of certain books, you get Amazon gift card credit.
Not every book offers a big trade in value: the paperback of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is only up for .45c in Amazon.com gift credit, while the hardback is $1.60. Poor Stieg Larsson’s books, they’re like Toyotas in the resale market.
Erin McCarthy’s Flat Out Sexy is $10.08 retail and $5.99 used in very good condition.
I’m fascinated by the effects of the huge prominence of the “Buy Used” button – and also by the prices for trading in and buying used. If the used book stores are offering Amazon fulfillment, who is setting the used book prices, Amazon, or the used bookstore?
It seems not every used book vendor on Amazon has “fulfillment by Amazon” as an option – which makes me wonder how much they pay to access that designation. And not every book offers the trade-in option, or the Buy Used button with Amazon fulfillment.
What do I get if I trade in a Kindle?
Thanks to Angela James for tweeting the original link.