Sunday, September 24, 2006

Yet Another Example Of Overpricing By Amazon Marketplace Sellers

I continue to be surprised by too-high prices charged by Amazon Marketplace sellers for some books.

Take this book, for example. This is the current, in print edition of the Cub Scout Handbook for the Tiger level (first grade boys). This book is usually sold at the stores that sell the uniforms or at the official Boy Scout of America retail stores or their online shop ( Full retail on this new book is $4.25. You can view this item on the Scout Stuff website, here.

As of today does not stock this new book in their regular inventory. Amazon Marketplace sellers are offering used and new editions as of today. Right now there is one used copy with a cover with wear on it for $10.00 which is the least expensive edition available there today. The only new copy is listed at $15.59.

Why are Amazon Marketplace sellers offering a used edition for over double the cover price for a not-perfect copy of the book? Why is the only new copy priced at $15.59?

The only thing I can guess about the pricing is one of these:
1. The Amazon Marketplace seller does not know that this edition is in-print and not rare. Perhaps they think it is a rare collectos item and will draw the attention of those who collect Cub Scout and Boy Scout items?

2. The Amazon Marketplace seller is hoping that an ignorant parent who likes to use Amazon will think that it is the only place to buy the book so they may accidentially purchase an overpriced copy of the book through that Amazon Marketplace seller instead of buying a new book at full retail for less money at an official Scout shop or through a licensed retail store.

3. The Amazon Marketplace seller has the book on hand and figures they'll offer a ridiculous price for it and if a sucker comes along to buy it then they will make a profit.

Do you have any ideas on what goes through used booksellers minds when pricing a book?
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Green Darner said...

I vote for #3.

Most cub scout packs provide new handbooks for the scouts out of the funds from the Trails End popcorn sales. If this is not the case with your pack I would talk to the cubmaster or committee chair. If this doesn't help talk to your council District Commissioner.

Karen said...

Thomas and I are just now starting on the Tiger cub scout road, so I don't know about "most," but none of the dens in our pack give the handbooks out.

As to the Amazon thing, is the handbook listed for ten bucks the paperback or the coil bound edition? I got the coil bound edition so it would lay flat and it's price in the scout store was almost 15 dollars (don't remember exactly). So, giving the benefit of the doubt, maybe it's the coil edition and not a scam?

christinemm said...

Well, to answer Karen. The item information on Amazon is supposed to match the thing they are selling. The photo is the paperback edition, the listing info from Amazon is paperback edition and the ISBN on that listing matches the paperback version. I own the paperback book of that handbook (not spiral) and compared the ISBN after I read your comment so I could double check as I got curious! :)

I chalk it up to greed.