Did Amazon “Give” Your Buy Button to a 3rd Party Seller and is Your List Price Way Too High? WE HAVE A TIP FOR YOU!

Did Amazon “Give” Your Buy Button to a 3rd Party Seller and is Your List Price Way Too High? WE HAVE A TIP FOR YOU!

I previously wrote about Amazon’s controversial practice of “giving” the main Amazon.com buy buttons for particular books to third party sellers. These sellers often inflate the price of the book, leading to confused and angry readers, and complaints from authors and publishers. Authors may publicize the list price of their book at the correct lower price yet, when someone goes to Amazon to buy a copy, they might see a price $10 higher than that (or more!). Needless to say, authors whose books have fallen victim to this ridiculous scheme are FURIOUS!

The good news is that Amazon may still be selling the book directly, and that book may very well be in stock at Amazon, listed at the correct list price, AND eligible for Prime Shipping. Why Amazon is hiding their own buy buttons is beyond me but it’s not hard to find your book’s Amazon-direct listing with just a couple of clicks.

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR BOOK HAS FALLEN VICTIM TO AMAZON’S LATEST SHENANIGANS?

Your list price will usually be incorrect (inflated) and your book will not show up on its main Amazon page as being available for “Prime Shipping.” Don’t let the “free shipping” verbiage on third party seller listings fool you. The list price for the book in the screenshot below is $19.95 yet the third party seller has it listed for $25.92 so they ARE indeed getting extra money. You’ll also see words in a small font showing which third party seller received that buy button from Amazon. For the book below, it’s PBShop US.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Well, you can try to reason with the third party seller to correct the price by contacting them through their main Amazon seller’s page. However, even if you convince them to lower the price of the book, they won’t also offer free shipping like Amazon would through Prime. While you should still try to reason with them (read more about that RIGHT HERE), a better idea is to find your book’s actual Amazon direct sales link. Here’s how you do that:

Click on that line of text showing the correct list price and you will then see all the firms selling “New” copies of your book. If you’re lucky, Amazon’s direct sales link will pop up right on top, at the correct price, and available for Prime Shipping. (Also interesting to note is that some “used” copies from third party sellers on Amazon aren’t really used at all. They may not even exist yet. Read more about that RIGHT HERE.)

HOW TO DIRECT YOUR READERS TO THAT PAGE INSTEAD OF AMAZON’S MAIN PAGE FOR YOUR BOOK

Now that you’re on the secondary page for your book on Amazon, copy and paste that URL, and start using that when directing readers to your book on Amazon. Add the link to your website and your blog. If it’s too long for emails and social media, and if you’re not using Buffer for your social media postings (which automatically shortens URLs), you can obtain a much shorter URL at tinyurl.com.

To read more about Amazon’s controversial actions over the past few months (and years!), CLICK HERE.

Has Amazon been messing around with your book listings on their site? Please share your experience(s) in the comments box below.

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11 Responses to "Did Amazon “Give” Your Buy Button to a 3rd Party Seller and is Your List Price Way Too High? WE HAVE A TIP FOR YOU!"

  1. Pat Brunn-Perkins  December 10, 2018 at 12:33 am

    Amazon is infuriating! Here’s an article over a year old that’s worth reading.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/2018-book-publishing-predictions-are-indie-authors_us_5a4a88e0e4b0d86c803c78ab (copy and paste into browser)

    Maybe it’s time to get MAD and organize instead of allowing Amazon to stretch the limits of our country’s anti-trust laws. Authors Wake Up and Rise Up! We are not alone.

    Reply
  2. Shannon  December 8, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Just the opposite here – Amazon has cut my book’s price in half. Mystifying….and it is half-price for both the paperback and the kindle. They are undercutting everyone else (including my own online store) – after playing games and saying my book was “out of stock” and it would take a month to restock more copies, now they have swung the other way. Sometimes I just want to punch them in the face!

    Reply
    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  December 9, 2018 at 11:33 am

      When Amazon has this type of database error for print books, I tell authors to buy as many copies as they can at that cheap price (if they need copies to sell themselves, or for reviewers) because they’ll also earn royalties on those sales. 🙂

      Amazon should NOT be discounting your ebook list price, however!

      Angela

      Reply
  3. Juliet Waldron  December 7, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    My “Mozart’s Wife” has had the primary sales button taken over by a “reseller” who, I suspect, has access to an old file of the book, which has been continuously in print since 2001, but through many different and now defunct publishers. In an attempt to reclaim my work, I’ve recovered and retitled the book “The Intimate Mozart.” I doubt if this is going to sell the way the original title did…and I’ve been trying to figure out how to spike this theft of my property.

    Reply
  4. Diane C.  December 7, 2018 at 11:55 am

    My children’s picture book retails for CAD$13.95 and US$9.95 but Amazon had it listed for something crazy like $245. Now Amazon has it listed for $43.54. I’m not sure why the price got into the mid $200s and I’m not sure why it keeps changing and I’m not sure why it’s now at $43.54 (what an odd price!). And because Amazon is so difficult to deal with, and the one time I did deal with them they basically told me that they’re Amazon and they can do whatever they want, I really don’t know how to get them to change my book’s price or get them to stop carrying my title or even how or where to complain about Amazon’s “shenanigan’s”. Grrr!

    Reply
  5. lisa kusel  December 7, 2018 at 10:49 am

    My book BUY button was bought by PBSshop before it was released. They never had the book. They never delivered the book to countless customers. I only found out because more than a few friends bought from them (before the book was even out it was listed BELOW amazon price) and wrote me they never received the book. I wrote PBS and they said they were refunding the customers’ $. I asked them for a list of folks who purchased. They refused. How many sales did I lose? I have no idea.

    Reply
  6. Linda Gray  December 7, 2018 at 8:43 am

    I just checked Amazon, and they are listing my book with Prime shipping, but the list price is 10% off the cover price! I have no idea why.

    Reply
  7. woodrow wilson  December 6, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    I’ve checked on Amazon. They have dropped the prices way below their cost. Not sure what that means. Should I order a ton of them?

    Reply
    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  December 6, 2018 at 11:52 pm

      Yes!! 🙂

      Reply
    • Johnny Townsend  December 9, 2018 at 10:43 pm

      They will probably only let you buy one copy of each title at the low price. At least, that’s what they do for me.

      Reply
      • Danny Creasy  December 13, 2018 at 12:03 am

        I purchased four copies a quarter of my list price a few months ago and they ordered more. Hah!

        Reply

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