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.