“Amazon has my book for sale from other companies and the price is way too high! That is not fair. The book cost too much money that way. What can I do about it? The book won’t sell at the inflated price.”
Amazon is continuing to give its main buy buttons to third party sellers, and essentially hiding their direct sales listings (they’re not easy to find!) for those books…or removing those direct sales listings altogether.
I looked at your book online. Amazon has given the main buy button to Book Depository, which Amazon owns. Read more about this controversial practice, CLICK HERE.
Any Amazon customer who wants to pay a lower price can click on the “new” options (it’s a tiny font!) underneath the box that shows the price that Book Depository has it listed for.
If you complain to Amazon, you’ll be fighting a losing battle. And, you’ll waste a TON of time because you’re not going to win.
Amazon is legally entitled to allow third party sellers to use its website and those sellers (and Amazon) can charge any price they want for a product. That’s legal across all industries. Suppliers don’t get to choose what retailers charge for products as long as the suppliers are paid what they are contractually entitled to. You will still earn your regular royalty on those sales. The third party sellers get to pocket the extra profit. And, of course, Amazon gets a cut of that as well.
Amazon may be trying to get out of the business of direct book sales. Books are not expensive, and do not have a high profit point. Amazon has been laying off thousands of workers, and closing warehouses, and even recently took out an $8B loan (yes, billion). And, they are billions in debt.
Perhaps they’re moving more toward a middle-man business model. We’re seeing complaints daily now from authors whose books are listed at high prices by third party sellers on Amazon. Heck, Amazon could also be trying to force more Kindle ebook sales but I think even Amazon knows the hype of the Kindle was over years ago. Print book sales still FAR outpace ebook sales.
Even if an author’s book page gets “fixed,” and if Amazon.com shows up as the primary seller, authors often find a third party seller having the main buy button once again just a few days later. And, around and around they go. Amazon’s database is going to keep changing that book page and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
Pestering your publisher to get the listing fixed won’t work. Contacting Ingram won’t work. Contacting Amazon directly will only generate a form response that, you guessed it, blames “the publisher,” saying they gave Amazon the wrong price. That’s a lie. It’s not your publisher. It’s all Amazon and their third party sellers.
If you continue to complain, you’ll be beating your head against a wall because, again, Amazon can do whatever it wants with its own website. And, expect to keep receiving form responses from low-paid Amazon employees who are experts at copying and pasting those form responses.
Amazon’s site is database driven. No human is looking at your book page, nor will they change it to your liking. If you think Amazon cares about your book, you, your publisher, or anything that is important to you, you’re living in La La Land. Amazon’s main concern is their own bottom line. If they can make more money selling fewer books through third party sellers than they do warehousing and selling books directly, that’s what they’re going to do.
Yes, it’s frustrating. I recommend sending your potential readers links to BarnesandNoble.com, BooksAMillions.com, your own website, your publisher’s website, or anywhere else your book can be purchased. Leave the link for Amazon OUT of your marketing materials. Sure, some people will go there automatically. But, when more and more people realize they can purchase books far cheaper at BarnesandNoble, they’ll start shopping there for their reading needs. I do!
ANGELA ON TWITTER
ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING A BOOK?
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.