What's with some of the absurd prices I'm seeing with Amazon Marketplace sellers?
Over the past few years I have seen used book titles posted at absurdly high prices. One of them was my own book, which is in print and sells at $25, but starting in 2001 I saw a few marketplace sellers posting $200 for a used copy. It's ridiculous as my books are nowhere near rare, they're in-print, and are easily accessible. Curious about this, I emailed a couple of these sellers and never got a reply.
Lately it seems I've been seeing more of this kind of thing. For example, for a recently out of print paperback published in 1999, this
listing shows 20 books ranging from $59 to $336
The simple explanation is that people are
getting or think
they can get such huge sums. Still, something has never smelled right about all this.
For example, the above title is not particularly rare; it's plain that the book has 125 reviews, which means a huge number are in circulation. So why aren't one of these sellers trying to sell for less than $59
to guarantee themselves a sale, and at the same time precipitating a collapse in these jacked up prices? Or is there an unwritten agreement among Marketplace sellers to not bust the lowest price point?
It's occurred to me that since a lot of paperbacks run $1-2, a ring of merchants could make good money by buying out all available copies of a certain title, then re-introducing them at absurd prices.
Thoughts on this?