Friday, August 31, 2012

What is the Deal with Penny Book Sellers?

One of the more common questions I get is about penny books and penny book sellers. They are plentiful on both eBay and Amazon. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you continuously run across them on both marketplaces:

1)If you look at the penny book sellers, they usually have thousands of books for sale and a large feedback number. These people are buying by the tractor trailer load, pallet, gaylord, or getting all the leftovers from library sales or storage unit auctions. Some books in those lots will be good to sell, some won't. They can make a few cents on a penny book sale rather than throwing them away. They have huge operations with warehouses and many employees processing books. It works for them to make a few cents on hundreds or thousands of sales a day.

2)Many also use repricers and the prices spiral down to a penny. If you have 3-4 large sellers all using repricers, and no one has set a cut off for the price, the automation of a repricer will allow the price to go to a penny. And these large sellers don't care.

3)There are lots of large sellers using Amazon and eBay for customer harvesting. They can get a sale, and include promotional material in the shipment to entice the buyer to go to their website (20% off your first order!!). Rather than trash a worthless book, they use it to reach a new customer who may become a valuable repeat customer on their own personal website.

Bottom line - don't assume everyone on eBay or Amazon is there to make money, and don't assume they are there for the same reasons you are.

Related posts:

How to Market Your eBay Store/Listings

Marketing During the Summer

How to Sell on Etsy – Part One

1 comment:

Vintage Maison said...

Yes, and sadly, they don't care that they are putting small book-sellers out of business. I suppose all is fair in love, war and book-selling...