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Used books on Amazon question

Old 06-27-05, 10:52 PM
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Used books on Amazon question

I apologize for doing this, but a search on amazon didn't totally answer my question. Besides, I'm convinced that every question I may ever have can be answered here by fellow forum members.

I don't think I've ever bought used books from Amazon sellers(they call it zshops now I guess?), but the prices are intriguing. However, it appears that you can only buy one book at a time, and pay for shipping on each item (seems to be about $3.50 fairly standard), even if you want to buy several books from one seller.

Am I missing something?

A lot of sellers have some great books for really cheap, but if I have to pay $3.50 for shipping for each book, I might as well buy new or at a local used shop.
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Old 06-28-05, 06:32 PM
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I've sold thousands of books, DVDs, VHS, CDs etc. for my store through Amazon Marketplace (part of the zShops), which is what you are looking at. Amazon charges a buyer $3.49 for media mail shipping but reimburses the seller only $2.26. On each transaction Amazon pockets the $1.23 difference plus 15% of the selling price (CDs and DVDs have lower shipping charges and reimbursements).

If someone buys more than one item from me (you can buy any number of items on one order but you will be charged shipping for each one) I will give them an upgrade to priority mail if the shipping is not too much over the $5.52 we will be reimbursed (for two; $6.78 for three etc.). I also almost always upgrade shipping of a CD or DVD to first class mail since it is usually cheaper or not much more than media at that weight. But a seller is under no obligation to do these things. Many sellers also give you the option of purchasing priority mail at the beginning which runs $5.49 for a book.

So is it worth it? That depends, of course, on the bottom line price comparison between the Amazon Marketplace and the price from Amazon itself or wherever else you want to look. Also, with used items, condition is, of course, a factor. Also, you should take a seller's feedback into account (read the comments, don't just look at the number rating) and only buy from sellers with excellent feedback.

I can tell you that in pricing my items I don't look only at the Marketplace competition; I also look at Amazon's price (if they are selling the item which they won't be doing if it's out of print). I also take into account that a buyer can get free shipping by buying from Amazon directly if they spend $25.00. Thus my prices are usually on the low side and are always competitive. Honestly, sometimes I see sellers with such outrageous prices I have no idea what they could be thinking.

So weigh everything and buy accordingly.
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Old 06-29-05, 08:55 PM
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