Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sorry to leave that last post up for so long. It's a downer.

AbeBooks is a website with 100,000,000 books for sale. It consolidates the lists from 13,500 booksellers. Users can browse for authors, titles, and keywords. Results can be sorted by author, title, or price.

Results can also be sorted by 'Newest'. This is useful for finding bargains. Sellers often don't know the market and offer for prices much lower or higher than usual. For example, today I see a copy of SNG Morcom being offered for $15.

If a book is rare -- there are no other copies on AbeBooks -- it makes sense for the sellers to offer the book at some rediculously high price. Maybe shoppers won't know the price is too high, or be in too much of a hurry to care. High list prices also establish the starting point for bargaining.

There are always idiots who enter prices that are oddly high for no good reason. Why did Bob's Books list Sear GCV: Europe for $98.26 when there are plenty of copies at $60. Why did Revaluation Books (UK) offer Wheaton College Collection for $75 when copies are easily had for $6.23 and $10?

I've never sold books through AbeBooks. To become a seller, there is a $25 monthly subscription fee. I sell books (paperback fiction I didn't like) through, which is free. When listing books for sale on it tells you what other copies recently sold for. I always ignored that and tried to come 1 cent or 50 cents below the next cheapest copy. If I didn't do that, my books never sold.

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