Internet pricing question

I keep encountering this sort of thing, especially with books on Amazon. Today, a dog training book was recommended to me. It is in print, which is unusual for books I need. The publisher lists it as $34.95. Amazon prime has it for $45.35. Sellers on Amazon have it used for as much as $2000.00.

I have always assumed that this is either some sort of algorithm failure, or possibly a money laundering scheme.
Does anyone have better insight?

Sellers (at least some of them, that I know of) can set their own prices. They are hoping a person with more money than sense places the order, without comparing prices. I’ve seen similar pricing on craigslist, used for more than brand new would be, and people get pissed off if you mention that the pricing makes no sense.

I find it to be ridiculous, but it is a business model.


On the internet, there’s a sucker born every millisecond.


Prime prices are often higher than MSRP, but that comes with free shipping and easy return policies.

For 5000% normal MSRP they better be delivering that book by last Thursday


ftfy :wink:  

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I know that there are some Amazon sellers that have bots set up to automatically set their prices. I put a bunch of books up for sale there, and I checked the prices of my competitors, and set my prices a couple of pennies cheaper. Within minutes, they lowered their price to a few cents cheaper. I raced them to the bottom, but before I got there, I started back up, increasing the price back up. Sure enough, they started to increase their prices. Presumably, if I had set my price to $2000.50, they would have set theirs to $2000.

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Not everybody on Amazon marketplace is a lone book dealer, large companies use the platform, and some retailers have very expensive programs that monitor online pricing trends and match the best price immediately, but according to a preset profit margin; they will match best price until it’s no longer profitable, but at the same time if the price starts to rise they will follow suit. I know one local chain that pays $10,000 for a program that keeps track of pricing the thousands of items in their inventory on Amazon, it’s more efficient and far less costly than having an employee try to do it by hand.

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