Monday, April 02, 2007
Highway robbery at Amazon.com
April Fool's Day is over, so I don't think this was meant as a joke. But anyone who buys one of my books from an Amazon.com reseller called ANNABANANASEARCH is clearly a fool.
As you can see in this photo (click to enlarge it), my second book is being advertised for a whopping $35.00 ($34.00 in another listing), while my first book is going for a still-outrageous $23.00. Neither price includes shipping. That'll set you back another $3.50.
Are the books rare? Are they valuable? Well, let's just say that in the primary Amazon.com listings (the ones that show the books' covers, publishing details, and customer reviews), both books are available in gently-used condition for as little as a penny. (The sellers make their profits by charging $3.50 for shipping, which represents more than three times the actual cost of packaging and mailing a small paperback book inside the U.S.)
If I autographed a brand-new book and then tucked a twenty-dollar bill next to the title page, it would still not be worth anything near $35.00. So are these stratospheric prices some kind of mistake, or is ANNABANANASEARCH hoping somebody will be stupid enough to click on one of their listings and belive there's only one copy of my little book to be had, and that they'll have to pay through the nose to get it? If the latter, it's too ridiculous to be even remotely flattering. Not even my mom would ever want a copy that badly.
Leave a comment if you have any ideas about what might be going on, or if you've seen this kind of thing before. I'm baffled. (By the way, I have no idea how Airport 77 got stuck in the middle of a listing of my books.)