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Review: Amazon Prices

GUEST,DocJohn 03 Mar 17 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,Ed 03 Mar 17 - 06:26 AM
Jack Campin 03 Mar 17 - 07:59 AM
GUEST,matt milton 03 Mar 17 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,matt milton 03 Mar 17 - 08:10 AM
MMario 03 Mar 17 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 03 Mar 17 - 09:23 AM
OldNicKilby 03 Mar 17 - 10:06 AM
Jack Campin 03 Mar 17 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Jon 03 Mar 17 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 03 Mar 17 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Jon 03 Mar 17 - 12:57 PM
Joe Offer 04 Mar 17 - 01:00 AM
Jack Campin 04 Mar 17 - 06:18 AM
punkfolkrocker 04 Mar 17 - 12:23 PM
GUEST 04 Mar 17 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,DocJohn 04 Mar 17 - 01:58 PM
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Subject: Review: Amazon Prices
From: GUEST,DocJohn
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 05:15 AM

I bought a copy of Johnny Collins's excellent CD of sea shanties many years ago, which cost me less than £5; excellent value, I thought. I looked on Amazon UK recently and found it was selling at £37, £161, £182, £528 and a staggering £676; one fair minded retailer, a USA import I think, is offering it at a mere £7.No contest really.
As most of these are private sales I imagine that Johnny Collins's estate will not receive a penny from these greedy, although, quite legal, prices. What can stop me copying this CD and selling the copies for the cost of postage and a few quid for the Collins's estate?


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 06:26 AM

What can stop me copying this CD and selling the copies for the cost of postage

Legality and morality? Apart from that, nothing much...


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 07:59 AM

I often price-compare second-hand books. That sort of range is common throughout the market and has nothing to do with Amazon specifically (though sellers elsewhere are usually cheaper, despite not treating their workers like American prison slaves).

For books use http://used.addall.com instead. There is probably something comparable for recordings; AddALL has a music section but it isn't up to much.


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 08:05 AM

Those Amazon prices are meaningless - nobody ever pays them. I think they are just large-stockists using some kind of algorithm


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 08:10 AM

"What can stop me copying this CD and selling the copies for the cost of postage?"

Well if the album is out-of-print and the company that issued it no longer exists and the performer that made it is dead, I'd say that there isn't a morality issue. (The issue of legality is only an issue if you believe what is legal is more important than what is moral.)

But rather than selling copies of the CD, I would simply digitise it and stick it on YouTube or soundcloud.

Or alternatively, one thing that's often occurred to me to do is to digitise an album and put it for sale on Bandcamp with all the money to be given to charity. That is, to reiterate, ONLY in the case of albums that are out-of-print, where the company that issued it no longer exists and the performers that made it are no longer with us. And, of course, where the album is so good that I think it is a genuine disservice to the world that that music can no longer be heard.


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: MMario
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 08:21 AM

"As most of these are private sales I imagine that Johnny Collins's estate will not receive a penny"

These would be primarily re-sales. No royalties normally associated with such.


"What can stop me copying this CD and selling the copies for the cost of postage and a few quid for the Collins's estate?"

Legally, permission from the Collin's Estate. With permission you could.


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 09:23 AM

Prices for second hand items on Amazon (among others) are determined by an algorithm. They are not in any way realistic and can lead to interesting situations.

Google amazon algorithm pricing for further insight.


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: OldNicKilby
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 10:06 AM

It is a way of maintaining your product placing position. When you have it back in stock the price returns to normal


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 11:29 AM

Googling what Peter suggested, I can see nothing that suggests an algorithmic reason for those high prices. If there is one, where is it described?


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 11:50 AM

I'm not sure I understand the algorithm one. An impossible price might keep you listed but a company with the vast resources Amazon has not coming up with anything better for its sellers does not make a lot of sense to me.


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 12:33 PM

This case made head lines some time ago, showing how the algorithm can go out of hand.

On a minor scale something like this must have happened in the case the OP refers to. I have seen the same happen with some CDs I have been chasing up in the past few weeks. Very high prices quoted on Amazon, even while the artists still have the CDs in question in print. Second hand offers did eventually occur on Ebay and through amazon marketplace sellers, for around a fiver (where Amazon's own pricing was eight to twenty times that amount in some cases).


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 03 Mar 17 - 12:57 PM

Thanks Peter. That sees to read like the sellers own algorithms (or application)

As to the extent of crazy prices, off the top of my head, I think I've seen it with other items from a discontinued Yamaha MG Mixer to my mum wanting some aerosol cans to put in a manual floor spot cleaner...The common factor there seems to be the "hard to find"/"obsolete".


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Mar 17 - 01:00 AM

I buy a lot of used books through Amazon, and I've been quite satisfied. Shipping is usually $4.00, and the prices are realistic. The books are almost always in better condition than I expect.
I also buy from Alibris and AbeBooks. Many times, the same book is listed on all three of these.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Mar 17 - 06:18 AM

What I think is behind some of the high prices, for items when there are only a few on the market: the seller sees that no other copy is available on the Web, so sets the highest price they think they can get away with for some sufficiently desperate purchaser out there. Then over the next year or so, along come another 20 sellers with copies they've found, and they successively undercut each other. The seller with the expensive one won't have the time (and probably not the inclination) to undercut the undercutters, so the result is a gradient from very cheap copies in uselessly damaged condition up to ridiculous prices for a copy which, while doubtless very good, isn't worth what's being asked for it.

The charity I work for sells second-hand books over Amazon (Joe has seen the office where we do it). I once got an email from another seller complaining that we'd undercut them and would we please increase our price to match theirs? I didn't bother to reply - anybody who doesn't realize how illegal that is won't ever get the concept.

That stuff about Amazon's "Buy Box" and their deceptive pricing was news to me. I thought that sort of thing was straightforwardly criminal activity just about everywhere.


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Mar 17 - 12:23 PM

On the other hand..

Over the last couple of years I have bought thousands of pounds worth of brand new musical equipment
for just hundreds of pounds...

I haven't a clue why Amazon suddenly lowers prices for a few hours or days by ridiculous amounts,
but I've learned to my advantage it pays to be vigilant and regularly trawl Amazon for on the spot unadvertised bargains...

eg £800 guitars for less than £200

overpriced big name flight cases which retail at over £200, for about 30 quid..

Last night I secured an item Amazon usually sells for over £600,
and other online sellers price at approx £400,
for £145..

Of course I can't really even justify spending that amount,
but in instances like this when it is too good to be true..
... it really is true...!!! 😎


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 17 - 12:53 PM

It might not be of direct relevance to Amazon sales, but I maintain an Ebay shop, and one of the pieces of information displayed on each listing is the number of sales of that particular item.

Obviously, the greater the number of sales recorded, the more beneficial it is to the seller ... inspires more confidence in the buyer.

Problem is, when an item is out of stock, you can't just suspend that listing, and renew it again when the item is back in stock ... or rather, you can, but it won't show the number of previous sales ... it comes up as a brand new listing ... zero sales.

So, the way I and many other Ebay sellers cope with this, quite ethically, is to revise the listing of out-of-stock items with a ridiculously high BIN price ... I usually price a £10 item at £1000. When said item is back in stock I revert to the proper price.

I still get emails from incredulous potential customers who don't quite get it ... I always reply courteously explaining the situation.


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Subject: RE: Review: Amazon Prices
From: GUEST,DocJohn
Date: 04 Mar 17 - 01:58 PM

Recorded material is quite different to books: you can't really copy a book. OK you can scan all the pages - a lengthy job - but you can't reproduce the binding, covers, feel and smell of an old book. Digitalisation makes copying easy: hence those friendly messages at the beginning of a DVD threatening you with a visit from the FBI and a chance to see if Lead Belly songs are still sung in federal jails.
I quite understand copyright but it leads to greed as shown above and, even worse, a ridiculous dog in the manger attitude depriving the public of a chance to hear historical recorded materials. It took the BBC over 60 years to release those Woody Guthrie recordings from the 40's: you couldn't even pay the engineer's high fee for a copy. And they have never released the Cisco Houston recordings made in the 60's.


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