An example of astronomical third party pricing on Amazon.com

I’ve been helping a friend’s daughter study for her Technician Amateur Radio License. Besides my tutoring, she’s only been studying with a free phone app thus far and essentially learning the answers to the questions. I know she really needs a book that can provide context for each question.

Since there was no need to buy a new $30 guide (that’s only valid until the end of June), I started my search on Amazon.com thinking that there may be some affordable, good condition used study guides I could snag for a decent price.

I was wrong.

Check out the screenshot below from this page:

And if $2,000 US (plus $3.95 shipping!) wasn’t too high…$4,093 (plus $3.95 shipping!) for a used “Acceptable” condition Technician License Study Guide?!?ย What a deal! Is there a limit on how many I can buy? ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve heard that some sellers add high prices to items that they want to put on “hold.” I did some searching this afternoon and saw discussions by sellers admitting that this technique saves them time from relisting an item that might need more research. More than one admitted that “And hey, if someone buys it for that price, all the better!”

Personally, I think this practice should be banned by Amazon. I checked out one of the stores from a seller in the list above and almost all of their listings have astronomical prices.

What do you think? Am I the only one noticing this trend?

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7 thoughts on “An example of astronomical third party pricing on Amazon.com

  1. Roger Fitzharris

    Algorithm-driven pricing. Supply and demand enhanced by AI. Caveat Emptor.
    I think we should all refuse to do any business whatsoever with these folks โ€“ whenever and wherever we encounter this practice.

    Reply
  2. RonF

    It’s seller-bot pricing. I’d bet if you looked at the “4 new”, none of them are in stock either.

    So what happens is there are sellers who run bots specifically to look for things that are out of stock, and compare them to what others are selling it for used. The bot then automatically bumps up the price in their own storefront to “other seller’s price + profit + shipping”, on the basis that if someone buys from them they can order it from the other seller, have it sent straight to the purchaser, and make money for nothing.

    What you’ve discovered is the quite common case of a bunch of these bots trying to feed off each other…

    Reply
  3. Mario

    I have seen this at times on Ebay with cheap SDR dongles selling for a few hundred dollars apiece.

    Perhaps that $4093 edition is the 24 carat-gold-plated special hi hi.

    Reply

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