Where do you buy physical books? If you appreciate the real objects versus reading the contents any old way; the best way to afford as many as we have is to seek far and wide for second-hand deals! This is true of anything, isn’t it? We plant a lot of garden foods and every variety of flowers Manitoba can handle, so we can’t be paying $2.00 each for seed packs. We find deals and stock up. There are a few places we drive out-of-town and my spouse, Ron & I certainly know the Winnipeg second-hand book circuit. These and charity sales bring us the greatest success; list-wise and bargain-wise!
We search thrift shops and garage sales too but the odds of them furnishing something on our lists is slow business and many garage sales, to our surprise, don’t have books. Nothing other than children’s books or romances anyway. Garage sellers: if you sell adult fiction, please advertize! It is a waste of time to trail after a sign, stop the car, only to see that there are no books at all. Although we remain polite, fortunately we are assertive enough with our time to briskly thank hosts for a look and stride away. Bored sellers are chatty and as much as we love meeting people, we need to march on in the few hours most of these places offer.
Due to endless selection, even though this option is the most expensive, I have bought second-hand at Amazon Canada more than anywhere else. Presumably to avoid fees, many “marketplace sellers” list books for one penny and for Canada, $6.49 is added in shipping. I would not pay more than $6.50 for used books, certainly not in poorer condition than “very good” and “like new”. Second-hand shops in person are prefereable so long as they keep their prices beneath $6.50. Otherwise my mantra was: “I might as well get it from Amazon”. Occasionally, books I wanted a great deal that did not seem to go for a penny; I treated myself to new. When spending $35.00 in new stock, Amazon Canada ships for free. Otherwise $6.50 can get us 4 books for an even $26.00 gift certificate. There you have my book-pricing gauge.
I went to buy the last book I need by Simone St. James last night, because a seller had a “very good” copy for a penny. I watch my wish list every day and pounce on those $6.50 “like new” deals. There are fantastic sellers like ‘Your Online Bookstore’, ‘Canwest Books’, ‘Motor City Books’, and ‘Better World Books’ whose idea of “very good” usually amounts to “like new”. We need a way to score several without incurring $6.49 each. Canwest Books sells privately if you obtain the wonderful lady’s e-mail address. Since e-mail addresses are blocked through Amazon, sellers are wise to enclose them with purchases. I like the savings from bulk purchases through reputable sellers. Goodness knows we need to save all the bucks we can.
I did not buy the Simone St. James novel because an $8.26 total stopped me in my tracks. What on Earth was this? The Amazon website said nothing but in a search, I saw a sellers’ thread about a change that was made just on May 1, 2017. The set $6.49 and $3.49 shipping for books and music is no more! Sellers can make their own shipping prices! If you did not know, I want to clue you in.
I have observed what sellers were making of this, before I panicked or reported this article. If a person were greedy, or understandably wanted better coverage for postage that might indeed cost $8.00; wouldn’t the outcome be raised postage? My first reaction was dismay. If second-hand books were higher than $6.50, it would not be worth obtaining them from Amazon any longer. With respect to what postage costs the other end, there is a line a person who might buy 200 books a year, has to draw. Any higher and I’d rather wait out second-hand shops, or spend buy products new. Thankfully, a look at books I want on Amazon.ca is encouraging! I read an inkling in the seller’s forum along these lines too: there are sellers who want to remain at $6.49. This is what the marketplace offerings show today.
Other sellers have taken an even better tack, albeit not for .1c books, and used Amazon’s change to offer free shipping! However the books I’ve seen so far are priced at $10.00: too expensive and not even if great shape. If marketplace sources would charge no more than, let’s say, $5.00 for books; not only would this be an opportunity rather than a blow. It would become feasible to purchase several books at a time, which I would not do at $6.50 each! Since the change includes taking a percentage of seller’s postage, which thankfully prevents exorbitance (as well as lining Amazon’s pockets), one would think there is no point to high postage.
How much do you think is too much? The mathematically-inclined might ponder gas spent on our treks but should know that we seldom score fewer than 30 books on our outings. (Except at garage sales. People really need to bring out the mystery and paranormal literature)! We are beginning to offer books at home for local people, many bought new which we aren’t keeping, for an average of $3.00. I guess people who don’t purchase books as often as our WordPress and Goodreads community, aren’t aware that used books have been $6.50 a pop and new ones can be $20.00. I don’t dare charge more than $4.50 unless it is a first edition and I’m keeping our fantastic collection for locals. Southern Manitobans, write-in if you’re curious about what we have! :)
This price change is new and sellers must be testing the waters for feedback! Let’s send them the right message right away: that we are glad of an opportunity to do better than a fixed $6.49 each but that we definitely will not exeed it. How? Easily. Look-up a book from your wish list that appears to be at a low price, in the used link beneath the new price. Scan the list of marketplace sellers and take note of who is exempting shipping, offering low shipping, or at least sticking with $6.49. (Of course, less at Amazon.com in the United States). Click on the marketplace name and then select “contact the seller”.
Tell fair sellers you appreciate their affordability. Contact those who raised the price, politely informing them that you will not go higher for second-hand books, music, or blu-rays. Suggest that if they provide free shipping and charge up to $5.00 per book: that you are not only likelier to patronize them but that you might start purchasing multiple items, if they use Amazon’s shipping change for the better.