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F*ck Amazon Prime Day and Here’s Why


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More than 60% of the products Amazon sells on it's website are sold by third-party vendors. These third-party vendors are known to artificially inflate the prices, and sell counterfeit, of books.  If you care about book and the people who wrote them skip Amazon's Prime Day and buy your books from a real bookseller.


Amazon Often Sells Books for More than the Retail Price.


Consider, PowerNomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America by Claud Anderson. This book sells well in the Black community, but is largely marginalized by the mainstream media (why is a topic for another post). 


Amazon, as you can see from the screen shot below (taken Oct 12, 2020), is selling the book for $36 (not including tax and shipping).  This is a 30% increase over the book's listed retail price of $28. If you look at a few of, the Black-owned bookstores who are selling PowerNomics.  You will find we all are selling the book at $28.



My new archrival, bookshop.org, does offer PowerNomics for sale. 





Some will argue that Amazon is not the entity selling PowerNomics, and are not to blame for the inflated price. Amazon is simply providing the platform to sell this book. This may be true, but after two decades of training consumers that they are the best place to buy books cheaply, most shoppers will not make the distinction and often pay more for a book they can buy more cheaply from an honorable bookseller.


You'll also note that Amazon does not present the retail price of the book when they over charge for it.  This tells me they are aware of the practice and are deliberately hiding the fact that the book is being sold at a price higher than retail.


If PowerNomics were a rare, or out of print book, the price increase would be understandable. But this is not the case, the motivation is purely profit.


This situation with Amazon is the antitheist of the principles and spirit of "PowerNomics." 


In a 2017 letter to share holders Amazon announced, "In 2017, for the first time in our history, more than half of the units sold on Amazon worldwide were from our third-party sellers..." In 2019 the percentage was 60%.  Who are these third-party booksellers anyway?  


Last year the New York Times reported on the sale of counterfeit books on Amazon:


"But Amazon takes a hands-off approach to what goes on in its bookstore, never checking the authenticity, much less the quality, of what it sells. It does not oversee the sellers who have flocked to its site in any organized way.
That has resulted in a kind of lawlessness. Publishers, writers and groups such as the Authors Guild said counterfeiting of books on Amazon had surged."

Counterfeit book on Amazon



We know third party booksellers on Amazon often sell the promotional copies of book provided by publishers.  They also sell used books as new. When this happens neither the publisher, or the author, makes a penny on these sales -- but Amazon profits on each of these sales, so the practice continues unabated.


Amazon's practices weaken the entire book industry.  The only beneficiary is Amazon.


Readers, if you want to do something positive for Amazon Prime Day, and in the spirit of PowerNomics, shop @AALBC, and #ShopLocalBookstores



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