bookjacking

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bookjacking

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2kdweber
Maio 14, 2015, 7:03 pm

Only once have I mistakenly tried to buy from a bookjacker. It was a fairly rare book and the bookjacker couldn't find it on the market for the price they quoted so they were forced to refund my money (after 60 days). Now I always check a number of sites (abe, amazon and ebay for sure) but generally buy from a few sellers whom I trust (including Zubal).

3SaintSunniva
Maio 14, 2015, 10:58 pm

Fascinating.

Learn somethin' new every day...

Hmmm. I've noticed other weird stuff over the years, and wondered if money laundering is taking place via inflated book prices. Of course other things could be used as well, but I notice books. I remember seeing very out of date college text books going for a thousand bucks, and thinking NO ONE in their right mind would ever want it. (But...someone needing to move cash might)

4rocketjk
Maio 17, 2015, 8:11 pm

Thank you. That's extremely helpful information. I didn't know about this, and as the owner of a used bookstore, I often order on ABE for those of my customers who are not comfortable on the internet. (It's been surprising to me how many people that is.) I also try to avoid ordering from Thriftbooks and any of their dozens (it seems) of subsidiaries.

5Crypto-Willobie
Maio 17, 2015, 9:33 pm

Sometimes I get the impression that the Thriftbook avatars are all listing the same copy.

6Jarandel
Editado: Maio 17, 2015, 9:51 pm

It's all automated algorithms.

Good for you if you're purchasing a somewhat abundant book for a few cents or €uros + shipping, which is probably where those operations get most of their semi-decent ratings, not so good if this happens to be the only copy on the platform you're looking at.

7fuzzi
Maio 19, 2015, 9:54 pm

Interesting article, thanks.

I usually use bookfinder.com, which usually refers me to abebooks.com. I rarely use Alibris, as I've ordered books from them on several ocassions, only to get a notification and refund a couple days later when they realize they don't have the book, grrr.

8Crypto-Willobie
Editado: Maio 20, 2015, 8:19 am

I used to use Bookfinder but I've switched to ADDall.com, a roughly similar thing. Then I shop where it sends me -- ABE, Biblio, Alibris, Amazon or Powells. Almost all the books I buy are used and usually from third-party sellers, so I'm often seeing the same copies from the same sellers across ABE, Biblio, Alibris and Amazon -- just slightly different prices and shipping for various reasons (compare & save!). Not sure why Alibris would have a higher fail rate than ABE, at least with the 3rdparty stuff. ABE has a better search engine, by far, than any of these so I often search there even if I end up buying the copy I find elsewhere. Alibris has the benefit of having many coupons -- $15 off $100, $8 of $60, $1 off anything, etc etc (and $1 off a $3 book is a pretty high pct discount). And each of these has a few books/copies the others don't so I find it helpful to check them all when I'm on the hunt...

ETA Alibris coupon links
http://www.alibris.com/coupons
http://www.retailmenot.com/view/alibris.com

9streamsong
Maio 20, 2015, 9:55 am

The bookjackers also show up on Amazon when you are purchasing new books at lower than Ammy prices. These tend to be lower quality book club editions drop shipped directly from the book club.

10Keeline
Maio 20, 2015, 12:57 pm

#8 by Crypto-Willobie>

Agreed on using http://used.addall.com for my book searches across several dozen databases. One can sort by price and quickly see where the same listing is copied at different prices. Sometimes this is legit because the actual seller of the book uses different decimal endings to make it easier to note where a book was sold. Sometimes the differences are due to currency conversions for international sales. However, when there is a significant mark-up with a more vague description, but still the same copy, then it is probably one of these systems.

This sort of thing was pioneered by Alibris in the late 1990s who routinely marked up prices on other databases. Most of the time they'd have an agreement with the seller to get a discount off the list price so they'd have that portion plus the mark up. Usually the bookseller with the book would be asked to drop ship the item to the end client.

Booksellers are at all different levels in the food chain. Each has their own clients they can attract. Some prices seem to be more mercenary than others. The sad part is when the people asking (and sometimes getting) the highest prices know the least about the books, even to the point of offering reprints as firsts and so on.

Up through the 1990s the booksellers who offered a "search service" would list a "want" in the Antiquarian Bookman (AB) Weekly magazine. "Quoters" who saw these would send 3x5 slips or cards describing a book that they would wholesale to the bookseller. When AB folded, I wondered what became of the people who made their living as quoters.

One quality bookseller I know mentioned that he found a "penny seller" who bought his excess by the pound. The name implies that the modern books with barcodes are listed on Amazon at 1¢ where any profit comes from postage differentials.

James

11Jarandel
Maio 21, 2015, 11:29 pm

Another site in that vein I've sometime looked at was http://www.bookbutler.com/

12Crypto-Willobie
Maio 22, 2015, 8:46 am

Thanks, I'll check it out.

13streamsong
Maio 22, 2015, 8:55 am

>10 Keeline: I used to work as an out of print buyer for customers in the 70's. It was a lot of fun. :-)