03 March 2012

Online used books: do they make it up in volume?

I recently wanted to get a copy of a book from the UK, and found several online sellers offering it for prices of 1 cent upward, plus shipping. That seemed too low to believe, so I stepped up to another offer of 99 cents and $3.99 shipping/handling. It arrived a week or two later, and I imagine air post might have taken up at least much of the $3.99 by itself. It might even leave a negative amount left over for the handling and envelope required. Presumably, there'd been work needed beforehand to catalog the inventory, as well. This for a book with a price tag still affixed for several pounds. And, as noted, there were several low price sellers also offering, some for even less. I'm wondering how the business model works, or what I may be missing here. I won't argue with success, though.