Amazon pricing

Since my book came out it has been on Amazon UK for £8.38, the RRP that I set. This week Amazon listed the RRP as £28.46, and their retail price as £24.19, a "discount" to customers of £4.27. As far as I'm aware the wholesale price is just over £4, so Amazon are marking the book up by over £20? Or someone is charging more for distribution? Or someone at Amazon has made a mistake?

Since Amazon US sell the book for $11.77, which is the American RRP, it suggests there's a mistake over pricing in the UK. But I can't find any way to contact Amazon UK over pricing issues. Annoying, when you've cut your royalties so that the book will appear in stores for under £9.

The price on the Lulu store is still £8.38. I'm aware other stores can charge what they like but this seems random - and they are not free to misrepresent the RRP? Anyone had a similar problem?

Comments

  • Is that the main Amazon price, or a 'Used or New' Amazon Marketplace price? If the latter, then it's a reseller just automatically loading up the price. They do that. It will almost certainly come down later. If the former, the main Amazon price, then it's certainly a bit weird.
  • It's the main Amazon UK retail price, which was £8.38. Initially they altered the RRP to £28.46, and not their retail price, claiming that they were saving customers £20. Now they've adjusted their retail price to £24.19, claiming customers save £4.27. The Marketplace new prices currently start at £9.63, undercutting Amazon by nearly £20, the "secondhand" prices start at £12.48. Lulu's price remains £8.38, and Amazon US remains $11.77.

    Has someone a Amazon UK made a mistake over the wholesale price? Or at Lulu? Is it no longer printed in the UK and has to be imported? I don't know how you check the price in the catalogues - or how you contact Amazon over something like this.
  • Anyone know if Lulu are having problems with Amazon UK?

    I note that my price is "correct" on the UK wholesalers Gardners, suggesting that the inflated price originates with Amazon UK.
  • As you would know from the e-mail we all got from Lulu a few weeks back (there is a thread here about it somewhere) there were, indeed, problems between Lulu and Amazon.co.uk.

    But I think it related more to payments than to pricing. Certainly the price of my Lulu books on Amazon.co.uk have always been correctly priced and I am assuming that the £700-odd that came through from Booksurge Uk on my Lulu account this month refers to Amazon.co.uk sales that have been held up for a month or two.

    I cannot imagine that your problem is more than a one-off glich that Lulu should be able to sort out for you quickly. What does Customer Support say?
  • Thanks Eric - I'll email Support.

    I don't think this is a Lulu problem -although I didn't get an email about problems with Amazon. I'll look for the thread.
  • My original 6 x 9 book on Amazon has been incorrectly priced at £14.50 for about two years now, despite them having been told numerous times by distro that the correct price should be £9.99. I've given up on them ever getting that price right. It's not Lulu - they've put the price correctly into the distro feed, because other sites get it right. It seems to be something in Amazon's processing that simply won't update that part of the feed now.
  • Thanks Keith - it sounds like it is Amazon's fault. What's odd is that Amazon UK doesn't seem to look at these issues - you think they'd notice that no one in Amazon Marketplace asks for more than £10?

    The problem is that some potential customers don't look further than the Amazon price. Annoying when some of us kept our royalties down in order to keep retail prices down!
  • It's not just amazon.co.uk; amazon.com has some funny prices in my case. Amazon.co.uk has all four books of mine correctly priced at £9.50, though in two cases this has been crossed out and a slightly lower price quoted. But amazon.com has two at $19.95, one at $13.34, and one at $7.50. All are about the same size though the last is a little smaller.

    For some reason my latest book on amazon.co.uk is Not in Stock, though it's been out for a few months. Amazon.com says it is in stock.
  • Amazon are clearly a lot less efficient than I used to assume. And while people will rush to tell us that they are free to charge more than the RRP for any book, they are not free to misrepresent the RRP in order to make their inflated price look more attractive. That is an offence in the UK under the Prices Act 1974.

    Meanwhile, Lulu Support seems so snowed under at present that I can't get a reply. I shall try posting a review under my book which raises these issues, in the hope that someone at Amazon will take notice, rather than just deleting it. Smiley Happy
  • "Larry Harrison" wrote:

    Amazon are clearly a lot less efficient than I used to assume. And while people will rush to tell us that they are free to charge more than the RRP for any book, they are not free to misrepresent the RRP in order to make their inflated price look more attractive. That is an offence in the UK under the Prices Act 1974.

    Meanwhile, Lulu Support seems so snowed under at present that I can't get a reply. I shall try posting a review under my book which raises these issues, in the hope that someone at Amazon will take notice, rather than just deleting it. Smiley Happy

    --



    Good idea Larry.
  • Well, Amazon UK deleted my "review" without comment and seemed to ignore my question. Lulu referred the question to a support team on 23 October, and I've heard nothing since. Today, however I noticed Amazon had reduced their retail price back down to £8.38 - while still claiming that the RRP is £28.46 and customers are saving £20.08 - which is contrary to the Prices Act 1974.

    Still, providing people can buy it for a reasonable price I shouldn't complain?
  • Well I can, because after a few days Amazon UK reverted to charging £24 and claiming they were saving customers money. And several friends have contacted me to say "your book is so expensive".

    As an author I could try approaching Amazon directly, if Lulu would supply me with publisher contact details so that Amazon can verify that I am who I say I am. Unfortunately, I cannot get a response from Lulu, quoting either my reference 00D56zQ6.50057Kb6M or my case number 00324142. My problem was reported in mid October and has never been adequately responded to - even at the level of: "Sorry, nothing we can do." Has anyone else had the same experience with Lulu? Is the company in trouble?
  • Larry - Wow, that's expensive! Have you got the global reach program with your own ISBN..?
  • It's a Lulu ISBN, but I don't think there's a problem with the distribution package.

    The book was originally listed at the correct price by Amazon UK, and it still is listed at the correct price in all the UK wholesalers and distributors. On Amazon.com it is under $12, and on Amazon market place it's less than £6. The trouble is that many customers don't get that far: when they see a price of £24 they move on.

    I'm sure it's a mistake by Amazon UK - and to change it I need backup from Lulu. But I can't get Lulu to respond to emails either! I suspect we have written off a lot of Xmas sales already.
  • This issue was resolved successfully after Lulu support staff contacted Amazon UK on my behalf. Amazon UK now shows the correct RRP and are offering the book at a discount.

    It was unfortunate that my original request for help seemed to have been overlooked, but after I posted on the Support Escalation forum my case was taken up and acted upon quickly, showing that the system for correcting oversights works quite well.

    Smiley Very Happy
  • Thanks Ron,  I was interested to read all this as I am looking to put a book up soon on behalf of my son.  There's nothing more frustrating than nobody knowing how to help. 

    I'm glad you posted the 'resolved' information, or I would have suggested the Chamber of Trade & Commerce as a next step.  I'm sure Amazon wouldn't want to fall out with them :-)

  • Has anyone had any luck with getting Amazon to correct their pricing?  They have my $22.99 book  listed at over $40.  My sales have gone to zero.  I am getting five star reviews.  

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