Selling books on Amazon


I wonder how long before they introduce this for all media?


Will this hurt those mass resellers who get their books for free donated, put them on a conveyor to be scanned in and set their repricer to penny under? Books have no value left anymore.


Hi Jilly - I’m a pro seller so I can set my own shipping rates. I know it costs me £30 per month, but it’s worth it, especially for overseas shipping (although I’ve limited sales to UK at the moment). I can also set my own delivery times

I enjoy it too, and, yes, book buyers seem to be a bit more ‘normal’ than others!



I’m not sure what Amazon are up to because it’s all gone to schitt from the buyer’s side too.

They’ve removed the advanced search function so you can’t look for a specific edition.

They’ve hidden the prices on anything other than new editions, which mean you’ve got to trawl for ages to even get an idea of what the best price is.

They’ve screwed up the search engine so 90% of the books that come up are wrong and often wildly irrelevant.

It’s almost as if they were trying to drive the trade to ABE, which they own and has its own new search function problems.


Hi Carol - I too am Pro (at the moment), but I stuck with Amazon’s default shipping as the thought of going through every single item in my stock, individually, and assigning templates was just too much !


Hi Jilly

You can do this through a bulk upload if you’re feeling brave and are OK with using excel and tab delimited?

Having said that, it’s a pain looking at each book though and deciding which template to use!


No, I’m not that clever ! - wouldn’t know where to start with excel and tab delimited - don’t even know what it is !!
No way I could go through my 6000 inventory, weighing them etc. - I just accept I lose a bit on postage much of the time, but do make on the LLs.


I’m a bit baffled by some of your figures.

A book priced at 2.19 with 2.80 postage will be 4.99 total price and will thus attract a fee of 1.00 plus 5% plus (for a non-pro seller) 75p.

A book priced at 2.20 with the same postage will be 5.00 total price and will thus attract fees of 1.00 plus 15% plus (for a non-pro-seller) 75p.

I’m ignoring the VAT element for the moment.

So how do you get these two things to have the same fee deduction? Am I misreading your table somehow? Sorry if so. I was a pro-seller so was not used to this 75p item fee. But I still can’t work out how you see a book at 4.99 and one at 5.00 attracting the same fee under the proposed new scale.


you’re a bundle of fun arent you!?


Hello, KDMP.

Ah - I see… I’ve misunderstood that the new pricing is based on the total cost to the customer, not the book price alone. My mistake, and I shall update the table. Thank you for pointing that out.

So in this case, the last two columns are completely inaccurate. I shall delete the post above (and keep this one)…

Thanks again


Here is an updated table (and thanks for pointing the error out). In all cases except for pricing at £2.19 we lose out…

book price postage cost to customer current amazon fee new amazon fee Diff
£1.99 £2.80 £4.79 £2.36 £2.39 -£0.03
£2.00 £2.80 £4.80 £2.36 £2.39 -£0.02
£2.05 £2.80 £4.85 £2.37 £2.39 -£0.02
£2.10 £2.80 £4.90 £2.38 £2.39 -£0.01
£2.15 £2.80 £4.95 £2.39 £2.40 -£0.01
£2.19 £2.80 £4.99 £2.40 £2.40 £0.00
£2.20 £2.80 £5.00 £2.40 £3.00 -£0.60
£2.25 £2.80 £5.05 £2.41 £3.01 -£0.60
£2.49 £2.80 £5.29 £2.45 £3.05 -£0.60
£2.99 £2.80 £5.79 £2.54 £3.14 -£0.60
£3.49 £2.80 £6.29 £2.63 £3.23 -£0.60
£3.99 £2.80 £6.79 £2.72 £3.32 -£0.60
£4.49 £2.80 £7.29 £2.81 £3.41 -£0.60
£4.99 £2.80 £7.79 £2.90 £3.50 -£0.60
£5.00 £2.80 £7.80 £2.90 £3.50 -£0.60
£5.49 £2.80 £8.29 £2.99 £3.59 -£0.60
£5.99 £2.80 £8.79 £3.08 £3.68 -£0.60
£6.00 £2.80 £8.80 £3.08 £3.68 -£0.60
£10.00 £2.80 £12.80 £3.80 £4.40 -£0.60


Yes, I had forgotten this myself until I checked it at Total price is, as you say, the price including postage.

And yes, so far as I can see they’ve made 4.99 the only total price at which sellers will not be worse off than they are now.


Spot on - in their wisdoms theyve made it harder for sellers to sell and for buyers to buy!


It get worse.

My inventory management software shows a book as on sale on Amazon. A search by title and author’s name does not show my copy. A search by ASIN does. So how will a buyer get my book?

By buying it somewhere else, I suppose.

Way back when the minimum you could get for a book, after deductions, was £3.37 and it rarely cost more than 60p to send, Amazon counted for 60% of my sales and 35% of my profit.

Now, it accounts for less than 5% of my sales and a tiny proportion of my profit.

If it wasn’t for the bibliographic stuff I can pull up via my account, I’d have walked away a long time ago.


It will have the same effect on them unless (and I don’t know the answer to this question) they have different fee arrangements from other sellers. Take the most extreme case of (already a dying breed) penny sellers who made money from the postage, not the book. A book sold at a penny under the new system will likely have a total cost of 2.81 and thus attract for a pro-seller fees of 1.00 plus 14p (i.e. 5% of 2.81) = 1.14 before postage (ignoring VAT). So the seller would get 1.67 before paying for the postage. Hard to see anyone selling books at a penny under that scale of charges. Only pennies would be left, and that’s assuming (as you suggest) that you got your stock for nothing or next to nothing. So one would assume that prices will go up across the board.

Again ignoring VAT, they would get 1.89 (2.81 - 50p closing fee - 42p referral fee). Presumably on massive volumes, if stock cost nothing, this extra 22p difference somehow still made selling penny books viable. So if prices are forced up books may once more begin to be perceived as having some value (that is, if anyone has money to buy them after Covid).

One might see this as not a bad thing for the book trade overall. Many bookshops have been completely devastated by the “penny a book” (or rather 2.81 a book) culture Amazon has created and bookshops will welcome anything that leads to a rise in prices on Amazon. It’s the logical outcome of that culture that many books (as you say) have no value any more. But for the Amazon seller, particularly the small seller, this can only lead to many giving up the ghost entirely - which may actually be what Amazon wants.


£1.89 if the seller is VAT registered, going down to £1.39 next year.

Pay peanuts, get monkeys.


These changes will further improve customer experience… How?


It wasn’t me who said that that! Not guilty! I guess you are quoting the Amazon email I included in my post!

But they won’t obviously improve the customer experience. They will make books more expensive for the customer and selling less profitable for the seller … both of which suggest the exact opposite.

In the medium term, it will make the platform unprofitable or barely profitable for small sellers and they will leave the platform. This will leave mega sellers whose customer service (in my experience) is often extremely poor.

But my guess is that Amazon doesn’t really care because the overall profit to be gained from media sales is now comparatively negligible to them.


Advanced booksearch stlll exists, it’s just that the link is hidden { :roll_eyes:}

Amazon has made it increasingly difficult to find specific titles and editions. Used books, in particular, have been shunted off into some sort limbo.

Even the barcode scanner on the Amazon buying app no longer works - it directs me to near matches and ‘things we want you to buy’.

All of this has made life easier for scamming dropshippers with their millions of duplicated bogus ASINs.

Like you, I cannot figure out Amazon’s long-term strategy.

Perhaps they don’t actually have one and the company is floating rudderless, relying on its past successes, just waiting to be sunk by a better rival platform?

Meanwhile, the big boss is dreaming of Life on Mars…:sleeping:


Yes, KMDP, I quoted directly from your post and clearly no blame intended. The question stands however - Cui bono?