Amazon may not always be cheapest for books

CataloguesSurprise suprise, Amazon appear to be raising book prices according to the New York Times.

The more competition there is for a book the bigger the discount Amazon are likely to offer. However if it’s a rarely purchased title the discount Amazon offer may well be low, in some cases lower than the discount you could get by purchasing direct from the publisher.

There’s often a perception that Amazon will be the cheapest place to buy a book. It’s almost a given that with their size no one else can compete, but that might not always be the case. When a top selling book is released it’s likely that Amazon will be the cheapest place on or off line to purchase a copy. However when it’s a tome with lower sales, Amazon may well offer the same level of discount off the cover price.

Publishers of course aren’t quite so relaxed about Amazon’s pricing policies. They’re being squeezed on margins but then might find that Amazon aren’t passing on the discount and making profits instead.

I find it hard to knock Amazon for this, it’s the normal supply and demand that all retailers use. The loss leaders get the buyers through the door and then the profits come from other products that customer purchase once their through the door.

For consumers all it really means is that if they’re looking for the latest top selling novel Amazon is probably a good place to buy. If there’s less need for Amazon to compete then you might want to shop around as Amazon might be making a good profit.