in business, interesting, Uncategorized

The $23 Million Book

Michael Eisen has an interesting story about how sellers on Amazon’s marketplace have deployed algorithmically-based pricing, with absurd results:

A few weeks ago a postdoc in my lab logged on to Amazon to buy the lab an extra copy of Peter Lawrence’s The Making of a Fly – a classic work in developmental biology that we – and most other Drosophila developmental biologists – consult regularly. The book, published in 1992, is out of print. But Amazon listed 17 copies for sale: 15 used from $35.54, and 2 new from $1,730,045.91 (+$3.99 shipping).

  • that is crazy. It merely corrupts the very simple service of 'selling an old book' on amazon. I stopped using ebay many, many years ago because it seemed t always screw people over. Too often I find that the amazon marketplace price isn't much different to the prices elsewhere … except elsewhere, they don't charge postage.