Well, this is fascinating. I just found my book (published 3 1/2 months ago) available as a used (but in very good condition) paperback on Amazon for $15.88 + $3.99 shipping, from a seller in Connecticut. Right next to where you can buy it new for $9.99, with 2-day free shipping if you have Prime.
Another interesting aspect, to me at least, is that I haven’t sold thousands of books — I know that’s hard to believe, but so very true — and the market for used books written by me isn’t particularly huge. And, actually, most of my sales have been pretty much to friends or friends of friends, and I don’t know anybody in Connecticut.
A lot of authors have noticed similar things happening with their books, and the consensus seems to be that the people selling books like this will get orders from buyers who accidentally click the wrong thing and end up buying that more expensive book. Or perhaps someone will think it’s somehow a special edition, or something, and buy it just because it’s more expensive. The seller gets the order, orders a new (and therefore in very good condition indeed) one themselves from Amazon with Prime shipping (it’s print-on-demand so there’s no inventory to mess with) and then mails it to their customer in a few days, and makes about six bucks profit.
Upon pondering this for a few minutes…they’re pretty smart. They’re making more money per book than the author gets in royalties without having to do anything more than place an order and put a book in the mail. Wish I’d thought of that, except for the part about it being unscrupulous…but there’s no law against it. I do wonder how many people actually buy things from these scammers, though.
I’d sure love to hear from anybody who does, so they can explain why. ‘Cause that would be even more fascinating.
If you’d like help finding it, here ya go…
OOPS! Gotta do an update now. Checking the Amazon listing on 10/13/18, I see that the used book is no longer offered. Gee…it must have been sold! Or the seller was discouraged. In any case, the situation still exists with other books and may again with mine, so now you know how this works. Or might.