In this brief article, I will introduce the reader to the concept of Amazon textbook arbitrage. I’ll describe the phenomenon, the tools used and then I’ll offer some tips for combating it.
It is fair to say that Amazon has played a significant role in e-book pricing since its inception. When someone purchases an e-book, the company sets a price that the purchaser can purchase and deliver at their convenience. People who can read the books and find a bargain often trade or swap e-books for each other.
But what if you wanted to buy an entire series of e-books at once, as opposed to just one? What if you wanted to buy all of the Kindle e-books or the Apple iBooks in one place, rather than having to search out each individual title?
The answer is that Amazon now offers an automated system called Amazon textbook arbitrage. This system allows you to make available an unlimited number of books in exchange for a fixed amount of cash. Rather than choosing which books you want and how much money you want to pay for them, you simply input your specifications and the Amazon system will search for the books you specify and provide them to you.
Amazon uses a database of published textbooks to match up the books you want with the textbook prices available. This is done automatically without any human intervention, which makes it so efficient.
The technique that Amazon uses to establish a lower price for each book is known as “discounted textbook arbitrage”. Essentially, the system works like this:
A company hires a contractor to assign a set price to each of the books that it plans to sell on Amazon. An individual buys all of these books for their personal use and presents the price list to the publisher as if they were doing so on their own.
The publisher checks out the books on Amazon and determines that they are within acceptable price ranges. Amazon then markets them under the same guidelines and establishes a discount price.
Amazon then sells the books through the Amazon marketplace. Because this operation costs the contractor no money, he is able to charge a reasonable price.
Amazon textbook arbitrage is an example of “discount pricing” for the books that you buy. While it is not actually discount pricing per se, you will notice that if you enter a number of books into the parameters, you will obtain an infinite number of results.
By running a search with a very long list of options, you will be able to find exactly what you want. For example, if you enter “Capital One Bookstore” as the title, you will get a listing of books for sale on the company’s website.
As you can see, Amazon textbook arbitrage is a clever and effective way to utilize the Internet to effectively match up the books you want with the textbooks you need. Even if you have never used such a service before, I encourage you to give it a try today.