Author Topic: Indie sues Zon over 3rd party resellers  (Read 469 times)


Indie sues Zon over 3rd party resellers
« on: September 04, 2023, 04:26:02 AM »
Whatever happened to this story?:

What Happened to Amazon’s Bookstore? - The New York Times 3Dec21

“A 2011 thriller was supposed to cost $15. One merchant listed it at $987, with a 17th-century publication date. That’s what happens in a marketplace where third-party sellers run wild.

"In his suit against the Zon, John C. Boland, author of sci-fi thriller Hominid, says Amazon let…other vendors on its platform run wild with [his] Perfect Crime titles, offering copies for ridiculous amounts. The sellers also bizarrely asserted that “Hominid” was published in 1602, a mere 409 years before it was actually issued….

“Extraordinary prices for ordinary books have been an Amazon mystery for years, but the backdating of titles to gain a commercial edge appears to be a new phenomenon. A listing with a fake date gets a different Amazon page from a listing with the correct date….”

“Mr. Boland takes the misuse of his name personally. ‘When a seller claims to have a 1602 edition that it’s charging nearly $1,000 for, it’s defaming me by implying that the book existed before I wrote it — i.e., that I’m a plagiarist,’ he said….”
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Jeff Tanyard

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The Bass Bagwhan

Re: Indie sues Zon over 3rd party resellers
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2023, 06:52:43 PM »
It seems like every day I'm boggled by the inventiveness — for want of a better description — of people designing to rort the system.

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Indie sues Zon over 3rd party resellers
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2023, 11:25:07 PM »
This is not a new phenomenon. I had this happen to a title years ago.

The advantage for the reseller is that the book has its own product page, which makes it more visible. But it also confuses customers who see that copy first.

In my case, the reseller called the book a mass-market paperback. (The only paperback edition that ever existed was from Createspace, now KDP.) According to the page, it was published in 1705 (when there were no mass-market paperbacks--or even paperbacks).

The first time I complained, the fake page was immediately removed. The second time I complained, I couldn't get the KDP person (or bot, or whatever) to understand what I was saying. I eventually gave up.

I just checked, however, and the mass-market paperback edition no longer has its own page, though it is listed as a tab on the main page. That's not as a big a deal. Nor is the price as outrageous, though oddly, it's higher for a used copy than the new paperback price would be. It's hard to visualize anyone going for a pricier option.

It may be that Amazon is wising up a little. But it wouldn't be that hard to create an automatic routine that rejected impossible publishing dates. It also wouldn't be hard to prohibit someone from selling a used copy for more than the new copy is worth, except for out-of-print books, where some latitude could be allowed. It wouldn't be hard hard for Amazon to see that the book is still in print.

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Re: Indie sues Zon over 3rd party resellers
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2023, 02:30:34 AM »
The books with ridiculous prices are a form of money laundering. Once the funds pass through Amazon in exchange for the book (which may not even exist), the money is clean. In most cases the purchase is made using gift cards which need to be monetized. The same kind of thing is rampant on iTunes and Google Play. Basically any of the online stores that are international and offer gift cards.

There's also a ton of scamming involving those gift cards online, where scammers will convince people to send them gift cards which are then monetized by making bogus purchases through a third party account that they or their handlers control.

The retailers have zero interest in stopping it because they're raking a significant percentage off the top, and it's huge amounts of money every year.