why are some used books at Amazon so cheap?

I want to order some used books at amazon. These books cost $0,01 + shipping.

I can't believe that these books are really that cheap. Is there a snag somehwere?

10 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I used to sell books for a penny at Amazon so I know the answer to this question. At the time, in 2005, you could even sell them for 0 cents.

    The reason why is because the person selling the book gets a flat rate for shipping. Amazon charges the customer $3 or so for shipping, and gives about $1.25 to the seller, and keeps the remainder as its own profit. Yes amazon profits off of shipping.

    So the book costs a penny, but the minimum shipping is around 50 cents for a paperback wrapped in firm cardboard. So the seller makes about 75 cents on the sale.

    You will notice that only paperbacks sell for 1 cent. Hardcover books usually start a 1 dollar, because they cost more to ship.

    Source(s): I used to sell books at amazon under the company name CheapBooks Inc.
  • 4 years ago

    Used Books Amazon

  • 4 years ago


  • 4 years ago

    Cheap Used Books

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  • 9 years ago

    This is one of the biggest questions people have about Amazon: how do people make money selling books for a penny?

    Usually, these sellers get HUGE volumes of books for just a few bucks. It could be old stock they have, but typically these are sellers who go to auctions, estate sales, garage sales, etc. and manage to get hundreds of books for almost nothing. I've seen cases where people get boxes of books, sometimes over a hundred paperbacks, for maybe $5!

    On a book-by-book basis, they are almost free. It costs perhaps a buck or so to mail them. That leaves the seller with a tidy profit of about $1.50 or so per sale after Amazon fees, shipping supply costs, etc.

    That may not sound like a lot of profit, probably because it isn't. But these sellers can also sell hundreds of these books a week, no problem. You can do the math, but you can see where even selling maybe 50 of these penny books a week can help pay the rent or finance a nice vacation every year.

    Hope this helps.

    Source(s): Me...I've been a seller on Amazon for over 3 years...but I don't sell ANY penny books!
  • .
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    The only snag is that the shipping will be almost £3.

    Amazon is NOT eBay. There will be no scams. Generally books are sold that cheap when hundreds of people are selling the same book.

    Check out the condition of the book before you buy it, if you want it to appear new/neat.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Because the shipping is a fixed rate - fixed by Amazon. If a book is worth, say, a dollar, and will cost another dollar to post, that's still less much than 1 cent + Amazon's fixed allowance for postage on one book.

    You won't find any large, heavy books listed for 1 cent.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Reasons for cheap books:


    -Book sucked and now there's a severe overstock issue.

    -Companies want to sell books.

    Or if you get ripped off like I was,

    -Consumer buys three items all at $1 each, and gets charged 5 bucks per item for delivery, even though they all came in the same freaking package. So in reality, I paid an extra 10 bucks for nothing~

  • 9 years ago

    I've bought 1p books on Amazon several times - it's usually just les-than-perfect stock that's old and they want to get rid of it. There's no catch!

  • 9 years ago

    They are just getting rid of old stocks. The books you are looking at are probably in pretty poor condition

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