Amazon’s Frustrating Kindle eBook Pricing

By , April 3, 2012

A quick observation about Amazon’s book pricing: While the Kindle price for a book is generally less than the “new book” price from Amazon itself when a book is first released, the price never seems to go down.  Thus, for most books, the Kindle price never seems very attractive:

This particular pricing is for the book Class Warfare, which was published last August. After reading the reviews, I balked at paying full price for the book, but this week I decided to check the pricing to see if it has reached the “one cent” pricing (plus $3.99 s&h) that is common for many poorly-reviewed new releases after 6 months.  Here, the new book is offered for $1.72 by many sellers in the Amazon Marketplace, bringing the net cost to $5.71 including shipping to get the physical, printed book, but the Kindle price is still $15, nearly three times as much.

In fairness, this isn’t entirely Amazon’s fault: publishers control the Kindle pricing, while individual retailers can set their own prices for merchandise offered through the Amazon Marketplace. Print publishers are fighting to keep ebook pricing as high as possible, to delay their inevitable loss of control of the publishing industry.

Added May 3, 2011: Here’s another example, where the price of the physical book (brand new, eligible for free shipping)  is actually less than the Kindle price:

Update June 22, 2012: Here’s another silly example, where the Kindle version is more expensive than all new paper editions:


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