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From the original subject, "buying from amazon", this thread stretched a little bit to "selling on amazon", too, which is not a bad thing, I think.

In fact, I own lots of books I never ever look into anymore, and I see that many amazon sellers sell books for 1 cent or 1€, plus 3€ package and postage, including amazon fees and real postage around 1 to 2€, and I think you better give them to your municipal library instead, in bulk, than waste your time with individual selling efforts in these cases.

For a buyer, almost every other book selling platform is of far more interest, since prices there are significantly lower than on amazon (cf. amazon's fees, and especially conditions); for a seller, in light of the prices you can get, amazon is far more interesting than any alternative selling platform, and probably in spite of the difference in conditions:

That difference being, regular (but "minor", by comparison) selling platforms treat profs. like profs. and individuals like individuals, meaning, they don't interfere with the separate LEGAL conditions applying to both groups of sellers: In Germany / the European Union, e.g., buying from a prof. means the buyer has a right to 14 days of reflection, and can return the goods/book to the prof. seller, AND (which is the real risk here), it's up to the seller to prove in which state the goods had been when he sent them, AND there is an additional prof./commercial sellers' risk: It's him to bear the risk of any vanishing of the goods-in-its-travel: TO the buyer, and even BACK FROM the buyer (thus you see the immense risks any prof. seller bears under such legislation).

Now, all this is different, under the law, for sales emanating from an individual seller to an individual buyer, in which that individual seller just resells his stuff he doesn't need anymore, to some other individual: Here, both the transportation risks and the question "in what state was the good when the seller sent it out" remains at the "biz between individuals" level, and there is no automatic "buyer's claims are deemed to be true" assumption: Whoever wants something from some other guy, has to prove the conditions for his claim, which means the buyer both cannot damage the goods, then pretend that was their original condition, nor is loss of the goods automatically imputed to the seller.

Now what makes the difference between any other such platform, and amazon, is the fact that amazon's conditions state that ANY seller on their platform is considered a prof. seller, not an individual one, with the above conclusions applying.

In other words, selling your unwanted books on amazon means, you'll get the very highest possible price in your situation, but you incur risks that you would not elsewhere.

II

Well, at the end of the day, it's NOT necessary to take off your regularly-priced book from amazon whenever there is some real cheap alternative offer; yours will simply not be taken into consideration while that alternative offer remains on offer there.

There are some sw products for amazon available, you'll find them by googling "amazon (selling,seller) (software,tool)". Some seller use sw that indeed follows other sellers' prices, mechanically, which is ridiculous, but here and there, could make a real benefit to the potential buyer: 29,99, 29,98, 29,97...1,34...

It's evident that for somebody like myself, who simply wants to sell let's say, 3,000 of his 10,000 or so books, some OTHER kind of sw would be most helpful: Getting the ISBN into the sw, then have the sw set up some reasonable offering price for any such book, which means if there are 10 offerings between 1 cent and 2€, FORGET IT, but if there are some 3 offerings between 25$ and 38$, LIST THEM, in order for yourself making a decision at which price you should offer the book in question... and then, of course, automatically entering your books, at the price you will have decided upon, into the amazon system (and hoping for the best, re the above legal/contractual considerations). ( The same would apply to "long-playing records"; I've got some 1,300 of them in mint condition which I would like to get rid of... ;-) )

THAT would be some real useful amazon sw for many of us I suppose... ( I'm searching... ;-) )

III

And don't miss pic 3 referred-to above: Despite fatal underexposure of mommy's face, it's a masterpiece since it's the apotheosis of the idea of motherhood, cubs implicitly trusting mommy to get for them what's needed; it's the perfect "mirror view" (have a better term for it? let us know!) to this short vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzgpeLFf4z4

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mouser, thank you so much for the link, seems very interesting in theory, must look if it works with amazon.de/.fr, too.

For textbooks, there's a difficulty, since you've got some project, then you'll need some books around it, and it's not realistic then to wait many months for those books to gather. Second problem, and that's where you seem to be much better off than are Curt and myself, you seem to be located in the U.S., where all the "real important stuff" is so much cheaper than around here, and for me, it's exactly as Curt says:

Even if the book is cheap, shipping is incredibly expensive, and most of the time, you don't even find a second item to buy with it, in order to bring shipping costs in some more reasonable relation to "the price of the item itself".

As for used textbook prices in Europe, a typical example is, new 49€, used 47,50 plus 3 postage = 50,50€ - that's totally nuts, but I insist it's a typical example.

On the other hand, your sw seems to be of the highest interest for getting photographic monographies and such books which are simply too expensive (original price 120€ (but "you" were too short-sighted to buy it, now 800€, but sometimes 180€...), so your sw is of the highest interest, as said, thank you so much!

Btw, it would be of interest to know if in the U.S., it's possible to get to out-of-print books in such an inter-libraries lending system, as in Germany. I am asking because often, some out-of-print books text books (which originally were perhaps 30, 60 or 80€) on amazon.de are at 400, 600 or 800€, but invariably from U.S. sellers; whilst Europeans would get such a book  from the inter-library lending system and then (legally) photocopy it in full, instead of paying several hundred euro for it. (Of course, this doesn't apply to art and photo books and to literary first editions and such.) Thus my question being, is it impossible to get to such out-of-print books in the U.S., hence those exaggerated prices, or are such sellers simply out for "dumb", i.e. uninformed readers who don't know better? Also, university library access might not be as easily possible for "post-graduates", but here in Germany, that inter-library lending system does include almost any public library, i.e. from any public library of your town, you'll get ANY such book, from any university library in Germany (but it's 2,50€ instead of 1,50€ then), and even Europe-wide (but that would be 35€ after all).

II

In general, there must be some other amazon sw's, for adjusting your OWN prices there whenever some other offering there enters the market with a lower price than yours. If somebody knows about such sw, please let us know.

On the other hand, it's NOT a good idea to reset the price from 35$ to 29,87 whenever there is a new offer for 29,88, but that's what people do with such sw.

Rather, the item should be withheld, for a while, waiting the 29,88 item is off the market, and then you enter your item anew, again for 35$ - that's what smart realtors do with houses when the seller has got the time to wait.

But for 35$ items such a strategy should indeed be automated...

III

The black bear cubs story of the week, in 21 pics (number 4 is very cute, 5 is overcute, don't miss 7 to 9 and 13/14 either, but number 3 is uber cute!):

http://www.adn.com/2014/06/14/3514527/bear-trio-in-east-anchorage.html

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1. I very much hope that despite of your artificial cut-out into 3 different functional categories, you're aware of the fact that for practical use, they must be re-integrated again? ;-) (In other words, be it correction, be it vocabulary-it-comes-with, be it your-own-abbrevs: they must not interfere, and thus, one expander is more complete as another one, but all of them are expanders, and then they integrate additional functionaly. Sorry for being really nit-pick.)

2. It's always a good idea to not just copy link lists from somewhere, I just tried the Jon Knowles links at the end of the list (remembering the site I once looked into), and boom, between yesterday and today! ;-)

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Curt, you're right, googling for book titles is old style, thank you for the hint; I use FF, and there should be some other add-in for the "amazon button".

Also, thank you for completing my list with your remarks about shipping costs from amazon.com = U.S. to Europe, and which is another reason I'm so fond of the German inter-university-library lending system (cost per book: 1,50€, about 2,15$: I'm sure this is the best such system in Europe).

Of course, there would be the question to WHICH amazon those buttons would take you, and if then the amazon search line would be focussed. In fact, in my macro system,  I have direct "buttons" (menus with shortcuts) to amazon.com/co.uk/de/fr, but the problem is, I have been too lazy to then script a mouse click into the search line (direct focus to website elements is a big flaw in AHK), so I must click manually, whilst in google and almost anywhere else, the search line is focussed automatically; of course, I don't go over the google page, but by direct one-key to the browser search line, but I acknowledge my current system, for amazon, isn't ideal, especially since after that (very quick) first amazon page, I then have to "surf" to other amazon pages anyway.

This being said, there is that above-described risk of getting, by google, to "bad" amazon pages, and I'm not sure using "buy from amazon buttons" will overcome that problem; as said, even from within amazon, you sometimes get "bad" pages...

"Nächstenliebe", well, I find wrong translations, too, from altruism to charity, but there is a problem. I know exactly what you mean, i.e. a minimum of loyalty, of "deliberate thrustworthyness beyond what the law imposes on you", of "deliberate interest in the real interest of the customer" (vs. alleged interest which at the end of the day is the interest of the seller/marketplace), of "solidarity with the other party's interests", but "Nächstenliebe" is rarely used these times, in German, and exclusively with regards to real and wrong charity, i.e. with regards to voluntary work with homeless people or elderly in institutions and such, and also, wrongly, with regards to charity "galas" where rich people give to charity - hence the problems of today's dictionaries: Their lack of applying translations just mirror the fact that this term has almost vanished from the German language, except for this receded use, and most of the time you'll hear this word, it'll be with respect to "Mother Teresa" anyway (i.e. improper use if you know about the background and details of her work...)

This being said, 90 p.c. of the time, I use the different amazon sites for my bibliography needs, before then searching the inter-library system anyway, and not for buying; I have to say that without to that exceptionally good system, i.e. in (most?) other countries, this would probably be quite different.


I missed another aspect of the amazon world: E-books and their prices.

sideline: The German book market in general.

In Germany, both book and e-book prices are bound by law, which means that the respective publisher sets the price, then everybody, for "new" books/e-books at least (see above for "new" vs. "really used" vs. "allegedly used"), must neither call for higher (! see the pdf, and the alleged "used" state in there), nor for lower prices. This means, for the German book market, that the big players, i.e. amazon, but also the big "chains" (which also sell by internet, but which mainly are present in the best parts of the big cities) will make tremendous benefits, on the detriment of the "nice little bookstore", which today are gone for the most of them: In those German cities I know, more than 80 p.c. of them have closed.

Why is this so? There's a very precise reason to it: The big players, amazon et al, get about 60 to 65 p.c. off that "bound" price from the respective publishers, whilst the "little bookstore" just gets 30 to 35 p.c. off that same price (and most of the time, it's not more like 29 p.c. instead of 32 or more), either from the publisher or from some intermediate which in turn gets the full 65 p.c. from the publisher...

So why are there intermediates, to begin with? Those, which are called "Barsortiment(er)" (()=plural), store any book from big publishers, and deliver them, to the bookstore, the next day, whilst from the publisher (= same price for the bookstore), that would take anything from some days to 6 weeks (= publishers kicking away bookstores this way, in spite of the fact it would have been in the publisher's interest to deliver directly!) - of course, the "customer experience" is quite different between "next day" and "somewhere in the future".

The attentive reader will have become aware of my saying, "store any book from big publishers": bingo! And this means many bookstore will tell you, "this book doesn't exist", whenever you ask them for a book from some little publisher, since they do not want to command it from them, and the intermediates refuse to stock them for immediate delivery (notwithstanding the fact the little publisher is "willing" to give them their 65 p.c. off final price).

Of course, the German government tells people lots of rubbish about this (as for any subject there is), in the line of "the bound price preserve the little bookstore", which is a big lie in light of the above: It would HAVE been true if not just the end/customer price was bound, but if the purchase price was identical for every reseller was identical, too, and so, as with many other things, German legislation is just bound to play the play of the big players, little bookstores being the victims of this policy as well as every reader in Germany... ;-)

Now for those e-book prices:

From the U.S., you know that a book might cost 30$, with the e-book costing about 9$, this price difference being much smaller for textbooks, though, but then, it's perhaps 30$ vs. 18$. As said above, amazon.com e-books are not available for European customers.

Now in Germany (similar in France), when the book is 30.95€, the e-book is 28.95 euro, or 29.45€, and that applies to almost any e-book sold in Germany, being it a translation, or be it written in German (so there are no "hidden costs" to be "covered", it's just plain greed).

And this means that in Europe, you should always have a look at amazon.co.uk, and search for the English version of the e-book, the latter often being available on Continental amazon sites, too, perhaps at slightly higher prices but which in any case are not as cheap as on amazon.com (the TVA on books in Germany is currently 7 p.c., on e-books it's been 19 p.c., but I think they changed that, or are willing to do so? Anyway, that doesn't explain a price difference of merely 5 or 7 p.c. to the bound book).

Which arises an additional question: Are there alternative U.S. e-book sources, priced as amazon.com, but from thich the e-books are available to European customers? (Of course, we then don't speak of the Kindle format here, but who cares? With all due respect, I looked at Kindle's, and was far from delighted!) But this alternative availability to Europe could be prevented for legal reasons, i.e. U.S. publishers sell the "Oversea's right" to their Irish-tax-free subsidiary, and which then is the sole proprietor of those European rights, incl. e-book rights, and they are free to sell at some price they deem suitable for European "customers". (Just compare Adobe sw prices in Europe with their respective U.S. counterparts.)

I spoke about "importing goods" in some other thread, some weeks ago, and there's a base problem, but which seems to be connected to such "rights for different territories" considerations:

There currently is no U.S. reseller who's got a daily (or, in the beginning, weekly) container shipped to Europe, and with prices 10 p.c. above the U.S. price plus taxes (neither there is for electronics goods and such, so we pay twice the price here, sometimes thrice the price).

And, to say it all, even sharing transportations costs from the U.S. to Europe, once a month, for some fellow customer group, would only be realistic within a big country like Germany, since even within Europe, from one country to the next, D to DK, B to F, A to CH, will cost another fortune in additional transportation costs: The whole "European Union" is just there in order to ripp off hundreds of millions of "innocent" people not seeing that once in while, they could stop this never-ending outrage from which citizens don't have but big disadvantages... DK at least having been smart enough to preserve its money... and they don't exclusively vote for perverted cynics up there neither: kudos to DK for preserving your common sense! (Whilst German electorate is an abomination.)

Ok, this thread was meant to be about hints to better buy pc books, sw and electronics... but from the above, you will have understood why I so much praise the German inter-university book lending system: Any book I get from there is a book I wasn't totally ripped off for. (And btw, in the Scandinavian countries, book prices are even more obscene than on the Continent.)

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And beyond that, when sw a costs 40$, and sw b (ShareMouse) not even 10, it'd be a good idea - I've said this before, re some other poster who just said "I prefer a over b", without giving reasons - to explain why buying sw a should be preferable. I acknowledge, though, that for once, I did similarly, with ShareMouse; it's just that my trial has been some time ago, and ShareMouse was very smooth, whilst I had (minor and major) problems with some free offerings, must have overlooked Multiplicity then.

Well, Stardock seems to be another of those "games"; that would not count for a real advantage over ShareMouse, would it? ;-)

EDIT:

Sorry, my fault: Edgerunner = the dedicated subsidiary of Stardock who do "Fences" et al.

Multiplicity seems to be a very interesting program, btw, 3 different versions, so thank you a lot for mentioning it here.

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