Disquiet at heavy discounts from Amazon and Overstock

Disquiet at heavy discounts from Amazon and Overstock

Amazon has been accused of “quietly discounting” the prices of hardback books by up to 65% in the US. Amazon's move comes in response to the launch of a competitive online retailer’s promotion offering 10% off the price of Amazon book prices.

US-based online retailer Overstock.com, which has recently started shipping to the UK, launched a promotion offering “10% Off Amazon’s Book Prices” "for one week only" on 22nd July, but the promotion has continued into this week and is thought to be lasting as long as customers are taking advantage of it.

Shelf Awareness
has reported that in response to the direct competition, which is across the 466,000 books that Overstock supplies, Amazon.com has begun discounting the price of hardback books much higher than before. Dan Brown’s Inferno is selling for $29.95 but is available on Amazon for $11.65, a 61% discount; And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, listed for $28.95, is being sold at $12.04, a 58% discount; Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, is listed at $24.95, and selling for $9.09, a 64% discount; while The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, listed at $17.99, is available for $6.55, 64% off.

Amazon.co.uk’s bestseller list also shows popular hardback books with large discounts, although they are not as deep. In the UK, Inferno is selling on the Amazon site for £8 instead of £20, a 60% discount; And the Mountains Echoed is selling for £9, down from £18.99, a 52% discount; and The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling is selling for £8.50, down from £20, a discount of 57%.

At number one in Amazon UK’s bestseller chart is Rick Stein’s India, which is selling for £12, a 52% discount from £25, while Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals is selling at a £26, a 53.8% discount.

Amazon usually sells hardback books at 40-50% off r.r.p prices, according to Shelf Awareness.