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A Call to Bookselling Colleagues

by Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7

Could sure use some help from fellow veteran booksellers. According to Amazon our sales are down a whopping 58% year-to-year. Our inventory levels are consistent with the past and we have a 99% customer approval rating for the past 12 months and a 99% approval rating since we began in 2005, nearly twenty years ago. Our buy box percentage is less than 1% and we appear to be locked into an Amazon Algorithm Death Spiral. Advice? Thanks. While we’re at it, Amazon likes to boast that they are all about the customer buying experience. What? A 99% customer feedback rating doesn’t make the grade?

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Quincy_Amazon
In reply to: Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7's post

Hello @Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7

Thank you for posting to the Forums. While I don't have any insights to share regarding the drop in sales, I wanted to provide links to some content that we published recently on elevating sales for your reference if needed:

Looking forward to reading contributions from other members of the community.

Regards,

Quincy_Amazon

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Seller_MyXY4Myx9zVcR
In reply to: Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7's post

You have probably already done this, but try searching for one of your books as an Amazon customer.

What shows up first is any Amazon Kindle edition.

Then the paperback, if available, and after that the hardcover, if Amazon sells them.

Buried 5-8 screens later, if the buyer has not already purchased, and is quite persistent, are the books of Amazon 3rd party sellers, many of whom have been selling books here for10+ years.

Good luck selling any used books on Amazon now.

This scheme has been in place for several months, and you are not the only suffering bookseller.

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Seller_S7P2Net2dAYSq
In reply to: Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7's post

It has become such a joke, don't understand it... same issues here, have good inventory just not moving.

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Seller_kizWwPSrgJnDm
In reply to: Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7's post

10 weeks ago I was doing a $1000 a week in sales, now I am luck to do $300. I don't understand why this happened

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Seller_4a0fT0P2nCPQq
In reply to: Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7's post

Yes, same here. Sales are way way down and our metrics are as good as can be. Probably the slowest we have seen it in 20 years since selling here. We are listing low ranking books, and they just sit here. UGH.

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Seller_C2NiEkAU4xTGT
In reply to: Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7's post

I believe that Amazon is somehow suppressing book sales that aren't their own.

Also, searching for books on Amazon has become such a near impossible treasure hunt, it is no wonder none of us are selling much.

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Seller_O6YWkDReQ90FK
In reply to: Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7's post

Booksellers need to unite in this way. List your books on other, more professional sites and make sure that you price them at least a dollar less than what you are selling them for on Amazon. Eventually, buyers will begin to move over, slowly but surely, and gone will be the days of frivolous returns, scam buyers, and Amazon's totally useless policies that were supposed to protect sellers. It will take time, but other sites have been slowly performing better and better than Amazon, and I have not ONCE been victimized by a return or a scam buyer. Not once. On Amazon, they are common occurrences.

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Seller_YBfUTeoG971hG
In reply to: Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7's post

Although my sales continue to hold steady (just), my ability to list sellable books has been seriously degraded over the past several months. First the non-ISBN exemption was taken away, so that any book not already in the Amazon catalogue is virtually impossible to list from scratch. And now the VAST number of POD listings that come up as the first option in the search of ANY out-of-print book makes finding an original copy incredibly difficult. In the main, for older out-of-print books the original editions have been so thoroughly suppressed that they might as well not exist. How this is of any benefit to Amazon customers is beyond me!

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Seller_HRcJa1gdGHeov
In reply to: Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7's post

Amazon says it is about the buyer experience, but it is really about Amazon making the most $$. Ads, absurd FBA fees, ...; all of these make money for Amazon at the expense of both the buyer and 3P sellers.

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Seller_sNpmfbRsQr05Y
In reply to: Seller_rwKHDZc1TrDw7's post

A) Book sales are down in general the last couple of years. You can look that up easily online. B) More copies online of "nearly" all books & less demand is not a good thing. C) Who buys books on Amazon anymore?? That clientele is more and more the Kindle crowd IF reading at all.

As I've said here a few times, there are some weeks that Amazon has become the fourth or even fifth best channel for bookselling at least for us. Unimaginable 10 or 15 years ago.

Honestly, I HATE buying used books on Amazon. I'm disappointed at least 75% of the time, condition grades rarely reflect the book you are likely to get. I'm sure I'm not the only buyer to notice this.

Finally, I'm steadily moving our business away from books, with the goal being maybe 80% of inventory max in a year or two, focusing more on other items which continue to sell well (and those genres of books which remain "hot"). I'm fortunate to be in a place where this is easily accomplished.

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