while I'm cranky I might as well take advantage

I’m not going to get into the discussion about used books, but I do want to share an oddity that I can’t figure out.

If you go to Amazon and look at Into the Wilderness, you’ll see the paperback edition is still in print. You’ll also see that you could buy it used, and there are a 104 such copies to chose from, ranging in price from .59 (plus $3.49 shipping) to $10.00 (plus $3.49 shipping). The two copies being sold for ten bucks are listed as new, but there’s nothing collectible about them otherwise, as far as I can see.

But here’s where it gets very odd. If you look a little further (search “Sara Donati” and a list of all editions will come up) you’ll find a few copies of the books at prices I can’t figure out at all. For example:


If you look at the listing page you’ll see that somebody is selling a copy of ITW in paperback for $51.49, plus shipping. It doesn’t claim that the copy is new, or a first printing, or signed. The only claim: “Buy without risk! Excellent customer service.”

I should hope so. If you pay more than sixty bucks for a book you can buy brand new for 7.50, you had best get excellent customer service. I would expect the book to be hand delivered on a silver tray at that markup. And isn’t that adding insult to injury? If you go off and buy a used copy of ITW for a couple bucks because you’re broke or for whatever reason, the used book seller makes a slim profit. I don’t get paid at all, but that’s not the point here. The point: the person who manages to sell a paperback copy of ITW for $51.95 is making more money on that copy than I ever did. Many times more.

What’s the deal? Are these just opportunistic merchants who are hoping for a gullible person to walk by?

Hey bud, com’ere. You need a watch? I got beeeooo-tiful watches, these babies’d cost you more than a thousand bucks over in Switzerland, I’ll give you the pick of the bunch for an easy twenty. And whle you’re looking, you got any interest in rare books? I got a once in a lifetime deal here, let me show ya.

Somebody explain this to me, would you? Because I truly don’t understand.