York bookseller spots book for sale on Amazon for £526,914,946,252.69

York Press: Tony Fothergill, of Ken Spelman Books Tony Fothergill, of Ken Spelman Books

A YORK bookseller has spoken of his shock at finding a book he purchased for £69 on sale at Amazon.co.uk for the “ludicrous” price of £526 billion.

Tony Fothergill, of Ken Spelman Books, bought a new copy of A History of Chromolithography: Printed Colour for All by Michael Twyman new, but later found a used copy was being sold on Amazon for £526,914,946,252.69.

The ambitious seller is also asking for £2.50 for delivery despite the hefty price tag, but “Satisfaction is guaranteed” according to the seller.

Tony believes the problem is down to “crazy algorithmic pricing software” which some sellers use, with the book listed at £52billion the previous day.

While it may appear to be an amusing listing, Tony also suggests that this sort of software “makes a mockery of traditional book selling.”

The algorithmic software normally undercuts other sellers, resulting in many books going for 1p, but when a book is not already listed on Amazon, it can work the other way, which can “be a bit dangerous with buy now buttons” according to Tony.

He says the issue had been discussed at traditional book trade associations and some online sellers were “marketing books like cans of baked beans.”

An Amazon spokesman said the information had now been updated following a call from The Press.

Comments (6)

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9:51am Wed 25 Jun 14

The Great Buda says...

Worst free advert ever.
Worst free advert ever. The Great Buda
  • Score: 3

10:05am Wed 25 Jun 14

RingoStarr says...

...but a VERY funny story AND helps to promote a small York business!
...but a VERY funny story AND helps to promote a small York business! RingoStarr
  • Score: 7

10:12am Wed 25 Jun 14

Dave Ruddock says...

seems the age of Sioftware is here, start of the robot takeover, or reluctance of the Human to use brain instead of very dodgy software. I have seen similar of EBay .
seems the age of Sioftware is here, start of the robot takeover, or reluctance of the Human to use brain instead of very dodgy software. I have seen similar of EBay . Dave Ruddock
  • Score: 3

12:43pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Blythespirit says...

Strange, but true. I have bought loads of books on Amazon for just a penny, but have also found books (tattered paperbacks) on there, that have been out of print for a few years, costing hundreds of pounds. As soon as another seller puts the same book out there the price drops.
Strange, but true. I have bought loads of books on Amazon for just a penny, but have also found books (tattered paperbacks) on there, that have been out of print for a few years, costing hundreds of pounds. As soon as another seller puts the same book out there the price drops. Blythespirit
  • Score: 6

1:30pm Wed 25 Jun 14

dsom73 says...

Sounds like a cracking read - I'll buy 2 so I have a spare for when I've read the ink off the pages of the first one.
Sounds like a cracking read - I'll buy 2 so I have a spare for when I've read the ink off the pages of the first one. dsom73
  • Score: 4

5:48pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Pinza-C55 says...

I bought 2 lots of computer RAM from Amazon and for some reason the invoice said "the box contains a Corsair 700 watt power supply unit" (x 2) with each PSU being worth more than the RAM! I phoned them and tried to demand my free PSUs but they wouldn't back down.
I bought 2 lots of computer RAM from Amazon and for some reason the invoice said "the box contains a Corsair 700 watt power supply unit" (x 2) with each PSU being worth more than the RAM! I phoned them and tried to demand my free PSUs but they wouldn't back down. Pinza-C55
  • Score: -1
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