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.