From author Douglas Preston (does anyone remember him?) via The New York Times Opinion : Last March, Amazon quietly changed the way it sells books. An obscure and seemingly harmless modification to its has opened the for some third-party sellers to deceive Amazon’s customers by selling books as “new” may not straight from a publisher or its wholesaler, thus depriving of royalties they should have earned from the sale of a new book. Amazon decided to allow third-party sellers to be featured atop the primary purchase for new books, a spot previously reserved for Amazon’s own inventory, which comes directly from the publishers. Approved third-party sellers “win” this placement through a secret algorithm that considers, other , price, availability, seller’s rating and shipping time. In doing so, Amazon abdicates its role as the retailer on its own . The main requirement is that the books offered by the third-party seller must be “new.” So when you, the customer, hit that main buy button, you should always expect to get a brand-new book, right? Not necessarily. To explain why, we have to a journey into the underbelly of the book market. […]

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