Old rules: Here’s how the game used to work – If you weren’t a Prime member, but purchased at least $35 worth of Prime items at the same time, you could still qualify for free shipping. You wouldn’t get free 2-day shipping that way, but at least you saved money by not having to pay for any additional shipping costs. For sellers, this meant that $35 was the “magic” price point where you could appeal to a greater number of customers. If you were going to sell a book for around $30 based on other Prime offers, you could actually ignore those lower-priced offers and instead price your copy at $35 and still have a decent chance of getting the sale. Here’s an example of this phenomenon in action from one of my own sales:
As you can see, at the exact time my order went pending for $35, there were several cheaper Prime offers available in the same condition as mine (Good), from reputable sellers (FranklinMedia has 100% feedback with over 1,100 reviews). Why did this particular customer skip those better-priced items in favor of my $35 copy? They were apparently a non-Prime member who wanted free shipping. It doesn’t have to make sense – a customer’s purchasing psychology would be the topic for an entirely different blog! You simply need to understand that this does indeed happen, use this knowledge for your own benefit, and price accordingly in certain scenarios.
New rules: There’s a new “magic” price point on the block now – $25 has moved in and has kicked the old $35 pricing philosophy to the curb. Amazon recently announced that they have moved the $35 free shipping price point up to $49, but for books the price point came down to $25. Here’s the actual verbiage from their site:
What this change means for booksellers: If you run across a scenario where you plan to price one of your books in the $20-24 price range, you may want to bump it up to $25 instead. Not only will you be avoiding the competitive “race to the bottom” that happens so often with repricing softwares, but you may also appeal to a new group of customers who are looking for a free shipping option! This strategy may not work all the time, but it’s at least worth a second thought during the pricing process.
What this change DOESN’T mean for booksellers: If you have a plethora of books priced at the old $35 price point, don’t rush to drop these prices to $25. Prime customers are used to paying more for items with that Prime logo next to them – sometimes a LOT MORE – than they would for the same item from a Merchant Fulfilled seller. If you’re the only Prime seller on the listing, keep your price where it is. If anything, consider raising your price if the item is selling often enough to fully take advantage of how much more Prime customers are willing to pay for the benefits of Prime.
Endnote: Have you had any success using the $35 price point in the past? Share your story in the comments below! If you want to take advantage of the higher prices that you can command for your books by selling them to Prime buyers, check out my eFLIP software. eFLIP helps you find cheap books from Merchant Fulfilled sellers that you can resell at much higher FBA prices. The best part? You can now source books from anywhere with an internet connection! Start your risk-free 3-day trial today.
Have a flippin’ awesome week, bookselling comrades!