Why would this book be so expensive?

“Please Write” by Wolf von Eckardt is an out-of-print book. It’s a slim instructional book on improving your handwriting. I went looking for it at Amazon and found there there were only three copies, priced in the $190-$280 range. I realise that out-of-print books can be expensive, but I can’t imagine that the demand for this book would be so high as to drive the price up to this level. It was published in 1988 or so and probably was priced around $15-$20 at the time. How can I find out why this book is so valuable?

www.abe.com has copies starting at $2.50.

I’ve seen outlandish prices like this at Amazon too, and I think maybe it’s a typo. In this case, three typos.

I don’t know how it works with Amazon Marketplace sellers who have a huge inventory. Maybe they import a database, and things get messed up, decimals are misplaced?

It seems funny that there would be three such outlandish mistakes. I E-mailed one of the sellers to ask about the high price and his only response was “Our prices are based on current availability.” No mention of high demand. Somehow I doubt there are very many people clamouring for this book.

www.alibris.com lists it at $2.95. I’ve had good luck purchasing from alibris.

Maybe I’m just suspicious, but could there be collusion between the three Amazon sources?

Half dot com has two; one at $7.99 and one at $223.75. Weird.

Could the expensive editions be collectables? First Editions or something?

I just checked Half.com and the $7.99 one is there, but the other one seems to have gone down to 76 cents. That’s more likely. Maybe there was some collosal error that resulted in several dealers massively overpricing this book.

I wrote to the other two sellers on Amazon to ask them whether there is anything special about those editions. Somehow I doubt it.

Speaking of inflated prices…my husband came home with two 3-volt batteries from Walgreens. They charged him $15. We found a dozen on line for $1.25 each. Who knows how they figure it.

When I search on Amazon I find two links for the book. One has the three super-high-priced copies that acsenray mentions.

The other link shows five copies, all between $34.75 and $35.00. Too close to be coincidental.

My guess is that one person puts up the book for a price, determined who knows how. Then everybody else who has the book but doesn’t have a clue how to price it looks at that price and undercuts it by a bit to draw sales.

It’s all a game of follow the blind leader.

Solution: always check a bunch of vendors before buying anything on the Internet.