Report: #714043

Complaint Review: Amazon

  • Submitted: Tue, April 05, 2011
  • Updated: Tue, April 05, 2011
  • Reported By: Alex — No city Oklahoma U.S.A.
  • Amazon

    Internet
    United States of America

Amazon Create Space Conspiracy to deprive authors of royalties Internet

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Amazon.com invites budding authors to self publish through Create Space, telling them that they will be able to keep more of their royalties. However, this business engages in the all too familiar practice of exploiting vulnerable writers. 

Recently, I had to place a few queries with Create Space regarding their "expanded distribution" service since book stores were complaining that they could not order my book. 
For whatever reason, my product was not being listed on Baker & Taylor and Ingram.

Expanded channels allow third party vendors to purchase your product for a fraction of the price and sell it at a huge mark up.  (For the sake of argument, let's say if a customer bought your book through you on Amazon, you might make a profit of $20, but if they bought through the secondary seller listing your same book on the same site, you would only make $5 per sale.  However, the seller, would make $15 or more, depending on their listing price.

In both scenarios, the order is made directly throough Amazon.  Through distribution channels, sellers buy your book for a fraction of the price and then sell for slightly less than you asking price, directly potential patrons to them and allowing them to recoup much of the difference and seriously cutting into your royalties.

When the order is placed, through third parties, who can buy the product for next to nothing, they can sell it for less on your own site, they are still placing the orders directly through you.  They are not buying the book and then reselling it back.

I noticed that close to a dozen Internet book sellers on my site -- which have each sold hundreds of thousands of products -- and offering two or more dollars less than asking price to entice sellers to buy directly from them. (Again for each sale they generate -- I would only get $5 as opposed to $20.)

I suspect most of these "sellers" are living at home and working out of their living rooms, essentially collecting lucrative passive income streams off of the intellectual property and labor of others. In other words, they are parasites. They are not reputable book sellers, who can't even get access to the channels that they have.

Even worse, it appears they are conspiring with Amazon. How do I know?

These leaches posted right after a call to Create Space Customer Service department inquiring why my distribution channels hadn't opened up -- as book stores couldn't find my listing on Ingram and Baker & Taylor. The  Create Space officer acted confused as on his system they were open, even though book stores could not see it.

Days later, my book still hadn't been listed on Baker & Taylor and Ingram -- though according to Create Space my channels were open. (IN other words, Amazon/Create Space knew they were to be opened, but the book stores/external third parties did not -- and already these "insiders" knew and had access to insider channels no one else knew about and were posting my book at a reduced rate.)

When I called to inquire about what was going on, Create Space told me that these parties were posting my book (at a reduced rate -- some of them boast they can sell brand new books for 90 percent off! Makes you feel special as an author, doesn't it?) as they anticipated that my sales channels would open.  How could they anticipate this unless they knew? Not all authors choose to open distribution channels -- in fact, many don't.

Sales channel distribution is a voluntary basis. Why would a business post a product sold for more than their listing price-- in wihch they would stand to make a loss if those channels were not open. Does not make business sense.

Amazon says it cannot reveal the names of identities of these sellers, they have no internal ombudsman or fraud division and they say you make yourself open to these people by opting into third party distributions and that essentially anyone with a computer can become a book distributor and buy your book for pennies off the dollar and sell it for a huge profit, while you, the author, only make a small royalty.

Even worse, it appears some of these practices may be going on in house, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the listers aren't opportunistic CreateSpace/ Amazon employees gaming the system --- and exploiting the intellectual property of authors to enrich themselves.

This needs to be investigated -- and has all the makings of a class action.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/05/2011 10:09 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/amazon/internet/amazon-create-space-conspiracy-to-deprive-authors-of-royalties-internet-714043. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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