Cost of LF books on Amazon sky rocket. Why?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Ric Trexell, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    I bought Steve Simmons book on using the View Camera and Jack Dykinga's book on LF Photography just a couple years ago. I don't remember exactly what I paid for them, but the receipt is probably in the books as I usually keep those. Anyway, I know it was in the $18-$25 dollar range each. Now those books are selling on Amazon for nearly $100. I don't understand why books are shooting up so much. Are these discontinued and there is such a high demand for LF books that the law of supply and demand is calling for such prices? If they are in such demand, why are they not being published? I'm thinking that as much as I would like to keep these as I hope maybe someday to get into LF photography, I could buy a lot of stuff if I sold these on ebay. Any one out there know something I don't? Thank you. Ric.
     
  2. superd

    superd Member

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    Well, there are some crazy sellers counting on the uninitiated. Zone VI workshop can be had today from $10 to $90. Same goes for many titles. I usually check Abesbooks.com, as it seems a good market indicator for any particular title, far outdoing Amazon in this regard. So, if you think you have a gold mine in the basement, check the market because most of these aren't going for much.

    BTW, Simmons' View Camera isn't a 1957 DeSoto, not even close.
     
  3. batwister

    batwister Member

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    I generally think people selling niche books online just go out on a limb, because they can't be bothered doing the research. Most people impulse buy on the net and don't do the research either.
    You could quite easily get rich collecting and selling photography books online, because the market has a solid foundation in ignorance.

    Just looking at Paul Strand's Outer Hebrides, which I bought brand new for £50 last year. Somebody is selling the same edition for £871 on Amazon... and I bet it sells.
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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  5. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    In the case of third-party sellers, it apparently sometimes happens that two sellers will have automated pricing systems that try to determine what the market will bear and set the price accordingly, and they get into a kind of "arms race" and each one keeps escalating the price to be just a little above the other. A couple of years ago this process went berserk and the results made the news, but it's possible that similar effects sometimes boost prices unreasonably without getting completely ridiculous.

    -NT
     
  6. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Try addall.com, it will show listings other than Amazon, which might be closer to reality.

    There is also bookfinder.com, but the resident bookseller reports that addall has been working better than bookfinder lately.
     
  7. whowantstoast

    whowantstoast Member

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    Amazon is notorious for having price-bots go whacko. Just the everyday movement of prices on normal things is quite odd. Put any book on your wishlist and watch it fluctuate, prices do not stay still.
     
  8. superd

    superd Member

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    This is about some sellers going nuts, not Amazon price-bots. It's noticeable in many places, not only Amazon.
     
  9. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    I thought these were new prices...

    I thought these were new prices but maybe not. I would think the authors of these books and others would not like to see their books listed at $100 as that would discourage buyers. There are other books listed on Amazon for the person new to LF and they are selling in the $18 range. If Simmon's and Dykinga's books are out of print, well then perhaps they are worth that, but I would hit the local librarys before forking over that much coin. I wonder how LF books are selling these days. With MF systems going so cheap, it must be a hard sell. I had to sell the RB67 due to a lack of money, and after seeing the difference between 35mm and a 6X7, I'm thinking that when and if my ship comes in, I will look at LF. Otherwise I would sell the books I have. It is funny that you can hardly buy a new MF camera, but there must be 5-7 LF camera makers still going strong. I guess they will be until someone comes out with a 450 megapixel digital camera. Ric.
     
  10. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Shhh - fortunately the filter factors are on preview pages. That's all I need.
     
  11. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    It is ironic Ric but I think your last sentence explains it...LF can't be duplicated digitally *yet*. In terms of books...yes, I ordered Simmonds book and it was < $20, paperback, used but the info is still there.
     
  12. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    They charge whatever they think they can get away with, whether or not they understand what the book represents. In the numerous used bookstores around here, any how-to photo manual like the above would probably fetch a buck or two. A friend of mine recently showed me a gorgeous full-color
    quad-tone folio book that sold for two hundred bucks originally. It was still in mint condition, yet he
    picked it up for three dollars. A specialty rare photo book dealer might have asked six hundred for the same thing. When the web functions as a search engine for books, it changes the equation, but one never knows in what direction until they try.