OK. This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. I am not promising to have found the key to buying yourself a Lamborghini and a third house in Florida.
And my comic ISN’T actually worth four thousand dollars and has never SOLD for four thousand dollars despite what the screen capture (shown below) from Amazon might say.
So a few weeks ago I noticed that an indy comic book I drew a few years back started to climb the pricing ladder at Amazon. (and yes…at times I do check my books on Amazon. I like to keep an eye on the reviews. But I never read too carefully for fear I’ll get bummed out) This Amazon Price Inflation isn’t that unusual (Ebay anyone?). But I have never seen it climb to this embarrassing level. This is the Mt. Everest of Amazon pricing weirdness.
Why does this happen? Isn’t online shopping the be-all-end-all of a free-market dream within a dream? Perfect low noise environments where pricing gets rational? Ah no…
I’ve asked around and emailed a few people. And it pays to recount this as we are currently in an era when Amazon’s practices are being looked at a little more closely. And even when it’s NOT Amazon pricing this, they are creating the marketplace.
Let’s start logically. The pricing on this comic is the result of either technical errors or human misunderstanding. I’ve talked to people who place it in both camps, or perhaps a combination of both.
Most likely at least two bidding bots got involved in a pricing war. This jacked up the price. Then a human probably saw a rise in value and adjusted their pricing on the item which resulted in the bots going at it again.
Eventually the one or two people holding this item (Hey, it wasn’t exactly printed in the tens of thousands) may well have taken the price they saw as a true market price.
A little chaos with our online markets please and thank you.
I used to work for Max Keiser and one of the things I picked up listening to him was an affirmation that markets are victims of irrationality and the manipulations produced by human desires. All our human foibles – be they technical or greed induced – find their way in. The ideal free market environment is a dream. John Lennon may as well have been signing about it when he wrote Imagine.
Markets are as conducive to mistakes as any other human structure. And thus my $4,000 comic book.
BTW I still have a few in a box if anyone wants to buy them for three grand each…