Why Doesn’t My New Edition Pop Up at Amazon? Exploring the Problem and the Potential for a Solution

April 2005
by Jenny C. McCune

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For a forward-looking company that has revolutionized the way books are sold, Amazon.com has been extremely backward when it comes to recognizing and correcting at least one problem that is hurting its sales and the sales of its book suppliers.

The problem revolves around new editions. As several PMA members have pointed out, there’s a glitch when a publisher releases a new edition, with or without a new ISBN. Even if the publisher has notified Amazon of the change–duly noted it in emails, the only acceptable form of communication–the results are the same.

A would-be customer plugs in the title and up pops the old edition. That old edition may be incorrectly labeled as “temporarily out of stock” or correctly classified as “out of print.” But whatever its actual or alleged status, the important point is that the new edition–the one that’s up to date and available, the one customers would surely prefer if they knew it existed—doesn’t surface.

What that translates into is lost sales and disappointed customers. Customers who aren’t aware of the new book may leave the Amazon site without hitting the Submit Order button. Or they may end up ordering a book that is obsolete, even as obsolete as a title about the 2003 tax code when the reader needs to know about regulations governing returns for 2004.

Although many PMA members are quick to point out that they are pleased in general with Amazon, othe…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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