Amazon Deal of the Day

Pre-order the Absolute New Frontier hardcover by Darwyn Cooke, list-priced at $75, for $13 at Amazon.com.

It’s probably a mistake, since that’s more than an 80% discount, but what’s the risk? Since the book isn’t due until October, there’s plenty of time to cancel if they raise the price.

In case they catch this before you read this post, here’s visual proof:

Absolute New Frontier at Amazon for $12.99

Update: As of 7 AM ET Friday, this book is ranked #3 in sales, behind The Da Vinci Code (duh) and Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages (wha?). There are going to be a lot of disappointed people if Amazon cancels the orders.

And if they don’t, there are going to be a lot of disappointed comic book retailers whose customers have all pre-ordered. I believe the top discount through Diamond is 55% off, so their wholesale price is at max $33.75, or 2 1/2 times this price.

Update 2: Amazon caught on. The page now reads

THIS TITLE IS CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE. If you would like to purchase this title, we recommend that you occasionally check this page to see if it has become available.

with no pre-order button. It turns out that $12.99 is Amazon’s current price on the individual New Frontier collections, so it seems likely that someone confused the different editions.

Update 3: Amazon has cancelled the orders without explanation.

Similar Posts: Amazon Super-Sale on Comic Hardcovers: The Aftermath § Amazon Glitch Followup § Amazon Pulls First Second Books, Other Macmillan Titles § Amazon’s Scary Proposal to Publishers May Affect Book Quality § Great Deal on Scott Pilgrim at Amazon


23 Responses to “Amazon Deal of the Day”

  1. Ralf Haring Says:

    Wow. I had no desire to own this for $75, but for $13? Done.

  2. John Jakala Says:

    Heh, thanks for sharing this, Johanna. I had no desire to get this either, but I’ll certainly check it out for $13.

  3. Mark Fossen Says:

    Order placed … I know it’s won’t stick, but what the heck.

  4. Ray Cornwall Says:

    Not worth bothering to order- once Amazon figures out the mistake, they’ll cancel the order. They’ve done that before. There’s 0% chance they’ll honor this price.

  5. Ray Cornwall Says:

    Changed my mind- might not get the book, but maybe I’ll get a gift certificate out of it if I complain when they cancel the order. Why yes, I’m evil, why do you ask? :)

  6. James Schee Says:

    I ordered it too, since it does seem to be a no lose situtation. I’m betting they just screwed this up with the tpbs.

    I’m actually sort of curious about the Absolute format, and have been wanting to see one to see what they are like.

  7. Mark Fossen Says:

    I’m actually sort of curious about the Absolute format, and have been wanting to see one to see what they are like.

    I’m such a fan of the format that I’m even considering books I might not consider in a standard trade/hardcover like Absolute Kingdom Come.

  8. Johanna Says:

    Mark, do you mind elaborating about what you like about the format?

    Ray, I know it’s a pipe dream, but it may give an interesting example of sales velocity for discount pricing. I wish I knew more about how to see Amazon sales figures, because I’d like to see rankings and orders both now and after they fix the mistake.

  9. Mark Fossen Says:

    Mark, do you mind elaborating about what you like about the format?

    I’m a bit of a whore for beautiful publishing … I’ll actually appreciate, and gush to others about endpapers. So take what I say with a grain of salt. :)

    First is the size – these are practically coffetable books or art books. They can become impractical – if you’re the kind of person like my wife who dozes off while reading in bed and occasionally drops the book on her nose, Absolute Watchmen could send you to the hospital. But it achieves the same effect as a beautiful art book – it lets the art breathe and be examined. Obviously, the Perez volumes (JLA/Avengers and Crisis) really allow the detail to shine, but even other artists’ work shines as it increases in size.

    Then there’s the production values – rich paper, often bound-in bookmarks, beautiful coverstock, etc. The bonus materials vary – Planetary doesn’t have much, but Watchmen and Crisis are packed with stuff.

    There’s no doubt about it – these are collector’s pieces, books that you’ll have for a long time. If you just want to read the books, I suppose it’s overkill. Then again, a digest sized book of Rembrandt would give you a reference for what the pictures looked like, wouldn’t it? They are utterly gratuitious, like the back-of-Previews statues, but you can also open them up and read them. :)

    It’s Marvel’s oversized hardcovers that got me back into comics, but once I discovered the Absolutes, I fell in love.

  10. James Schee Says:

    I’m sure they’ll cancel though as here is their “Conditions of Use”:

    With respect to items sold by Amazon.com, we cannot confirm the price of an item until you order; however, we do NOT charge your credit card until after your order has entered the shipping process. Despite our best efforts, a small number of the items in our catalog may be mispriced. If an item’s correct price is higher than our stated price, we will, at our discretion, either contact you for instructions before shipping or cancel your order and notify you of such cancellation.

  11. Johanna Says:

    Mark, thanks. I just wish that I was more interested in the material between the covers… :)

  12. James Schee Says:

    With as many people that pre-ordered it, enough to make it the third selling book. I wonder if they might at least offer a promotional code for an extra 5 or 10 % off or a gift certifticate?

    The going price for the other Absolute titles of the same base price is $45 and change. So an extra few bucks would be nice. (not as nice as $13 for the book though:) )

  13. Sam Hobart Says:

    Actually, the Absolute editions top out at 45%discount through Diamond, making the wholesale price $41.25, just over 3 times Amazon’s limited time price. I will be shocked if these aren’t cancelled since I know of store owners who ordered 20+ copies — Amazon would lose quite a bit on this book at that point (and the market would likely be flooded).

  14. Ian Brill Says:

    I actually got the Marvel hardcover of Welcoem Back, Frank for the price of the softcover becuase of a simialr type of screw-up. I actually comapred the ISBN numbers to make sure I could belive what I was seeing. I kind of hope Amazon might make a mistake like that again and doesn’t catch it but I doubt that will happen again.

  15. Ray Cornwall Says:

    I got this explanation:

    “In accordance with our posted policies on pricing, we’re unable to
    offer items that have an incorrectly posted price. Therefore, we have
    cancelled the item(s) from your order(s). You may view the current status
    of your order by clicking the “Your Account” link at the top of our web
    site and then clicking “Go” next to “open and recently shipped orders.”

    At any given time, despite our best efforts, a small number of the
    millions of items on our site may be misspriced. We do, however,
    verify prices as part of our shipping procedures. If we discover that
    an item’s correct price is higher than our stated price, we will, at
    our discretion, either contact you for instructions before shipping or
    cancel your order and notify you of such cancellation. This policy is
    posted in the Help section and is accessible through numerous other
    areas of our web site.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

    We value your business and hope that you will give us a chance to
    serve you again in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Customer Service Department
    Amazon.com”

    Very reasonable. At least I know I have to order the book from my mailorder dealer. Can’t complain too much.

  16. Johanna Says:

    That’s all well and good, but they didn’t do either. They didn’t contact or notify me regarding my order — it just disappeared, as though it had never existed.

  17. Ed Catto Says:

    As a self-professed bargain hunter, I’m getting really tired of the Amazon.com shenanigans. Can I use my gift card on BN.com?

  18. Thom Says:

    Apparently B&N had a similar glitch…so it sounds like it might not be Amazon…but what shenanigans are you talking about? It is clear this older event and the one of last weekend were not some form of trickery-they were a computer clitch. That is hardly shenanigans.

  19. Ed Catto Says:

    By “shenanigans”, Thom, I mean the back-and-forth nature of Amazon’s behavior and customer service.

    First my ordered was “being shipped”.
    Then they said they’d honor it, but not multiple copies of any book.
    Then they informed me they were out of stock of all these books – which didn’t ring true. That prompted me to reach out to customer service.
    Now I get a $25 GC….. which isn’t enough to even cover one of the books ordered.
    I know it was a glitch and to be indignant is disingenuous- I get that.
    But…I was VP Marketing for an online retail site back in the day (Bigstar.com- if anyone remembers) and I made it our policy to always deliver when we made a mistake.

    Of course, we went out of business and Amazon is an industry leader, so I guess I’m not so smart after all, eh?

  20. Johanna Says:

    I think good customer service requires believing that both sides are showing good faith. Trying to take advantage of an obvious error and then complaining when the seller won’t let you rip them off in great quantities — that doesn’t fit my understanding. Amazon was cleaned out of stock quickly, and even in cases (like preorders) where they said out of stock but it didn’t apply, it’s understandable that they were using automated responses and processes to try and get the situation under control. How is giving people $25 credit not apologizing for the mistake? Do you expect them to buy books and then sell them at a loss to cover all of these excessive orders?

  21. Ed Catto Says:

    Yes, Johanna, I agree. As I stated, I know it was a glitch and to be indignant is disingenuous. Probably impolite too.

    I took a different tact when running an online retail site. If we made a mistake – we honored it. And we didn’t say one thing and then change our minds three times in three days.

    I do understand the big picture- the publishing industry is hurting- retailers, publishers, everyone. Now isn’t the time for a “gotcha”.

    Given the mistake, I would have handled it differently and was disappointed in the way I was treated. That’s all.

    But, again, in the big picture, there are so many other important things to worry about: I was just reading about the massacre in Jos, Nigeria, and feel so petty to be whining about this.

  22. Johanna Says:

    I’m sorry, my point wasn’t clear, Ed. I’m asking how, specifically, would you have handled it differently? And why are you disappointed? Because you didn’t get books they didn’t have in stock? I’m trying to understand better what you’re asking for.

    I’m left with a great impression of Amazon. I got everything I expected and more (the $25 credit). I didn’t get any contradictory emails, but I didn’t try to order multiple copies of anything, either.

  23. Thom Says:

    Which does seem to be a common denominator for the folks getting contradictory info. I only ordered singles, and so far I have gotten two e-mails. One for canceling the Howard the Duck Omnibus and one apologizing for the canceling of the Howard Omnibus and crediting me $25. While I haven’t gotten everything, my orders have not been canceled so far. They even just shipped one out last night. So, they are appearing to be fulfilling as much of my order as possible. So, yeah, I appreciate Amazon’s doing way more than they owe me…since they really owe me nothing.

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