I do most of my manga shopping at Amazon.com these days. I’m lucky enough to get to sample many new series through review copies, so what I buy are continuing volumes of stories I already know I like. Based solely on my poking around what I’m interested in, I’ve noticed the following about manga pricing at that site:
A book that lists at $9.99 — say, for example, Viz manga — is rarely discounted. And it’s unusual to find them at any kind of used discount, since the shipping cost for used books is $4, so even a $5 book will cost $9 to the customer.
A book that lists at $10.99 — Tokyopop or Del Rey — will be discounted as much as 28% when it’s first released, which makes the price $7.91. Later, it moves to 20% off, or $8.79. Again, these books are not cost-effective for sellers to offer used, unless they’re very much not in demand by readers. I find it interesting, though, that a book that supposedly costs more very often actually costs less, and it also costs less than the “cheaper” competing manga.
So if you’re interested in these manga, buy them right when they come out. Or, once the discount period “wears off”, books at both of these price points are often part of Amazon’s “buy three get a fourth free” special offer, so four manga will cost $30-33 for the set, or $7.50 or $8 each. Are there better deals out there?