The New York Times

Publishing's Unfair Gray Market

HOW CAN THIRD-PARTY SELLERS OFFER “NEW” BOOKS AT PRICES BELOW EVEN THE AMAZON DISCOUNT?

Last March, Amazon quietly changed the way it sells books. An obscure and seemingly harmless modification to its website has opened the door for some third-party sellers to deceive Amazon’s customers by selling books as “new” that may not come straight from a publisher or its wholesaler, thus depriving authors of royalties they should have earned from the sale of a new book.

Amazon decided to allow third-party sellers to be featured atop the primary purchase button for new books, a spot previously reserved for Amazon’s own inventory, which

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