2nd Edition Rulebooks already discounted on Amazon?


Paizo Products


Hello everyone,
Went to Gen Con, stopped by the Paizo booth since I run a Pathfinder 1E game, and eventually decided to buy the 2E Core and Bestiary. That came out to $110, 60 for core and 50 for bestiary.

However, today I see that, on Amazon, the core book is selling for $36 new, and Bestiary is going for $42.

That is kind of a slap in the face, and am wondering what is going on. Are these copies counterfeit? The pictures and descriptions seem genuine. If they are not, why are they being sold at such a steep discount less than a week after release?

~Komori


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Amazon always sells at a discount, even preorders. They get their products from a distributor, and Paizo doesn't control the prices other retailers set.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Erik Mona has a few interesting posts about this on reddit. E.g., this one:

Erik Mona wrote:
It’s not because of low sales. The Core especially is doing great on Amazon (better than the 1e Core at launch), Amazon often increases their discount when a book is selling well, and that’s what we’re seeing here.

Amazon's whole strategy is to leverage its massive network to sell at a steep discount nobody can compete with.

I didn't know about this particular pattern, to discount when something is doing well, but it definitely fits with their usual behavior.

(Which, obviously, Paizo has no input in or control over.)


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Usually, unless "scarcity" is going to be an issue (which it won't be here as long as Paizo is willing to keep printing more), the most expensive time to buy something is "at launch".

Of course, that's the way you get your hands on it the quickest, and the "time vs. money" calculus is unique to each individual.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I would rather my money go to the people who created the great content I love than to MEGA BOX A, so that the people who created the great content can create more! But that is just me. YMMV

Grand Lodge

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Paizo gets the same money from every 3rd party retailer, regardless of what you pay for it. Only way they get more is if you buy it directly from them at full cover price.

I personally will always buy game books from my local game stores before buying online, but sometimes saving money is just common sense. If I can get the exact same product from 2 different places, and one is charging half the price, I'm much more likely to buy it from the less expensive seller.

I am not wealthy, and actually have to budget myself, so spending 2x as much on something is just financial suicide.


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Slyme wrote:

Paizo gets the same money from every 3rd party retailer, regardless of what you pay for it. Only way they get more is if you buy it directly from them at full cover price.

I personally will always buy game books from my local game stores before buying online, but sometimes saving money is just common sense. If I can get the exact same product from 2 different places, and one is charging half the price, I'm much more likely to buy it from the less expensive seller.

I am not wealthy, and actually have to budget myself, so spending 2x as much on something is just financial suicide.

I am having to pay full price to get the products on Fantasygrounds as well as physical, so getting whatever physical discount I can is something I will always go for if I can.


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Amazon undercuts everyone as its business model. Even with massive economies of scale and horrible warehouse worker conditions it still doesn't make a profit. Rather it 'earns' by pumping up its stock price. No way a local game store can compete with that.

Amazon's discount is quite possibly algorithm-driven. The computer brain behind the store must have seen high sales volume and decided that it really didn't want any competitors getting any share of that.

Vote with your wallet: if you want your local game store to stick around buy from them. If you don't care about that then buy from the same people that sell garden furniture, luggage and toilet paper.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Yossarian wrote:
Even with massive economies of scale and horrible warehouse worker conditions [Amazon] still doesn't make a profit.

That's old info. Amazon has been turning a profit for years now. Their gross profit (revenue minus direct costs) for the twelve months ending June 30, 2019 was $104 billion dollars. Net income (which accounts for all expenses) for the same period was over $10 billion.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Yossarian wrote:
Even with massive economies of scale and horrible warehouse worker conditions [Amazon] still doesn't make a profit.

That's old info. Amazon has been turning a profit for years now. Their gross profit (revenue minus direct costs) for the twelve months ending June 30, 2019 was $104 billion dollars. Net income (which accounts for all expenses) for the same period was over $10 billion.

ha, I'd hardly call ten billion a worthwhile profit....

;)


Yeah, thanks for advertising it on the main Paizo website! Got any links to pirated stuff you want to talk about next?

I kid, I kid, but people always seem to be in a rush to point this stuff out.

Liberty's Edge

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Oh, I think it's a completely legit topic of conversation. It's hardly the same is pirated material!

I just ordered the Core book myself from Amazon this morning for $35.99 and free shipping.

Heck, there's at least one BRAND NEW copy of the Core book on EBAY *right now* for only $24!!

Discussions of price at various vendors and outlets is certainly worthwhile.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
PFRPGrognard wrote:

Yeah, thanks for advertising it on the main Paizo website! Got any links to pirated stuff you want to talk about next?

I kid, I kid, but people always seem to be in a rush to point this stuff out.

And so they should be. The OP thought that counterfeit product might be on the market, and asked for input. If they knew that was going on, it would be more appropriate to e-mail Paizo, but given uncertainty, asking a public question was very valid. The result in this thread shows that.

Also, since the product is legitimately available at reduced price is useful knowledge. Yes, Paizo makes more money with direct sales. But Amazon sales are still profit for them even if Amazon gives the books away for free. Paizo might lose some cover-price profit sales to distributor-price profit sales, but the volume may also increase due to the steep discount. Heck, my groups have a collected four Cores and we're just trying the system out, but it's gone through my mind more than once "I could order some more copies on Amazon at the cheap price as gifts for the folks who didn't get one yet..." It's tempting.

Just saying... this isn't at all like piracy.


Hey Marc, you wouldn't happen to know where I can find new copies of Southlands, Castle Shadowcrag or Freeing Nethus for half price do you, because that would be awesome!

Liberty's Edge

PFRPGrognard wrote:
Hey Marc, you wouldn't happen to know where I can find new copies of Southlands, Castle Shadowcrag or Freeing Nethus for half price do you, because that would be awesome!

Can’t tell if that’s a sincere question or not ...

If it is an honest question, I’d probably suggest checking to see if Amazon has any copies left, or likely your best bet - Ebay ...

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:

Can’t tell if that’s a sincere question or not ...

Well. if I had to bet on it... ;)

Here's the thing though, and that goes for Paizo, Kobold Press and any other U.S. Publisher out there. As long as U.S. postal is what it is, I simply can't afford to buy most hardcover books from any of those. That's the main reason why so far, I only have the pdf version of the 2e core rules and bestiary. I've no idea what the profit margin for Paizo is on pdf vs. store book sales vs. amazon, but as long as I have to nearly double the price when I want to buy a book from the Paizo Store, that's basically not an option. Now I am in the lucky position to live in a country that has a localized Pathfinder version (soon) available, so I can just wait for the translated version (and not everyone in my group has sufficient english language skills, so this was an option from the very start). But barring that, without amazon, I probably would just have to miss out on that book.

Same goes for Kobold Press. They just have a sale where - for example - you can get the hardcover version of the Midgard Player's Guide for 5$. As awesome as that is, if I want to buy it over their store, I have to add at least 45$ for international shipping, so even with the that huge discount, buying the book over amazon is more affordable to me.

It's a shame because I'd love to give the publishers more of my money and I'm not the biggest amazon fan either. But as long as shipping costs are basically doubling my cost for buying a book directly with the publisher, I'm either paying for the pdf or I use another distributor..


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Paizo have repeatedly said that they don't mind if you buy direct, from amazon, from an FLGS or from any other legal avenue.

Obviously they make more money if we buy direct, but they want you to buy and play the game and recognise that there's no one size fits all solution. Each customer should make the choice that works best for their individual circumstances.


WormysQueue wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:

Can’t tell if that’s a sincere question or not ...

Well. if I had to bet on it... ;)

Here's the thing though, and that goes for Paizo, Kobold Press and any other U.S. Publisher out there. As long as U.S. postal is what it is, I simply can't afford to buy most hardcover books from any of those. That's the main reason why so far, I only have the pdf version of the 2e core rules and bestiary. I've no idea what the profit margin for Paizo is on pdf vs. store book sales vs. amazon, but as long as I have to nearly double the price when I want to buy a book from the Paizo Store, that's basically not an option. Now I am in the lucky position to live in a country that has a localized Pathfinder version (soon) available, so I can just wait for the translated version (and not everyone in my group has sufficient english language skills, so this was an option from the very start). But barring that, without amazon, I probably would just have to miss out on that book.

Same goes for Kobold Press. They just have a sale where - for example - you can get the hardcover version of the Midgard Player's Guide for 5$. As awesome as that is, if I want to buy it over their store, I have to add at least 45$ for international shipping, so even with the that huge discount, buying the book over amazon is more affordable to me.

It's a shame because I'd love to give the publishers more of my money and I'm not the biggest amazon fan either. But as long as shipping costs are basically doubling my cost for buying a book directly with the publisher, I'm either paying for the pdf or I use another distributor..

Fully agree. Regrettably RPG publishers have been quite bad at arranging international sales in a competitive way (although the kingmaker kickstarter has decent shipping costs). Because of that amazon is a lot more attractive (a company like fantasy flight is a lot worse than Paizo in this respect though, but unless some hub is created in the EU I doubt it can be solved by these companies.....)


Vic Wertz wrote:
Yossarian wrote:
Even with massive economies of scale and horrible warehouse worker conditions [Amazon] still doesn't make a profit.

That's old info. Amazon has been turning a profit for years now. Their gross profit (revenue minus direct costs) for the twelve months ending June 30, 2019 was $104 billion dollars. Net income (which accounts for all expenses) for the same period was over $10 billion.

Ok. Well they control their profit to keep it low enough so that they pay no tax in the USA. . Their 'official' profit margin is 4%, which is greatly suppressed, by design.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Yossarian wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Yossarian wrote:
Even with massive economies of scale and horrible warehouse worker conditions [Amazon] still doesn't make a profit.

That's old info. Amazon has been turning a profit for years now. Their gross profit (revenue minus direct costs) for the twelve months ending June 30, 2019 was $104 billion dollars. Net income (which accounts for all expenses) for the same period was over $10 billion.

Ok. Well they control their profit to keep it low enough so that they pay no tax in the USA. . Their 'official' profit margin is 4%, which is greatly suppressed, by design.

nit pick, they pay state taxes but avoid federal

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

jimthegray wrote:
Yossarian wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Yossarian wrote:
Even with massive economies of scale and horrible warehouse worker conditions [Amazon] still doesn't make a profit.

That's old info. Amazon has been turning a profit for years now. Their gross profit (revenue minus direct costs) for the twelve months ending June 30, 2019 was $104 billion dollars. Net income (which accounts for all expenses) for the same period was over $10 billion.

Ok. Well they control their profit to keep it low enough so that they pay no tax in the USA. . Their 'official' profit margin is 4%, which is greatly suppressed, by design.

nit pick, they pay state taxes but avoid federal

Also, they paid federal taxes until the latest tax cuts. It's not something Amazon can really control when the federal government cuts their tax rate.

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