Amazon History

by john on September 16, 2006


In Ken Norton’s Amazon Unbox is Evil he refers to the fact that his first purchase on Amazon was back in 1996. That got me to go back and look at my history. My first purchase was Rick Reiley’s Missing Links on September 3rd, 1997. This is what I love about Amazon. I can’t name another company that I do business with that gives me that kind of visibility. Of course I can’t name another company I’ve done as much business with as Amazon either.

The decline in 2004 and 2005 can be directly attributed to my selling books on Amazon – once you see how many books you end up selling it gives you pause when it comes to buying new ones. It’s not all positive – Amazon used to give me more. Unless I am missing something they no longer let you breakout your purchase history by type (I would bet half my purchases are not books) and I am sure they used to give you a view of all your purchases in one list – now they break them out by year.

Still, a minor complaint.Kudos to Amazon for making this data easily accessible.


Joe Grossberg September 17, 2006 at 5:48 pm

I find that selling through Amazon just isn’t worth the hassle (unless you live across the street from the Post Office and are selling really expensive books).

I prefer to donate them to a local library. I get a tax writeoff (I estimate it at half the cover price), it’s really painless, and I only have to go a few times a year.

john September 19, 2006 at 6:22 am

I understand your point Joe – I found that unless I was going to make a $2.00 profit on a book I didn’t bother listing it. But you are right, if you calculate the profit per book given the time it takes you will indeed find yourself wondering why you are doing it. The books I don’t sell on Amazon I try to let go in garage sales, and I think I’ll look into the donation line as well as I have boxes and boxes of books doing nothing but taking up space and I have come to grips with getting rid of them.

Still, I’m not sure that you can get away with estimating the fair market value of a book as half it’s cover price when it may be going for a penny on Amazon. I’ll have to research that one.

Joe Grossberg September 22, 2006 at 2:00 pm


It’s a matter of expedience; it’s not worth hiring an appraiser for, and I can think of about a half-dozen methodologies for coming up with a “fair” price.

Probably, the most accurate is taking the most recent successful sale price on Amazon (something that isn’t available to me), then adding the shipping cost.

charlotte September 17, 2007 at 11:04 am

im a student in the uk who is doing a project on the amazon and i cant find a good website would you recomend one?

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