WalMart And Amazon Barely Making Money On Top 25 Best-Sellers

A scan of the top 25 best-selling fiction books on the New York Times list indicates neither Amazon or WalMart are making much money on any of the top-selling books.  Amazon and WalMart continue to one-up each other on discounted pricing of top-selling books as e-commerce competition intensifies.  

Both are selling books included in the top-25 list at about $13, which is barely above, and in some cases equal to, the wholesale price at which they are sold to Amazon and WalMart.  We estimate books account for upards of 30% of Amazon’s revenue so its important to keep an eye on pricing pressure for this category. 

The discounted prices in general aren’t shocking since stores often discount certain products to get customers in the store.  But, it does shed light on the ongoing price war between the two retail heavyweights.  Specifically:

  • The average price at WalMart.com is currently $12.41 – 5% less than the average $13.11 price at Amazon.
  • Walmart priced 9 of the top 25 titles at just one penny less than Amazon.  This is the third such move in recent months.
  • 22 of the 25 titles are priced less at Walmart.com than Amazon.
  • The average e-book price at Amazon for the top 25 is $9.90 –  a big money loser for the company.

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