Remaindered books are copies publishers sell to retailers at a discounted price because demand for the book is well below the number of copies printed. Sometimes a publisher remainders a book to clear out inventory space. Retailers then sell the remaindered books at a discounted price. Remaindered books usually have a black mark so they can’t be returned or sold for the original full price. The mark is a dot or stripe across the top or bottom of the book on the outside of the pages.

A few complaints posted on Amazon claimed that remaindered books were sold as new books. Many of the remaindered books were not previously owned and are technically new. Upset customers found a black remainder mark on their new book and were made, especially if they were buying a book as a gift. It’s good to check to see if the book is remaindered. Sellers often call a book “bargain” or “publisher’s overstock” if it has a remainder mark.

Are remaindered books it all that bad?

An author may be devastated by a publisher remaindering a book because the books are reduced in price and no longer published, and because he or she receives no royalties if they are sold. One blogger claimed that remaindering may not be all that bad. The blogger quoted Mark Leslie and John Scalzi, who view remaindered books as good exposure for new authors. According to them, authors gain traction as people enjoy their discounted book and then buy their newer releases. It’s important to note that the two writers indifferent to remaindering books are well known and successful. It’s true there could be positive consequences to having a book remaindered, but it can be discouraging for new writers.

Remaindered books are popular for internet sellers and independent bookstores. They provide a large inventory of almost perfect books at a bargain price. No BookScouter vendors currently purchase remaindered books, but eBay is a good place to sell them. Label your product as remaindered to be clear about its condition, and check the profiles of books you want to buy to make sure you’re getting a fair price.