I was at BEA a few weeks ago, and I was astounded at the vast number of booths run by remainder vendors. These are companies that don't do anything other than buy large volumes of books for 10 cents on the dollar and sell them again for 20 cents on the dollar.
There were more remainder vendors at BEA than booths in the IDPF zone. There were more remainder vendors at BEA than indie publishers (almost). And you could find almost every publishers books in one of those booths.
Did you know that I buy hardbacks? I buy quite a few, and they're all remainders. Why not? Publishers don't value the books more than the 3 or 4 bucks I pay for them, so why should I pay more?
Also, if publishers will take $4 for a hardback, why would I pay $12 for an ebook? It really makes no sense.