[LINK] A call to arms - parallel book imports

David Lochrin dlochrin at d2.net.au
Wed Jul 15 17:07:37 AEST 2009

On Wednesday 15 July 2009 14:45, Martin Barry wrote:
>> Unfortunately the Productivity Commission seem to be 
>> a bunch of simple-minded economic rationalists.
> Maybe educating as many people as possible about 
> http://booko.com.au would do more for book pricing 
> than parallel imports.

It's a nicely designed website, I think.

However their price guide may not always include the lowest prices available.  Their cheapest price for "Breath" by Tim Winton is $36.00 plus $7 delivery.  A Book Show participant pointed out that Mike Woods (Deputy Chairman of the Productivity Commission) claimed "Breath" by Tim Winton cost at least $25 in Australia but was available for $14 in Britain, however "he should get out more" because it was available for only $16 at Myers.

Gleebooks at Glebe does indeed have a paperback edition for $24.95 including GST.  (I see they have a "Tuskar Rock Limited Edition" too for $350.00 - I wonder what that is :-).  The Co-op Bookshop has it at a member price of $19.95.

On Wednesday 15 July 2009 15:03, Brendan Scott wrote:
>> They [Dymocks] price books according to what the market will 
>> bear and lowering the import price will not result in a substantial 
>> reduction of shelf price, it will simply result in bigger profits.
> No, it *may* result in bigger profits during a transition period.  
> However, once there is a market to parallel import books (which 
> I expect would spring up pretty quickly) the price will tend to come 
> down (or people won't buy books from the more expensive Dymocks).
> What is the more likely effect (IMO) is that Dymocks will become 
> more price competitive with eg Amazon.

This is classic economic rationalist theory.  However Dymocks already compete with Amazon.  The flaw in the argument is that many book buyers don't have the resources & motivation to use Amazon competitively or want the book immediately, and Dymocks would certainly be prepared to lose them if it means making twice the profit from the rest.

According to the Book Show, publishers already sell to places like Dymocks at 45% to 55% off the RRP so they have plenty of scope to cut prices right now if they felt like it.


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