[LINK] A call to arms - parallel book imports

Brendan Scott brendansweb at optusnet.com.au
Wed Jul 15 21:17:12 AEST 2009

David Lochrin wrote:
> On Wednesday 15 July 2009 14:45, Martin Barry wrote:
> 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

Calling it "economic rationalist theory" doesn't make it wrong.  

> 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.

I don't follow this argument.  Should only the elites who do have those resources have the benefit of lower prices?
Why are Australian consumers being charged more for exactly the same product?  

> 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.

No, not "according to The Book Show", you're quoting the representative from the publishers' association (who was being self serving at the time).  I found the author on the show and the publishers association representative to be very disrespectful to the Productivity Commission and to the Dymock representative.

Whether or not I pay more for a book than someone in the US is one thing.  It is quite another for that to occur because it's legislated. 

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