The Daily Belmore

opinions, links, and more…

France Is Weird

Can someone explain how this policy helps consumers? From Macworld:

Retail prices, particularly of books, are tightly regulated in France.

Using “loss-leaders,” or selling products below cost to attract customers, is illegal. Other restrictions apply to books — retailers must not offer discounts of more than 5 percent on the publisher’s recommended price. Many independent booksellers choose to offer this discount in the form of a loyalty bonus based on previous purchases. Larger booksellers simply slash the sticker price of books.

Maybe the French public just don’t know the difference, but whenever I buy something over $20 (such as a hardback book) I always search around for the cheapest place I can get it from. If the cheapest possible would be $19, I’d be a little unhappy.

Or maybe that’s just the American in me looking for the great deal. Whatever the case, I feel that it’s a little ridiculous that this one segment of the market is so tightly regulated. Does it apply to Audiobooks? Am I taxed for buying something on a trip for much cheaper and bringing it into France?

(The full article is about the French courts telling Amazon.com that they can no longer offer free shipping on books within France, as it breaks this 5% law.)

Advertisements

December 12, 2007 - Posted by | News | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Its not about the costumers, its about protecting local businesses. Amazon has pretty much ruined the role of the local bookstore. And yes, France is batshitinsane. The work-around is pretty easy though. Amazon cuts a deal to change the “recommended price” set by the publisher, therefore keeping the discount. Amazon demands these types of discounts or they cut the publisher out of the market. On the flip side, no publisher wants to lose a market like that, so of course they cooperate with Amazon. In the end its the local bookstore and the govt. that are fighting with the natural obsolescence of the way things used to work.

    Comment by bverhey | December 21, 2007 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: