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.)