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Old 09-15-2012, 03:14 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Correction. It's the only way they can make a point about pricing problems where their words will appear "in lights," so to speak.
I'm not sure, whether I can agree to your logic.

First of all: No big corporate, especially highly successful ones such as Apple or Google, will adjust their pricing based on emails, reviews and actions like that. They will act according to their business plan and carefully analyse sales figures, target groups and stuff.

Second of all: I'm pretty sure, the people nagging in those reviews are nowhere near the focus groups of Google or Apple.
a.) Corporates won't care much about people, nagging about book prices and maybe buying 10 books per year. They will focus on buyers, spending hundreds of Dollars per month, not the ones nitpicking about cents. As always: The 20% that generate 80% of the profits.
b.) We can be sure: The pricing is no coincidence. It's based on highly specific analyses and statistics. There are no accidents. And the prices are no sole decision of Steve Jobs and the likes but are based on historic data of the publishing industry for example over decades.

And last but not least:
I don't get the feeling, those reviewers actually have a cause and want to change things.
Their tone is more of the quality of "why doesn't everybody drive a Porsche".
If one wants to change things, he wouldn't make nonsensical comparisons such us "the price for renting the movie is about the same as buying a used DVD".
Statements like that are about as valid as arguments like "I can drive from Munich to Berlin by train for 40 Euro. Why is a Mercedes so expensive then? Way too expensive".
All true. But there are aspects such as convenience: Downloading a movie might be easier and more convenient than buying a DVD. And I can watch the movie everywhere on every gadget instead of needing a DVD player. And why compare to a used product?
Someone making such simplified statements as mentioned in my original post doesn't want to change anything. And they're not interested in the product at all. They just want to address their aggression.

When planning my last vacation, I stumbled over a hotel asking for 500 Euro per night.
I couldn't see, why they ask that much. Neither location nor interior seemed to allow for that price, not even close.
Why should I bother to discuss or question their price?
Maybe they go bankrupt in a year, maybe the owners will be billionaires by then.
Who cares?
It was worth nowhere close to 500 Euro for me, so I chose another hotel.
Problem solved, all happy.
For the original example of eBooks or movies, this would mean: If Google is too expensive, buy or rent from Apple or Amazon then. If all ask for about the same, there's probably a reason for that. And if it's still too expensive for you: Buy your DVD then, where's the problem? Or let it be altogether. Not everyone can be a house owner, not everybody can drive a Porsche, not everybody has to own an iPad.
But the problem seems to be: Most want to have everything.

Last edited by mgmueller; 09-15-2012 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:49 PM   #32
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Quote:
Someone making such simplified statements as mentioned in my original post doesn't want to change anything. And they're not interested in the product at all. They just want to address their aggression.
I don't disagree with you at all on your point.

I only meant to address the "That's the only way they have to complain about price discrepancies" fallacy. Nothing more.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:12 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebusinesstutor View Post
I don't think we were better off when professional reviewers were all we could read in newspapers and magazines because critics were notoriously wrong. Many times, a movie that critics panned became box office blockbusters. Critics often had an elitism or snobbery about books, feeling they should have some deep literary value - an approach that was useless in my favourite genres of science fiction and fantasy.
I generally don't care much about a reviewer's opinion of a book's literary merit, but a professional review is usually going to give you some idea of plot and characters and setting, whereas some individual might just say "I really liked this book; it was good." That's not at all helpful.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:00 PM   #34
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I add the first two best ratings claasses - the four and five or the three and four and compare to number of lowest. Then I skim one stars for reasons.

always worked for me.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:19 AM   #35
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If you'd like to restore your faith in the review system, go on to Amazon, search Bic Pens for Her and read the reviews.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:19 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namekuseijin View Post
welcome to Idiocracy

it's a worldwide phenomenon: the internet gave voice to more morons you could hear in a lifetime. And they do enjoy whining and shouting aloud a lot.
Pre-internet it generally used to be the case that "opinions are like a**holes, everybody has one". Nowadays the internet seems to be rapidly moving towards "everyone with an opinion is an a**hole"....
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:06 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_D View Post
If you'd like to restore your faith in the review system, go on to Amazon, search Bic Pens for Her and read the reviews.
Faith = restored
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:57 PM   #38
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Date of original publication does not IMO have anything to do with quality of reading experience and worth of the book unless one feels entitled to a free ride because many others have read the book first.
Older books will have been digitized via OCR. (Even books that are new enough that one would have assumed that the author used a word processor.) Unless edited, they will contain many more errors than the paper version. Many publishers have been guilty of releasing these without proper editing. Tossing a bunch of additional errors into the mix drops the value significantly.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:02 PM   #39
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Quote:
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Older books will have been digitized via OCR. (Even books that are new enough that one would have assumed that the author used a word processor.) Unless edited, they will contain many more errors than the paper version. Many publishers have been guilty of releasing these without proper editing. Tossing a bunch of additional errors into the mix drops the value significantly.
I am sure you are right in respect to certain publishers and also the date the ebook was published may be significant.

The original publication date of the book does not in my experience have much to do with the quality of the ebook edition.

Hard Case Crime publishes very well proofed books many originally published 50+years ago.

Sure there were a lot of OCR-ed poorly proofed books published 2-5 years ago and some are still being produced today, but the majority of ebooks I have read in the last 2 1/2 years have been adequately or excellently proofed. (I average 4-5 books a week)

Backlist books (which were written 1 year or even 50+ years ago) , but still being carried new in stores) have already been digitized for modern printing presses. They may contain the same errors as the printed copy but no more.

I have read ebooks by Rex Stout, Robert B. Parker, Agatha Christie and many more obscure authors and the majority are very well done. A friend was just showing me his latest Louis L'amour book and comparing it to his 40 year old paper copy and exclaiming how much nicer it looked.

Assuming a book is actually readable, I would rather read a book I want to read, based on content, author, subject, genre......, than any book because it is newly written and may or may not be error free. An older bestseller can be sometimes better than a newer one.

I've even noticed more than the occasional missing apostrophe in paper books, without feeling I've been totally ripped off.

Helen
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:46 PM   #40
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I love reviews!
Whether it's TripAdvisor, or Amazon, or Goodreads. I peek at reviews before booking, buying, reading.

Of course there is plenty of noise, bias, ignorance. But you can filter lots of it out. The good news is that someone who is not very bright will write in a manner that makes it easy to spot. And someone who is intelligent will, similarly, stand out.

Plus... there is plenty of value in aggregation. Both within and across users.
If I am reading Tripadvisor and someone says that a hotel is dirty, I take it with a grain of salt. If multiple users say it, I start believing it is likely to be a problem. If half of the reviews mention the place is dirty, I won't book it.
If someone who likes some of my favorite authors praises a new book, I will look into it. If a user whose favorite books are Twilight and somefreakingshadesofsomething raves about a new book, I will probably stay away from it. There is plenty of information in reviews, even between the lines. You just have to filter it and process it. Sometimes it's not worth the time, I can see that... But I like the trend.

By the way, I recently stumbled upon am article in the Gazettino, a small Italian newspaper, saying that the Italian consumer agency is suing Tripadvisor for hurting the name of some national hotels (and, by the way, I know a handful of those places and the bad reviews are very warranted...). The result is that Tripadvisor has recently stated they will likely pull down all posts and listings of Italian establishments. I think that stinks.

I like reviews.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:05 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
I've even noticed more than the occasional missing apostrophe in paper books, without feeling I've been totally ripped off.
You betcha.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:22 PM   #42
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If you'd like to restore your faith in the review system, go on to Amazon, search Bic Pens for Her and read the reviews.
Karma for that, Rich!
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:09 PM   #43
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Some examples

Reviews for "Finding Nemo".
I wouldn't rent it, I owe it for ca. 8 years already.
And I agree: Google Play should offer the option to purchase as well.
Still, for your astonishment, in chronological order:
- "€ 3 for this old movie"...
- "Film is great but price sucks"....
- "I'd like to purchase"...
- "Had been my favorite movie"...
- "Buying on DVD almost is cheaper than renting from here"....
- "Film ok. But 3 Euro. They suck"...
- "Very good"...
- "Great movie. But € 3 for renting"...
- "Way too expensive. Renting from your videostore is cheaper"...
- "Pixar at it's best"...
- "I watch my DVD. Those idiots. I won't rent from here"...
- "That's really expensive for renting"...
- "I can have the DVD for a 9 year old movie for € 5, used for € 1. In the videostore € 1 tops as well. Why should I rent for € 4?"...
- "It's 9 years old. You should be able to watch it very cheap or even for free."...
- "The movie is too old"...
- "The movie is too expensive. € 1 tops"...
- "Are you kidding me? Google, you should talk to Sony. They have similar prices and wonder why it's not working out."...
- "Great movie. But too expensive for renting"...
- "Google sucks. The movie has been on FreeTV a hundred times already"...
- "Don't rent. It's running on FreeTV as well."...

Personally, I really don't get it.
Next time, should I ask for the chef of my favorite restaurant. Then tell him: "Your meal is great. But I can eat at the pub on the other side of the street for 30% of your price. You suck"?!

And we certainly should recommend a new business model to Google (obviously, looking at Google's market share and growth rate, they need our critical input): Stuff should be for free!

Why do those people bother?
Are they criticising prices for cars or houses as well?
I probably should write a letter to the mayor of Munich (one of the most expensive cities in Germany): Why are houses that expensive here? And btw: All houses built before 1950 should be for free anyway. And why should I buy in Munich? 50km outside of Munich it's way cheaper.

Why don't people just buy or don't?
Maybe Google respectively the studios will lower their prices, if figures are below their plan.
But why bother to question the pricing?
Just buy/rent or move on. Why is that such a problem?
It seems to be a mass phenomenon. For maybe 10 years now, I find it more and more difficult, to buy quality products. 10 years ago, I wanted to buy a home entertainment center. I told the sales guy, what I was willing to spend. His response: "Great, for once to meet someone with realistic expectations. But quite frankly, we don't sell this kind of quality anymore. People don't buy on that level anymore".
I found the same for notebooks. My last really great notebook had been a Toshiba Satellite ca. 2003 for € 4.000. A few years later, when trying to replace it, I couldn't find similar quality anymore. But prices had dropped to € 1.000 instead.

I remember, when as a kid seeing a Porsche, I told myself: "I want to be successful and earn that too".
Now, the definition seems to be: "I've earned it anyway. Where's my Porsche?".

And what really makes me doubt my fellow neighbors:
"The movie is old, you should be able to watch it for free!".
Do those people even understand, how our economy is functioning?
You don't even watch public TV for free, you pay a fee.
And what does this have to do with Google? Why should Google provide bandwith and platform?
It's not Google, that sucks...

Last edited by mgmueller; 09-18-2012 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:53 PM   #44
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yeah, I too deplore these "price sucks, you suck" mentality of consumerist societies.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:21 PM   #45
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What is the incentive to post thoughtful and honest reviews? Any time you post a review, it is for the benefit of the people creating and selling the product. You are rarely receiving monetary benefits. You rarely have a sense of responsibility to other consumers. Heck, you can't even count on recognition.

In other words, any intelligent person would just skip writing a review and do something more productive with their time.
Actually, a few years ago, I posted a generally, although not in every respect, positive review of some folding glasses on Amazon, and out of the blue, the seller sent me another pair and a nice note thanking me for the review.

I rarely write reviews, but I sometimes do if I think that there's something useful I can add to the conversation. This is usually not the case with books. But with the glasses, for instance, I was able to make some comparisons to a more costly pair and figured it would help someone decide which pair to buy.

I appreciate informed reviews, and I can usually tell whether a book review is informed or not simply by the writing style & the vocabulary used.

I recently did not buy a book because of a review. The book in question was some collected writings of Raymond Chandler - mainly letters. One of the reviewers took the time to compare the contents with an earlier collection, and point out how an earlier volume covered most of the same ground. This was not apparent to me from the Amazon description of the book. As it happened, I own the earlier volume, so the review saved me some bucks.

Overall, I usually can find a useful review for any book or other product I'm thinking to buy. This is especially true of one star reviews of kindle books, which sometimes identify objectively wrong things, such as bad formating.
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