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Old 09-07-2011, 08:07 AM   #1
taming
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Pricing Anomalies in "Agency" Books

My hope is that rather than discussing Agency Pricing in the same way we have in the past, folks will use this thread to list pricing discrepancies on books that are Agency Priced. It is my understanding that Agency Priced books are supposed to be the same price everywhere, at least within the same country.

This morning i decided to buy Elissa Schappell's brand new book, Blueprints for Building Better Girls. I did my due diligence and found the following prices. It is Agency priced (Simon and Schuster).

The ebook was $10.99USD at Barnes and Noble, on the Sony WebsiteUSD (but not found on the reader software--perhaps a Canadian issue), and from the publisher directly. It was $17.52USD from Amazon and $14.99CAD from Kobo.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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it lists as 10.99 on amazon for me, the same at kobo
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:10 AM   #3
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Does Agency pricing give a fixed price or is it (as I thought) simply a minimum price which allows people to charge more, if they wish and if they want to irritate their "customers" even more...
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
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it lists as 10.99 on amazon for me, the same at kobo
Still 17.52 from Amazon for me and $14.99 from Kobo for me too. My IP address is Canadian, so I get the Canadian Kobo store. I always thought that the Amazon.com (vs amazon.ca) pages had only one price regardless of IP address.

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Old 09-07-2011, 08:22 AM   #5
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Does Agency pricing give a fixed price or is it (as I thought) simply a minimum price which allows people to charge more, if they wish and if they want to irritate their "customers" even more...
I understood it to be a minimum price. Retailers would be free to charge more for Agency ebooks, I would think. But they would do so at their own peril of course.

I see this particular title listed at $10.99USD across the board, though (B&N, Sony, Amazon, and Kobo).

Quote:
Originally Posted by taming
I always thought that the Amazon.com (vs amazon.ca) pages had only one price regardless of IP address.
There's a lot of redirecting going on behind the scenes based on IP address, regardless of which URL happens to be showing in the browser's address bar.

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Old 09-07-2011, 08:37 AM   #6
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okay - let me try to really confuse you

Simon and Schuster doesn't agency price in Canada so

When you look at a site with US prices you are seeing SS US Agency pricing. This would be your Barnes and Noble price in US dollars etc

When you look at a site (even if it is Amazon w/ a Canadian Kindle Address) that shows the "Canadian" price it is retailer set.

That is why some people (w/ US Ips etc) are seeing different prices than the people with Canadian IP addresses and Canadian Manage My Kindle addresses. Same thing with Kobo. US IPs are getting the US Agency price and Canada IP are getting the Canadian price.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:40 AM   #7
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okay - let me try to really confuse you
Actually, that all made perfect sense to me.
(your explanation made sense, not the whole geographic pricing fiasco)
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:43 AM   #8
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okay - let me try to really confuse you

Simon and Schuster doesn't agency price in Canada so ...
S&S is listed as Agency Priced in email I got from Kobo in July. It was not listed as recently as May. S&S books now have only one price listed (the hallmark of Agency Pricing on the Kobo site).

Aug 24 Email:
Quote:
Offer valid from August 24, 2011 at 12:00 AM through to August 28, 2011 at 11:59 PM. This offer is not valid in conjunction with any other offer or promotion and cannot be used to adjust amount paid on previous purchases. Discount code is valid for one time $1 off any eBook purchase excluding those from the following publishers: In the UK - Zondervan, Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Wiley and all respective subsidiary imprints. In the US - Hachette Book Group USA, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Macmillan, Zondervan, Wiley, Random House and all respective subsidiary imprints. In CA - Zondervan, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Penguin, Wiley, and Macmillan. In AU/NZ - Zondervan, Wiley, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins and all respective subsidiary imprints. Newspapers and magazines are excluded from this offer. Promotional code must be entered at time of purchase to qualify for this discount. Discounts cannot be applied nor the discount value refunded once a purchase is complete. We reserve the right to change or end this offer at any time without notice.

Last edited by taming; 09-07-2011 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taming View Post
Still 17.52 from Amazon for me and $14.99 from Kobo for me too. My IP address is Canadian, so I get the Canadian Kobo store. I always thought that the Amazon.com (vs amazon.ca) pages had only one price regardless of IP address.
Pulling up Amazon's website will give you the agency set pricing for your region, converted to the currency for the region that uses the domain. For instance, I pull up Amazon.co.uk, and I will get US pricing, but converted to GBP. If I use a UK IP for .co.uk, I get British pricing, in GBP. If I use UK IP on .com, I get british pricing, but converted to USD. I've tested this recently, when I noticed some screwy pricing with a book I wanted. £0.49 in UK, $19.99 in US. When I went to talk to the author about this, he pulled up amazon.com and got the currency converted amount of £0.49. When I pulled up Amazon.co.uk, I got the converted amount of $19.99. It was only until we started using proxies that we got to see the proper regional pricing.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:23 PM   #10
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Good to know, Hellmark. CAD 14.99 is still waaaaay more than 17.52 converted or $10.99.

I may be mistaken, but I believe that the Publisher's sign individual contracts with places like Amazon, Kobo, Sony, and B&N. So, for example, Kobo has apparently an active Agency agreement for Penguin books in Canada, and Amazon does not (at the moment). Across all of the contracted sites within a country, I thought prices were supposed to be the same. This may be why there are no Penguin ebooks available to Canadians from Amazon and the Kobo Canadian Penguin prices appear to have taken such a leap.
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