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Old 07-05-2011, 02:16 PM   #1
applewine
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Lightbulb How Amazon Can Offer Printed Kindle Combos Now

All amazon has to do is give a gift certificate when you buy both kindle and printed copy together and this will allow them to keep their current publisher contracts and still provide a discounted combo deal that will increase their profit per sale, total sales, and expand their market share in printed books and increase customer loyalty and satisfaction all in one move.

I don't like having to choose between printed or e-book or paying full price to buy the same book twice, and I'm sure other people don't either.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:33 PM   #2
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To be clear, the gift card would not make the digital copy free. It would merely make the combo of buying both the printed copy and the digital copy cost less together than it otherwise would without the gift certificate.

This benefits from the the opportunity cost that is lost by not taking advantage of those who would like the flexibility of having the ability to read in either format depending on the circumstances, and understanding that very few would pay full price to buy the exact same book twice.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:11 AM   #3
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I'm not at all sure that this would appeal to many people. I generally want only an ebook; my whole reason for buying ebooks is that paper books use up too much space.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:52 AM   #4
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I agree with HarryT.

The only time I would use this feature would be if a friend (who doesn't have an e-reader) and I are buying the same book and need to read it at the same time (ie. new release book or required for school). Then, I would read the ebook and my friend would read the printed book. However, in this case, both of us would have bought the book anyways, so this promotion is not really helping Amazon.

I could see some people with e-readers taking advantage of this offer, and then reselling the physical copy for a price that undercuts Amazon (depending on the gift card value). I myself would not go through the trouble of buying a product and shipping it off, unless the reward was something like $20.

Perhaps if you could explain the benefits of having both (besides being able to share), I would better understand your argument.

Last edited by kranu; 07-07-2011 at 01:57 AM.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:51 AM   #5
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Yes, that's the problem - such a system would be very open to abuse. You could simply sell the paper copy and end up with an effectively free ebook.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:56 AM   #6
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Yes, that's the problem - such a system would be very open to abuse. You could simply sell the paper copy and end up with an effectively free ebook.
Well, not free, but heavily discounted (gift card would not be the full value of the book, according to #2)
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:59 AM   #7
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But the value of the proposed gift card, plus the resale value of the paper book, could very well exceed the original purchase price.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:31 PM   #8
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Well, not free, but heavily discounted (gift card would not be the full value of the book, according to #2)
Ok. I may have this figured out. You pay the full price for the PAPER book and then you get a special gift card good only for the purchase of the e-book version (which is not transferable and sellable, so would not be prone to abuse or lower the market rate of the printed book)

That is how Amazon can increase e-book sales and allow people to keep a hard copy and enjoy the portable and light weight convenience of the e-book.

Like I said, this should not decease profits, but increase them, because it would appealing to customers who would otherwise buy only the paper OR the e-book, not both, since paying full price for the same book twice is very unappealing.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by applewine View Post
Ok. I may have this figured out. You pay the full price for the PAPER book and then you get a special gift card good only for the purchase of the e-book version (which is not transferable and sellable, so would not be prone to abuse or lower the market rate of the printed book)
That doesn't change the first scenario. You buy the paper book and then you sell the paper book. Amazon can lock down eBooks just fine, but that wouldn't matter if all you were in it for was the eBook.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:46 PM   #10
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Ok. I may have this figured out. You pay the full price for the PAPER book and then you get a special gift card good only for the purchase of the e-book version (which is not transferable and sellable, so would not be prone to abuse or lower the market rate of the printed book)
Even if Amazon were receptive to the idea, agency pricing takes most ebook pricing completely out of Amazon hands (including discounts and coupons). The publishers would have to give it their blessing—and why would they?

In short, Amazon doesn't have the authority to give away (or deep discount) the publishers ebooks, regardless of how you dress it up. The publisher sets the ebook price period.

It might work with publishers other than the Big Six, but that's about it.

Plus Amazon would never survive, they'd basically be giving away free (or cheap) pbooks and still paying the publishers full retail for the ebook you "bought" with their gift card (plus whatever they owe the publisher for the pbook). Why would they want to lose cash on every transaction like that?

Last edited by DiapDealer; 07-14-2011 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:18 AM   #11
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The only way to make that work was if the publishers themselves approved the idea, they would win with it.

Like you buy the pBook and you only have to pay 50% for the eBook, highly tempting and they would be selling 2 copies per person, one of them has an high promotion but they don't have that many expenses to create an ebook (they still haven't noticed that it seems, keep pricing things the same or higher than pBook, doesn't make sense, they only have to work on it one time, and not worry about any costs).
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:31 PM   #12
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Oh, I didn't realize the contracts prevented gift cards as a result of the purchase. How do you guys know so much about their contracts?

My idea did take care of the problem of re-selling the paper books though, because they were bought at full price, so that is no different. It will not further lower the used book price.
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Old 07-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #13
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My idea did take care of the problem of re-selling the paper books though, because they were bought at full price, so that is no different. It will not further lower the used book price.
I disagree. For the publisher, they don't care about whether the paper book is bought at full price or at a discounted price, what they care is how much TOTAL money they get, and that is the revenue from both eBook and paper material. It's a total lose lose situation for them in that scenario because they either get the same revenue as before, or they lose a customer due to sharing.

The only way this would work is to somehow lock down both the eBook AND the paper copy or they have to work some magic with the pricing. Finding a price that creates more demand (and therefore more revenue) that covers how much they lose from discounting.
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:50 PM   #14
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All the publisher has to do is arrange for the Kindle edition license to show up automatically in your account. They already do this at Amazon for special Buy One Book, Get a Second Book Free special offers that they have done. I have several books in my account that were obtained as the "free" book (including one where the "buy" book was free by mistake, giving me two free books at once). The only issue is that on the Kindle edition page, it doesn't show that you own it (and probably would not stop you from purchasing it again, if you wanted to).

It's something that publishers will probably go to in order to rescue hardcover sales, if the ever-so-much more profitable agency model for ebooks gets shot down (as the courts in the US and EU are looking at it quite closely).
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:51 PM   #15
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I'm not at all sure that this would appeal to many people. I generally want only an ebook; my whole reason for buying ebooks is that paper books use up too much space.
I agree. I got my first Kindle in 2007 and haven't bought a paper book since.
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