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Old 04-09-2010, 07:30 AM   #1
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Agency pricing in Canada

A Kobo customer service rep responded to an email from em about an $18 ebook available in paper for $11. He told me that Canadian stores do not 'have to' follow the agency pricing and that they set the price based on the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). I have someone from Kobo's exec checking this out for me---he was very concerned about this and said he would make sure he got the right information---but if so, this is a bit of a mess, isn't it? In the past week, I have observed:

1) Book prices which change daily. One was on my save list at $10.99, then $11.99 the next day, then down to $9.99, then in their search it came up as $15.99 and on my save list it still said $9.99. When I tried to buy it, it finally said it was unavailable geographically and wouldn't let me.

2) Prices which do not match other stores. In some cases, the price is higher (a book I wanted was $11.99 at Amazon/Sony and $15.49 at Kobo) but in other cases, it's much cheaper. I don't know if the prices Americans get match the other stores (Sony and Kindle store seem to be matching their prices) but if you are NOT American, it might still pay to comparison shop.

I'll post again if I hear anything else, but I was wondering if anybody knew anything else about this. If they are basing the price on the MSRP, that's a problem because paper books CAN get a discount, so nobody ever really pays it. An ebook based on a $35 MSRP when the paper stores are selling it for $15 is not such a bargain. On the other and, other books do seem to be coming it at LOWER prices, and a smart comparison shopper can get deals on other titles...

What a mess. I really think everything would be fine if they just set a fair and consistent pricing system for everybody where it starts at X dollars and can reliably be counted on to come down later for those who wish to wait. The agency deal seems to be messing things up more than it seems to be fixing...
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:32 PM   #2
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I don't know about the pricing end of it, but I did read on one of the Amazon forums that some of the books that are currently unavailable for Kindle in the US are available in Canada. Specifically, the title they were talking about was Patience by Lisa Valdez, which is not available for the Kindle in the US, but the poster said that her preordered copy had appeared on her Kindle right on schedule on the 6th.
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