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Old 06-10-2010, 02:57 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
399 + 20% VAT is already 478. They sell it for 499. The last 20 is probably exchange rate, customs fees... or whatever. There's another post around here somewhere (by someone else) that broke it down in more detail.
Yes, the breakdown was given by Mueller. The final price was 440€.
Still, I should not have to pay shipping costs and customs fees for a European product. It is nonsensical.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:15 PM   #62
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It does make you wonder what the FCC delay was about...Sony, Amazon with big readers coming to market around the same time? But I also wonder if IREX had got earlier FCC approval what their consumer marketing strategy would have been.
1- Amazon had nothing new Shipping for XMAS 2009. Sony did. You may be thinking of the B&N Nook, instead.

2- FCC has a steady pipeline that takes about 3 months to process *anything* if the product is well-designed. Their tests are for interference first and foremost. *nothing* get certified that doesn't pass the *well-documented* rules. It would be seriously reckless for a company to go into mass production with a product that is *not* yet certified.

3- I'm too lazy to go check when the first anouncements were made, but I vaguely remember the Sonys were first spotted (via FCC documents, no less) in July 2009 and made it to market in early December (the Daily edition); the Nook was announced in the October time-frame and they barely made it to market in time, with only token shipments in 2009. The DRS-800 announcement came later than Nook's so that they missed the holiday season should have shocked nobody.

I suppose it's more convenient to blame the FCC and hint of evil protectionist policies in the American bureaucracy (never mind that Sony is a japanese outfit) than to admit you never had a consumer-grade product and were living off the good-will and hopes of people in need of the features that were promised and never delivered. (And notice its been six months since that and they filed *now*?)

Me, I agree that the DRS-800 form-factor is well-conceived.
The price was acceptable.
I would have bought at least one, for my mother. (Currrently I'm waiting on the Pocketbook 901 or a price drop on Kinde DX, which ever gets in first. ) But to this day I have yet to see a single review that finds their *shipping* firmware to be anything but buggy, slow, and oddly structured. It was all; "yes, its buggy but the *next* release will fix it." A year ago when I was playing firmware-of-the-month with my BeBook I might have risked it. But not now. The market has movedon beyond the forgiving hobbyist it relied on pre-Kindle. Now, you either deliver, or else. (Else being; chapters 11 or 7.)

Along these lines, note:
Pandigital, which this week started shipping its Novel Android-based color LCD reader has issued a recall of its product for many of the same issues plaguing the Irex product line; sluggish performance, inconsistent WiFi behavior, bugs...

I think we have just *officially* crossed the line marking the end of ebook readers as enthusiast/hobbyist devices and the beginning of the consumer electronics era; from now on there are no free passes.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:16 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
399 + 20% VAT is already 478. They sell it for 499. The last 20 is probably exchange rate, customs fees... or whatever. There's another post around here somewhere (by someone else) that broke it down in more detail.
VAT is not as high as 20% anywhere in Europe that I know of. It's between 13-18%.

Adding the shipping cost from the US to Europe into the European price is irrelevant because, if it was sold at a lower price in Europe, there'd be no need to ship from America.

I'd guess they're manufactured in Asia like most tech products, so that does not factor in at all -- if anything, land transport over sea might knock off a fiver or so.

It's also strange how a European company can add on that extra cost for European customers. I considered buying from the US but thought it was too much hassle and did not, instead paid the EUR 499 - I disagree with the principle although I can take the cost.

I like the company though but I wish I knew the reason for this seemingly ripoff-deal targetting fellow Europeans
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:16 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by eLiNK View Post
Yes, the breakdown was given by Mueller. The final price was 440€.
It also comes with either the executive or advanced stylus instead of the cheap one that the US model comes with. That's an extra 25€ or 45€ (can't remember which stylus it is).
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:32 PM   #65
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"When it arrives" being the emphasis there. It's been what, a year since they've promised release? I remember heavy speculation the QUE would be out soon at BookNet Tech Forum 2009. And next month Mirasol will have a partner too, right?

Absolutely they missed a mark and they know it. They should have been out a year ago but their firmware just wasn't ready and neither were some of the electronics. I did actually get my hands on one during a walk with a company exec at SID a couple weeks ago and I came away impressed with the improvements made in responsiveness and speed since I last held one at CES. It worked just like I hoped it will without any of the bugginess I saw at CES.

Mirasol actually does have a partner they will be announcing shortly. That partner will be bringing device to market before the end of the year. Mind you Im assuming its true because its what they were telling EVERYONE at SID and they were very happy about it.

sorry for the slightly off-topic conversation folks
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:33 PM   #66
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If you take the US price, convert it to Euros and then add in the high VAT and other fees that Europe typically has (which are included in the price), it actually comes out pretty close. Somebody went through the math in another post, I don't remember all the details though.
US price is $399
This converts to £271.
Add on VAT of 17.5% gives £318

I assume the goods aren't shipped from the Netherlands but if so then you could subtract shipping costs. Also the DR800S doesn't have Wifi or 3G that the DR800SG has so it's a cheaper product but ...

The actual price in the UK is £449

I assume the price difference of £130 is just additional profit. You can actually buy some e-ink ereaders for £130!
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:34 PM   #67
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It's also strange how a European company can add on that extra cost for European customers. I considered buying from the US but thought it was too much hassle and did not, instead paid the EUR 499 - I disagree with the principle although I can take the cost.

I like the company though but I wish I knew the reason for this seemingly ripoff-deal targetting fellow Europeans
This is not new stuff.
In gaming consoles and other CE devices it is routine for euro prices to be significantly higher than in the US.

There is a *lot* more going on than simple currency conversion.
For starters, there is the general "cost of doing business" aspect: corporate taxes, warehousing costs, labor costs, support infrastructure costs, etc.

Second, the US is a unitary market with one set of regulations and one language for 350 million customers. Localization costs are lower, sometimes zero. (We can generally figure out manuals in "googled english". )

And electronics retailers are a very lean breed; they know how to live on thin margins when they have to. Add-in very efficient low-cost ground shipment and it is no surprise to see ultra-lean pricing on products shipping out of China via the US west coast; no need to airlift.

Finally, the US doesn't mandate warranty lengths on CE products; manufacturers get to choose. If they think a product has a market with a 90-day warranty they are free to market it as such. Warranties add cost, you know...

Add all those things to the currency aspect and you're likely 90-plus percent of the way to explaining the pricing differential. Works for most products, anyway.

iRex? Who knows what they were thinking, anyway?
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:44 PM   #68
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VAT is not as high as 20% anywhere in Europe that I know of. It's between 13-18%.
I was just using numbers somebody else had posted previously. I don't know if wikipedia is accurate, but it seems to indicate the standard VAT is higher than your numbers for most EU countries (the majority are over 20%). Is the "reduced rate" the one that applies? Not sure what the difference is.

At this point, we're just arguing fairly trivial differences.

My main point is just that comparing the US price (that doesn't include US tax) with the European price (which does include VAT) is misleading. Whether or not they come out exactly the same, it's closer than some people seem to think.

Of course, you can't buy the device at all now, so it's kind of moot.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:49 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by mike_bike_kite View Post
US price is $399
This converts to £271.
Add on VAT of 17.5% gives £318
I definitely agree the UK price doesn't make any sense. I was talking about the Euro price.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:55 PM   #70
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fjtorres: I understand what you're saying but ...
  • Looking on wikipedia corporate tax is 15-39% in the US and 21-28% in the UK.
  • It's difficult for me to judge warehousing costs etc in the two countries so I'll take your word for it. Are wages that much lower in the states to the UK?
  • I'd of thought localisation costs on ereaders is pretty minimal. The menus come in a few different languages and perhaps the manual but we're not talking big money here - it's just a one off fee for translation. I believe the users themselves have been adding new languages to the pocketbook ereaders.
  • Looking on the web again I saw that the warranty is the same in the US for Irex as it is here - 1 year.
I'm not convinced

Last edited by mike_bike_kite; 06-10-2010 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:14 PM   #71
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It's really a shame, the DR800SG is a superior product. If it had a finger touch screen I'd go as far to say it was 'the' best reader to date. The page turn rate is very fast, battery life is good and the screen size/form factor is perfect. Oh and it feels very very solid in comparison to the Cybook and even the Nook.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:37 PM   #72
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I'm not convinced
Ignoring the DR800SG vs DR800S, as fjtorres says, it's pretty standard that prices for consumer electronics in general are higher in Europe. At least, that's what I've always heard. Doesn't seem to be anything related to a specific manufacturer.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:48 PM   #73
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I find it rather interesting how, all of a sudden, so many people allegedly "knew" that iRex cannot succeed with their marketing strategies and customer service.
I did not know.
I did not care.
I was extremely excited when the iLiad came out. Wow! THAT was something. I was lusting after it. The only thing I ever wanted more than iLiad was a home computer at the end of 1980es (Sinclair Spectrum, Atari800 or Commodore 64 (Finally after MUCH saving and fundrising I did purchase C64. It was extremely expensive for a student in a Socialistic country)).
The only thing preventing me from buying iLiad the moment it came out was the super-exorbitant price at the time.
Other people were obviously much richer than I was and did purchase one.
Then the first reviews came. Long booting time (compare with instant-on of Sony PRS-500), super short battery life (compare with weeks of reading on Sony PRS-500), other shortcomings. Never mind little teething problems. A firmware update promised Real Soon Now (TM) would solve all the battery problems. The update providing battery life that would be even in the same ballpark as originally promised specifications never came.
Then I lost interest.
There were other readers featuring e-ink screens that actually delivered what they promised and that I was able to afford.
I ceased haunting iRex threads and eagerly reading anything about iRex products.
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:54 PM   #74
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VAT is not as high as 20% anywhere in Europe that I know of. It's between 13-18%.
...that you know of...

standard VAT in:
Belgium 21%
Netherlands 19%
Germany 19%
France 19%
Finland 22%
Poland 22%
Italy 20%
Ireland 21%
Norway 25%

It fluctuates, but most of the times, it balances around 20%
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:22 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by nboshart View Post
"When it arrives" being the emphasis there. It's been what, a year since they've promised release? I remember heavy speculation the QUE would be out soon at BookNet Tech Forum 2009. And next month Mirasol will have a partner too, right?

I think iRex is starting a soon-to-be-popular trend in ereading devices: bankruptcy. How many of these things can there be?
With an estimated 13 million e-ink devices to be sold this year, there is enough room for quite a few players. Irex simply had the wrong pricing and marketing strategies and didn't focus enough on cutting costs. (Just imagine, an aggressively priced DR1000S a year ago -- at that time USD $5-600 would have been low enough -- and they would have swamped the market!) So when Amazon and Sony attacked on their home market they were dead in the water.
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