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Avid readers beware

by Adam on September 29th, 2007

Anybody who buys books from Chapters, Amazon, etc. knows that here in Canada the cost of a book is a fixed amount more than the US price. A quick check of the last paperback I purchased shows a disparity of 50%! That means an exchange rate of 50% from US to CDN where the actual rate is sitting around 0%. Talk about being ripped off!

All of those paperbacks were purchased from the US publishers before the US/CDN dollar parity and are currently sitting in huge warehouses or on store shelves collecting dust. I can certainly understand why book sellers are still charging the book price since their inventory lost around 30% of its market value in the last year. 30% of the billions of dollars worth of unsold books is an insane amount of money! A lot of smaller book stores would go out of business if they had to sell their books at the US listed price.

Most likely you recently bought Book 7 in the the Harry Potter series. I paid around $22 at Walmart where the actual price on the book jacket is $45. Wow, what a savings! How can they afford to give me 50% off? Oh wait. Between volume discount and the higher CDN dollar it makes perfect sense.

I really feel for the book selling industry but I am boycotting physical books until price comes back to reality. The book sellers are just going to have to take the hit. They should lower the price to sell off current inventory to provide capital to buy new books at the parity price. Of course that is assuming that the population of Canada has slowed their book buying and that US publishers have lowered their price to Canadian book sellers.

Bring on the e-books! Cory Doctorow offers all of his books as free e-book downloads.

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One Comment
  1. I’m REALLY tempted to take a trip down to the U.S. and pick up an iPhone for the low, low price of whatever $399 USD equals in CAD. Something less than $399 USD, that’s all I know.

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