UK Pricing Wars over “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

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May 06, 2007

Posted by EdwardTLC
Uncategorized

With pre-orders at an all time high and 12 million copies set to be in print, stores in the UK are facing very stiff competition and many are selling Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at extreme discounts, creating a possible ‘price war’ among the many retailers vying for customers wanting to get their hands on the final book July 21st. The TimesOnline is reporting that major retailers are concerned whether a profit can be made while offering such greatly reduced discounts to their customers.

Bloomsbury, which has sold 325 million Potter copies worldwide, sells the books to retailers for about 55 per cent below the cover price, so supermarkets will be making a loss if they sell them much below £8.10.

Neill Denny, the editor-in-chief of The Bookseller trade journal, said that Harry Potter was one of the most discounted of all the children’s books series available. He said that UK retailers had sold 22.5 million copies of JK Rowling’s series for a total of £172 million compared with the £243 million they would have earned if it was sold at full price.

Thanks to coriolan for emailing!





43 Responses to UK Pricing Wars over “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

Avatar Image says: They should all have a treaty on the price so they can gain customers a more inventive way, such as midnight parties or a free girt with purchase.Avatar Image says: Katie, that would be nice. unfortunately, economics doesn't work that way, or should I say, capitalism will force competition. it's not such a bad thing though, competition is healthy and lets us choose the better bargain :)Avatar Image says: I think competition is great to a point. When HBP was launched some retailers had a choice of gifts instead of discount. I purchased at full price but all the coolest stuff, like a life size Hedwig! I would rather pay a few more dollars and get extra's!Avatar Image says: I remember for HBP, someone said they bought their book at Walmart at midnight because the price was cheap, and I thought "it's cheap, but how involved was the experience?" I agree that the extras can be worth more than the book itself. If I was a casual fan, I might just be hunting for the best bargain, but I'm not... and will be looking for the most fun party :)Avatar Image says: if they all agreed on a price, that would be illegal. Avatar Image says: Well that'S why we have a bound book-price in Germany, meaning the publisher ss the price for the book and no book store is allowed to discount them, only if there are some quality problems, like misprint or bend pages. GIVE LITTLE STORES A CHANCE!Avatar Image says: "GIVE LITTLE STORES A CHANCE!" No, business is about making money, and being a consumer is about saving money. I will buy the book with the most reduced price that is offered, regardless of who sells it (with the exception of stores I disapprove of by other practices). Let the free market reign, it's best for all of us. Avatar Image says: Unless those poor people run a small bookshop.Avatar Image says: I think JK is going to make Boo-Koo bucks... I mean think about it 12 Million already Pre-Ordered?? Yikes...Avatar Image says: This is great. I can sneak in at 5am to get my copy for £8 from a 24-hour Asda. The other £10 I save can go on munchies!Avatar Image says: I've already pre-ordered my book from Waterstone's at £8.99 with a free book thrown in! It's a bit insane to think that they will be making a loss on their campaign just to say that they made the most sales. I do feel sorry for the "little guy" but you'll find that most little guys have very loyal customers and they will make their money through them.Avatar Image says: At least my book will be cheap. But I agree with chocolateisnotforbreakfast that I will be looking for the best party!Avatar Image says: "I will buy the book with the most reduced price that is offered, regardless of who sells it (with the exception of stores I disapprove of by other practices)." Thus forcing publishers to sacrifice print quality in favour of the bottom line on the accounts. When your pages all start falling out because of shoddy binding, when you notice an inconsistency in the copy-editing, don't go complaining. You made the choice. You want cheap? You'll get cheap, believe me. Those of us who work in the industry thank you. Not.Avatar Image says: The lowest price at all costs is a race to the bottom, and rewards big companies for odious practices like using sweatshops, child labour and relocating manufacturing to poor countries whose governments will not protect their own people from exploitation and environmental damage at the hands of multinational corporations. But hey, at least my coffee is cheap.Avatar Image says: I'm getting my copy for 8.99 and a free book about wizards of the world from Waterstones.Avatar Image says: I find this price war totally unjust for the little guy. I like the policy of Germany. How do you expect a small professional librarian to compete with Wall Mart, or any other great surface, who can make money many other ways. A librarian sells books, period. I, personnally, would forbide any other type of store to sell books. Librarians have a mandate to keep in store a large amount of less popular books for a potential and rarer custommer. Wall Mart, for instance, does not have to do that. Wall Mart stocks, temporarily, the most popular books and returns them to sender after the fade is over. Wall Mart does not have a large inventory of unpopular books. Wall Mart is not interested in books. Wall Mart is interested in money, period. Librarians love books. I am going to pay the full price at my very small library, here, in Aylmer, Québec, Canada because I want that library to be at my disposal when I will be looking for a rare book or edition. Wall Mart will never help me find a rare copy of any book. Small is beautiful.Avatar Image says: "The lowest price at all costs is a race to the bottom, and rewards big companies for odious practices like using sweatshops, child labour and relocating manufacturing to poor countries whose governments will not protect their own people from exploitation and environmental damage at the hands of multinational corporations. But hey, at least my coffee is cheap." That's when you use the power of boycott. But small "independent" shops sell just as much stuff that comes from sweatshops and the like. These books are coming from the same place, scholastic. This is the way it is with most merchandise. Just because you shop at the small "independent" store doesn't mean the product somehow is free from the exploitation of 3rd world countries. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the same merchandise comes from the same place, regardless of where it is sold.Avatar Image says: they'll get to as low as £9.50. whsmith is sly in the way that if you reserve the book you'll get it for £9.99 but if you buy on the day after- they put prices up to £12.99. I remember i ended up getting it from tesco's after for 8.97 or something just to get it a few quid cheaper. Its okay if your'e not going to midnight openeings- theres not really an experience if your going during the day anyhow- just getting the book and getting home as fast as you can to read it (or as slow as possible cos your'e reading along the way)Avatar Image says: In Holland, there's a law that says businesses aren't allowed to sell products at a loss. If that was the case over here, there might actually be some independent bookshops left in my city (as it is, there aren't). "No, business is about making money, and being a consumer is about saving money." And that's where businesses go wrong. They ignore the consumers to whom it is NOT about saving money.Avatar Image says: Capitalism may help people in a lot of cases, but if you compare the *principles* of capitalism with socialism and dare I say it- communism... then I'd certainly describe capitalism as horrible. But sadly it matches human nature. Communism doesn't work because people are selfish and greedy. So however depressing it might be, that's why capitalism is a perfect fit for our society. I'm a Christian, and thus a communist at heart, by the way. Rrrrrrrrr: The United States is an amazing country to live in... if you're not poor. And that's why I hate capitalism, because it invariably means you'll have poor people who have to live in horrible conditions. It doesn't really *have* to, but that kind of thinking leads you down that path imo. The US government has even less control over things (more capitalist) than here in Britain. It's really not too bad here by comparison.Avatar Image says: its silly how now bloomsbury has apperently sold 325 million harry potter book when they hardly print that many. scholastic alone as sold 120 million copies of their editions.Avatar Image says: Am I the only one who read the article and thought: "Gee, if everyone's marking down the price so much, perhaps the price was too high to begin with"? Avatar Image says: For the last two releases, I've been willing to pay a far higher price for the privilege of getting the book at midnight. I'm sure many, many other people are the same. Personally, I don't see any need for a price war like this, but maybe that's just me...Avatar Image says: So, Tistytosty, I'm just curious ... what say you about e-books? Aside from things like readability and sentimental attachments to ink-and-paper (which I'm not free of, believe me), what do people in the industry think of them? There's a balance to be found between supporting small businesses and letting capitalism do its work. Hey, just from what I've read here, I'd say Marx was right. agriculture --> capitalism --> communism (please don't hurt me if this is an oversimplification). Only human greed corrupted his philosophies. Maybe robots can be our rulers. And now I'm being silly.Avatar Image says: 'ere, Tisty, the quality of the books is already bad. The English HP books are fine, but the US ones look all shiny and pretty and then they fall to bits. Strangely enough, the US versions are much more expensive than the UK versions.Avatar Image says: i pre-ordered mine from chapters at ~$27, with a 46% discount. originally, the book was $45. already with all the tax and such i ended up paying $32, with the original price i'd be paying $50. THAT is WAY too expensive. this is a children's book, not the rich children's book or a univeristy text book. who is supposed to buy at the original price? i wouldn't. and with all the competition, heres an idea: how about they LOWER the prices so that people wouldn't have to cut off legs and arms just to sell the book in their small bookstores. i dont think this kind of 'competition' is healthy, because it only eliminates smaller business participation in the sale of popular books and eventually eliminates them leaving behind only the major retailers. that will have devastating effects in the long run. Avatar Image says: "I'm just curious ... what say you about e-books? Aside from things like readability and sentimental attachments to ink-and-paper (which I'm not free of, believe me), what do people in the industry think of them?" In some areas of the industry - journals, for example - online readership is eclipsing the print readerships. And there are key benefits to online media: you're able to search in far greater depth than you could in hard copy, so you're spending less time trogging through indexes and reams of stuff that isn't useful to you. In trade publishing (that is, the stuff you'd see in Borders/Waterstone's/etc - it's known as trade) publishers are setting up online content for their books and authors - the internet has huge potential in publishing to be a massive influence. Things like podcasts are really taking off - even academia is embracing them. I really don't think we will ever get rid of 'proper' books. For all the talk of new technology and e-book readers which feel just like reading a real book, there will always be those who want the 'real thing', so to speak. The best e-book readers are very expensive: a book, comparitively less so. And as long as that market is there, we'll be printing. E-books have an incredibly long way to go before they really start challenging the traditional model: they're not intrinsically a bad thing, but as it stands they're still very much in their infancy. "The English HP books are fine, but the US ones look all shiny and pretty and then they fall to bits. Strangely enough, the US versions are much more expensive than the UK versions." I haven't ever come across a real live US edition, but from everything I've heard they're printed on coated paper, which is just nasty (and smells 'orrible - yes, I have a thing for smelling newly-printed books (seriously, you can smell the difference between uncoated and coated paper)). And if they perfect bind them (slice the folded edges off the sections and then run glue down the spine and put the cover on) rather than notch bind - or even better, sew them - then they're just not going to stand up to rigorous re-reading. Meh. I hate rubbish production; it makes me cry inside.Avatar Image says: One of Irelands Biggest Bookshops(at least 3 in every county)has a price tag of €26.49 on the final book. While other major bookstore along with some of the smaller ones are charging €17.49. I agree with the last poster i thought this was a childrens book. The are definitly trying to make the most profit from the popularity of this books. I don't think that this type of profit is justified by a few promotional freebies which i will get with the €17 book anyway. If i could get it cheaper i would i don't have money to be throwing around.

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