TeeJaw Blog

Will Kindle Books Price Themselves Out of the Market?

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 10: 09 AM

I’m not buying many books on Kindle anymore since they are now almost the same price as the hardcover. In that case I’d rather have the book.

For example, Thomas Sowell’s new 4th edition of Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy is $23.97 for the hard cover at Amazon and $19.99 for the Kindle edition. I want every book that Thomas Sowell writes so I’ll buy it (even though I already have the 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions of the same book), but I’ll buy the hard cover not the Kindle. I just won’t shell out nearly the same money for a download even though I’d like to have it. If the Kindle download were offered at a substantial markdown to buyers of the hardcover I’d probably buy them both.

We are told that paper books will soon go the way of VHS video tape, audio cassettes, and kodachrome. I think there might be some resistance to that.

Volume and mark up represent two distinct business plans in retailing. Walmart uses volume and its owners became billionaires. Mark up is a strategy that only works in narrow segments of the economy and makes very few people rich.

There is another phenomenon of retailing that has left a lot products in the dustbin of history. Once something prices itself out of the market it takes a long time, if ever, to recover. People get out of the habit of buying it and aren’t easily lured back. A reputation once earned is hard to shake.


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  1. Kindle Books — Still Too Pricey? « TeeJaw Blog said, on Sunday, April 10, 2011, 1: 29 PM at 1:29 PM

    […] blogged a while back that Kindle books might be pricing themselves out of the market — see Will Kindle books Price Themselves Out of the Market? I noted there that if the Kindle edition is almost the same as the book I’ll just buy the […]

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