Tolkien Collector's Guide
_Fall of Arthur_ in 2013?
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Re: _Fall of Arthur_ in 2013?

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Sorry, am I the only one permanently exacerbated by the UK (the world's?) biggest bookselling site? Amazon is in danger of losing, utterly, any credibility, whatsoever, as a reputable bookseller; if it hasn't already. It seems to esteem low price over literally everything else. Nielsen's is another one, with its spurious book data (supplied to eBay sellers) e.g. The Silmarillion: published "31/12/1977". What is this garbage?

I type "fall arthur tolkien" & it finds the standard Hb. Note the listing, that Amazon have assigned, is just the title ("The Fall of Arthur") as you'd expect; the search that comes up is actually "fall arthur tolkien". So Amazon is doing a good job of guiding silly old me, who can't search properly... Oh, hold on: if I'm being shown the search for "fall arthur" why is "The Fall of Arthur (Deluxe Edition)" not showing up in this search!? Surely it should be showing me everything with the words "fall" and "arthur"? Do they want me to find the damn book or not?!

You know, if the service we were getting was actually better than what Amazon has utterly destroyed (i.e. a diverse book market), it would be justified; call it progress. But what we have now is poor, poor, poor. When I search on Abebooks too all I'm seeing now is atrociously listed books; & these are overwhelming the small minority of decent quality booksellers. Then there's HarperCollins, one of the biggest publishers in the world; can't run a website. The market is totally broken...

Old man rant over.

BH
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By Stu

Re: _Fall of Arthur_ in 2013?

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The thing is, it isn't Amazon that destroyed the book marketplace - we did. We wanted books at a better price than the stores, and so we ended up with a monopoly instead (or perhaps an oligopoly).

Same as when we killed all the local and specialist stores by using the supermarket instead.


Re: _Fall of Arthur_ in 2013?

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Stu wrote:
The thing is, it isn't Amazon that destroyed the book marketplace - we did. We wanted books at a better price than the stores, and so we ended up with a monopoly instead (or perhaps an oligopoly).

Same as when we killed all the local and specialist stores by using the supermarket instead.


I agree, it is consumers doing this and I include myself as one of them. I noticed an interesting article on the BBC that indirectly relates to this.

"Have you ever seen something you wanted in a shop, tried it, checked the price online on your smartphone, found it was cheaper, and walked out? Welcome to the world of "showrooming". "

"Victoria Barnsley, chief executive of HarperCollins, recently suggested the idea of charging a fee for browsing bookshops is "not that insane".

Steve Pritchard, 61, who runs an independent book store in Crosby, Merseyside, and has worked in the trade for more than 36 years, is not convinced.

"We see them in the corner with their mobile phones, scanning the barcode on a book and finding it cheaper. I can't blame them," he says.
"

Though Victoria might want to start by fixing tolkien.co.uk first and actually informing people when they publish new books

The perils of showrooming


Re: _Fall of Arthur_ in 2013?

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This is why I'm glad, that we have a book price fixing in Germany which keeps all the small bookshops alive. Books at amazon have the same price than in the bookshop around the corner.
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By Stu

Re: _Fall of Arthur_ in 2013?

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Trotter wrote:

Though Victoria might want to start by fixing tolkien.co.uk first and actually informing people when they publish new books



Tolkien.co.uk is, I suspect, unfixable in its current form. It is clear from the the way it behaves completely without internal self-consistency that the underlying data model is just completely and utterly borked. As a software development professional, I would be ashamed if I ever delivered a product like that...


Re: _Fall of Arthur_ in 2013?

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Hmmm... I agree with Laurin666 though --if the NBA (Net Book Agreement) still existed in the UK (it fell apart in the 90's) then bigger booksellers simply wouldn't be able to undercut smaller independent bookshops. And, I suspect, more would survive.

I still step into literally every bookshop I pass on the street; be it a secondhand bookshop (independent, Oxfam, etc) or Waterstones. I don't check my phone to see if I could get it cheaper online. If it's the book I want I buy it. However, I'm not on the high street that often any more.

Nobody posting here is a normal book buyer though. We'll pick up a Hb in a store and not buy it because it's a second impression. The problem is normal buyers are not buying on the high street. Overall, I don't really have a problem (in some respects) with the high street bricks & mortar stores disappearing --provided the replacement is better. It isn't.

BH
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By Stu

Re: _Fall of Arthur_ in 2013?

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Khamûl wrote:
Hmmm... I agree with Laurin666 though --if the NBA (Net Book Agreement) still existed in the UK (it fell apart in the 90's) then bigger booksellers simply wouldn't be able to undercut smaller independent bookshops. And, I suspect, more would survive.

I still step into literally every bookshop I pass on the street; be it a secondhand bookshop (independent, Oxfam, etc) or Waterstones. I don't check my phone to see if I could get it cheaper online. If it's the book I want I buy it. However, I'm not on the high street that often any more.

Nobody posting here is a normal book buyer though. We'll pick up a Hb in a store and not buy it because it's a second impression. The problem is normal buyers are not buying on the high street. Overall, I don't really have a problem (in some respects) with the high street bricks & mortar stores disappearing --provided the replacement is better. It isn't.

BH


It is a globalisation issue. Local laws are largely irrelevant because cheap bulk postal agreements mean that the online retailers can just operate from different territories. Australia is a good example -- it is cheaper to buy books in the UK and ship them than to buy them locally, so local price controls probably would not be effective.


Re: _Fall of Arthur_ in 2013?

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Really? That's genuinely pretty surprising, what with postage seemingly more expensive than ever. Does this really affect the average buyer who's not searching quite so hard though? I mean Laurin666 says it works in Germany. Surely it would have some effect if Amazon.co.uk were listing books at the same price as the high street? (--assuming for a second there actually was a high street!) With postage this would make their books more expensive (overall) to acquire. Would it not help a bit?

BH
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


By Stu

Re: _Fall of Arthur_ in 2013?

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Khamûl wrote:
Really? That's genuinely pretty surprising, what with postage seemingly more expensive than ever. Does this really affect the average buyer who's not searching quite so hard though? I mean Laurin666 says it works in Germany. Surely it would have some effect if Amazon.co.uk were listing books at the same price as the high street? (--assuming for a second there actually was a high street!) With postage this would make their books more expensive (overall) to acquire. Would it not help a bit?

BH


Yep, really. It is MUCH cheaper to buy books from the UK than to buy them on the high street in Australia. Australia is a bit of a basket case, mind -- probably the most expensive country on Earth at this juncture.

I just can't see how on a global scale price controls will work. The online seller will just base themselves where the price controls don't apply, and so long as their suppliers give them the books cheap enough, the postage isn't a problem.

Of course, tariffs can be introduced, but for low value items, they end up being too expensive to enforce.


Re: _Fall of Arthur_ in 2013?

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After my rant of a few pages back, I have finally got round to cancelling all my outstanding/open Amazon orders --now that I have sourced the same items for similar prices elsewhere. Still not bricks & mortar mind; I've sourced them all online --but I can't tolerate Amazon any more. A puny gesture, I know --but why complain whilst still giving them my custom? An inconsistent stance to take, now remedied!

Just for books though...

BH
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...



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