Harry Potter and the Communist Manifesto

potter hysteria reaches further levels of insanity…
since the release of the title not only have most major bookshops began taking pre-orders despite there being no date, no price and no manuscript but it appears that the seventh book is being used as amunition in the ‘price war’ between independant and chain retailers. the Telegraph reports that due to the pressure to sell at a heavily discounted price up to a quarter of independent booksellers will not stock ‘deathly hallows’. Charles Hampton of Boarderman’s bookshop in Bishop’s Stortford said:

“We made a loss on the last one and I am not prepared to make a loss on this one.”

and claimed that some outlets were able to sell Harry Potter books for �3 less than he was able to buy them for.

this is an interesting topic to me for two reasons:
firstly it would appear that friction between deep discount culture and independant retailers has finally reached a boiling point where the indies are willing to make a ‘statement’. whilst i am a) a lousy anti-capitalist and b) a total fucking bargain hunter it is a worry that as shoppers we really do no longer have a clue what most things actually cost before discounting – though this true cost is often a fiction of it’s own. in books for example, publishers have began to raise the rrp to allow for the huge ‘discounts’ that the chains/customer demands. asides from the huggy side of the oft oversimplified ‘cosy little indie versus big evil wal-mart‘ debate it also strikes me that we are headed towards some kind of economic crisis where consumers are no longer willing to pay the ‘real’ price for anything. does everything assume inflated ‘original’ prices to make up for this? will that be enough? will the consumer still demand more discount? will even the chains find soon that they are struggling to make a profit as product ranges shrink leaving only ‘loss leaders’ with little to lead to. of course it is the chains trying to undercut each other for business that has caused this whole sorry mess in the first place but for, as they say, a nation of shopkeepers (and shoppers) i can’t help wonder if the fin de si�cle crash is finally in sight.
that said, it’s penny pinching hypochrites like me that perpetuate the situation, it’s hard to resist a cheap offer in favour of a noble cause 😉
secondly, what a gas that the most effective way for a whole branch of the book industry to make their point about this is through hp7!!! pottermania is an unstoppable force indeed :yes:
there is an interesting Comments thread on this over at the leaky cauldron

0 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Communist Manifesto

  1. Man it’s fun to read your reviews and ideas on economics. I wish I was more articulate but I tend to fallback on curse words as filler! I agree with your sentiments about what is the REAL price of anything? My husband and I buy almost everything from the cheapest places we can find so that when I am in what I refer to as a “Real” store I am amazed at the price tags!!

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