** Update June 27, 2010 **
Amusingly, the day after I posted this, the Amazon price for the physical book jumped up to $10.19 and has remained there ever since.
Not saying it’s related to *my* post, but amusing nonetheless. Just saying to anybody at Amazon who happens across this, the thrust of my post was that the Kindle price should come *down*, not the other way around…
** End Update June 27, 2010 **
I was hankering for a new book to read yesterday so I went to pick up Peter F. Hamilton’s “Fallen Dragon” from Amazon.com. I see that the current price for the Kindle download is $9.99. But I can purchase a brand new physical copy of the book from Amazon for only $8.24. In fact fully 7 of the 22 retailers offering the book are doing so for less than the $9.99 kindle price.
Most of those are also charging shipping fees which will put them over the Kindle price. I use Amazon so much that I’m experimenting with their “Prime” service which means that I’ve already paid a flat fee for my shipping for the year so there is no additional cost to me when I purchase anything that is sold BY Amazon. It will arrive two days later for exactly the purchase price that I see listed.
With the iPad coming on the scene I’m a little surprised to see that Amazon has chosen to go this path. The price difference is trivial, only $1.75, but it certainly rankles to pay *more* for something that requires far less overhead to print, store, handle and ship than its physical counterpart. I’m sure that the price is being driven by some odd publisher-determined model.
Companies have always been in business to make money. But am I mistaken in that, in this era, they are so much more brazenly about squeezing every last penny out of you and being completely blatant about it?
Heck, I understand that both AT&T and Verizon Wireless, instead of continuing to offer a somewhat reasonable value with their unlimited plans, are looking to move BACK to forcing you to purchase buckets of minutes / data and then gleefully charging you overage fees again.
I’m personally looking for companies that I can partner with – someone that I can pay a fair price to and expect fair service from them. They make a reasonable profit and I get value for my investment. It seems many businesses today are intent only on adversarial relationships with their customers and spend a tremendous effort on extracting every last cent from you for their services. It’s no wonder that brand loyalty and customer satisfaction are so low these days. If you are squeezing your customers so hard, it does not take much to push them over the edge to find another provider or to become upset with your services. People are a lot more tolerant of companies that work with them rather than against them.