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Canadian Booksellers Charge US List Prices


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Good news for bookbuyers in Canada:

It took enormous public pressure this fall, but bookstores finally caved and began charging American list prices for books rather than inflated, pre-parity Canadian prices. Now stores big and small are crowded with holiday season shoppers -- there's nothing like lower prices to make consumers overspend, something retailers should have known all along.


(Especially those in the market for books on ballet, which, with the possible exception of the Nureyev bio, never seem to make it to the "30% off all bestsellers" racks.)

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What remains to be seen is whether this policy lasts. Magazine publishers were losing business because Canadian consumers were angry about having to pay the higher Canadian price listed on covers. Solution: print only one price. Which doesn't mean that the "single" price is actually the same as the American price :). I fear that book publishers may yet devise a similar scheme for defrauding Canadian book lovers.

There are other ways of raising prices. When the stronger Canadian dollar made it economical to shop at Amazon.com rather than Amazon.ca, I suspect that the Canadian version began to lose business. So U.S. Amazon promptly increased shipping rates to Canada.

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