Saturday, July 21, 2007

Potter Rip-Off!!

Today's the `magical date' - 21-7-2007 - the worldwide release of the final Harry Potter book!!

But I know now thousands of Harry Potter fans in this country are crying foul!

Just a day prior to the release of the climatic last book in the series, it was advertised in the paper that two hypermarkets - Carrefour and Tesco - will be selling `Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' at a `special price' of RM69.90!

Well, guess any HP fan would know the official retail price for that hardback book is RM109.90 - since pre-order service of the book had been widely publicised and available in all major book chain since 3 months or so back!

Yes, you guess right. I pre-ordered the book and already paid the full amount.

Anyway, as I have been really slack in reading the papers (esp from page-to-page), I was blur about this, until later in the evening, I received the shocking `news' from my friend lulu who was sympathetic to her HP fan-friends and blogged about it. (In fact, she was sounding out our responses!)

Of course, the my first reaction was: `NO WAY! How can this be?' But when i realised this was in fact real, I just blurted out words like : `Gosh, not fair! I'm so angry!! How can they do that!! etc.. etc..

I mean, we the loyal HP fans, have taken the extra effort to go through the `proper channel' to pre-order the book with a reputable book store. Most of us - like myself, would have paid up front the full amount already. As the anticipation grew as the release date approached.. you don't imagine a day prior to the `big day', at the height of the anticipation, you would hear of such a thing - and you feel you've been ripped-off.

I thought those who pre-order suppose to get a better deal? (ok, we do get some freebies and discount at certain stores) look what happened?

I can't help but feel very angry at those hypermarkets - they didn't adhere to the official pricing and resorting to a huge price slash to draw sales.. but what they're doing is sabotaging the bookstores. Is this ethical? I've no much business sense but is this what the business world is like? Aren't here rules or code of ethics (esp. for internationally acclaimed titles) to be followed?

I feel cheated in a way.. although I can't blame the bookstore for it's just following the recommended price. In fact now they are the biggest victim.

And of course, the heat was definitely felt by these bookstores. So much so that four major bookstore chain had announced to the media that they won't be selling any `Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' ! But they will `honour' those pre-order copies.. I mean they BETTER do so! We already paid for them!!

Here is the link to the report.

Thanks to these hypermarkets who claim `they are just putting their customers' best interest in mind', the hype of the final Harry Potter book has been dampened, especially for the loyal Harry Potter fans. Quite an anti-climax..

On the other hand, I can imagine those who have not pre-ordered yet would be rejoicing for being able to get a copy at a cheaper price!!

I could only say.. what irony, and what a rip-off. :(

update: Sat 4:30pm
I got my copy of the book at about noon. Found out when I went to MPH that they allowed pre-order customers to get a refund if they wish. But I decided not to and wanted my book - as it comes with quite a nice souvenir mug besides the paper bag.. And I just can't be bother to go to the hypermarkets to get the cheap version! And don't want to give them business!! The money I've paid is already been paid anyway. and at least now I can start reading the book!

This is probably the biggest upset in book-selling history for this country.. and of all books, it's the FINAL Harry Potter book.


bibliobibuli said...

i really sympathise with how you feel ... what a horrible mess!

Carmen and Kim Kee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carmen and Kim Kee said...

I do feel that it's not fair for you and those who have pre-ordered the book...sorry to hear about that.

On the other hand, I'd like to question the bookstores, why would they 'cut the customers' throats'? From the customer's point of view, both KK and I agree that we deserve the right to get something at lower rate with the same quality. If hypermarket can offer HP at RM 69.90, why should MPH (or other specialised book wholesalers) not be able to do so? MPH marks up the price approximately 50% higher than the one from hypermarket, imagine how lucrative the margin is ...

Of course, if I were you, I would feel cheated too...anyway, at least you have some interesting gimmics, right? So, in a way, worth the money lah ...

jesscet said...

bibliobibuli: thanks and yep, what a mess and anticlimax! And i see this issue is a hot debate on cyberspace too (judging from your blog!:p)

carmen and kim kee: thanks for the sympathy but actually i am more upset that those bookstores decided NOT to sell the book at all though they can say it's protesting or sticking to principles..but they're letting their loyal customers down..

Price wise, expensive it may be, RM109.90 is the official price introduced by the publisher. and i suspect those hypermarkets are doing it as a lost leader just to attract customers to their stores!! personally i feel it's unethical but others may beg to differ.

Carmen and Kim Kee said...

Hmmm...what a suspense, worth finding out who is the culprit and the cause of the price war...

Carmen and Kim Kee said...

Oh's cheaper in Belgium, only €13.99, sold by the drugstore our blog for further information

jesscet said...

well..apparently the price war is everywhere - some stores in England selling it for five pounds as opposed to the official of 17.99!!

Carmen and Kim Kee said...

What a disaster...what has gone wrong?

jesscet said...

in view of what i read and understand, this type of price war is not uncommon nor an anomaly... and prob won't be regarded as unethical as well. it's business, thats all.