Saturday, July 21, 2007

Price War on Harry Potter's Book

* Latest update: Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs's Minister, Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal said price war good for consumers.

Can you believe that 4 major bookstores in Malaysia are combining together and issued a press release stating that they won't be selling latest and final instalment of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Bookstores, namely MPH, Popular, Harris and Times said their actions were due to the heavy discounting action by 2 major hypermarkets, namely Tesco and Carrefour who were selling at RM69.90 way much lower than the RM109.90 made available at the 4 major bookstores.

I found that such practice by the 4 major bookstores sum up to being a cartel, hoarding the sale and maintaining a price in a monopolistic way. C'mon, is the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs realising this hoarding business tactic. No business ethics at all. It's up to Tesco and Carrefour to sell at a price they like even though at a loss. This is what we called BUSINESS!

It was important to note that the book distributor, Penguin, had sold at the same price to all buyers and the 4 major bookstores were trying to cover their exhorbitant pricing at RM109.90.

Can you imagine Golden Screen Cinemas closing its cinemas for the day if it found out that Cathay Cineplexes was selling its tickets at a much lower price. It's up to Cathay Cineplexes' management decision to market at a different pricing as they may have other business synergy too. I really found it so perplexed by the 4 major bookstores' decision to stop selling the books.

This is to confirm that their moves are monopolistic and hoarding the books to maintain a price. It's just the same actions by those companies who were selling sugar where they tried to hoard the goods and caused shortages in order to push up the market price. RIDICULOUS!

I really wish the 4 major bookstores would follow the examples of UK bookstores who faced similar scenario. Leading UK supermarkets were selling the books at 4.99 pounds compared to those being sold at 17.99 pounds by major bookstores. But did those major bookstores went on strike like ours in Malaysia? NO!
Tags: Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Penguin, JK Rowling, MPH, Popular, Harris, Times, Tesco, Carrefour



Blogger NIHAL said...

It's sad that these sort of things happen here quite freely. As you said, everyone has their own right to determine the price BUT it is finally the Ministry that should come out with a standard guideline (which I think should already exist) for all goods.

22 July, 2007 10:18  
Blogger tooruinagaki said...


22 July, 2007 15:31  
Blogger thwen said...

Kiasu-ism. Plain kiasu-ism... Looks like the consumers are going to suffer AGAIN. Well, as a consumer myself, I'd prefer to wait for the price of the last HP book to fall before purchasing it.

22 July, 2007 22:05  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

well, such bookstores tend to take advantage and that's why they need to protect their own selfish interest.

23 July, 2007 00:50  

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