Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Chapters in a Bullshit Story

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about wanting to buy a book on camera RAW processing at Chapters, and the issues I had with the price. Well, I did something about it. I ordered the book from Amazon instead.

I ordered the book on Monday. It arrived today (Wednesday). Just two days to get here. Okay, it's not the instant gratification of snagging something off the shelf, but given that I waited two weeks to order anyway, two days' delivery time is just fine with me. Better than I hoped for, in fact.

Here's the big punch, though. Chapters wanted $47.99 for the book. Amazon wanted $30.23. That's less than the US price (more on that in a second). We're expected to pay Chapters an extra 18 bucks — nearly a 60% premium — just to stick this thing on a shelf? So I ordered it, and with the savings, I ordered another book, this one about photographic composition. With tax, buying the book at Chapters would have cost me just over $50. Buying two books from Amazon, shipped for free in two days, cost me just $5 more. I got the second book for five bucks... effectively, for free.

When I was in Chapters that day, really, I just wanted my money's worth. I wanted to pay the US price, $39.99. The Canadian dollar right now is worth 99.15¢ US. That's essentially par. And it has been more or less at par with the US dollar for around a year now, when it started routinely hitting over 95¢ US last May. So all this garbage the bookstores are giving us about old copies having old prices is wearing real, real fucking thin at this point. In fact, it's out and out bullshit: the book I bought about camera RAW... I checked; it has a copyright date of 2008. So this is not an old copy. This out outright gouging. Why, with a Canadian dollar worth 99% or more of a US dollar, am I being expected to pay a 20% premium as though my dollar were worth 83¢? Who pockets that difference?

Well, you know what? Maybe Chapters doesn't value the Canadian dollar, but as a guy who gets paid in them, buys with them, lives by them, I sure the hell do. And that's why Chapters ain't gettin' any more of mine.

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