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(NYT)   Liberty, egality, fraternity, no free delivery   (nytimes.com) divider line 59
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6739 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Dec 2007 at 8:23 PM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2007-12-13 03:19:52 PM
TFA: Retail prices, particularly of books, are tightly regulated in France.

C'est un pays du les tete-de-diques.
 
2007-12-13 08:25:21 PM
Because making books more readily available is a bad thing.
 
2007-12-13 08:26:41 PM
After that, it must pay a fine of €1,000 (US$1,470) per day that it continues to offer free delivery.

Oh no, Amazon will be bankrupted!
 
2007-12-13 08:27:35 PM
Those frogs will whine about anything, huh?
 
2007-12-13 08:28:25 PM
Amazon lost a fight to France?
 
2007-12-13 08:28:40 PM
Delivery now will cost $0.01.
 
2007-12-13 08:28:56 PM
Sacre bleu! Students will riot in the streets!
 
2007-12-13 08:31:02 PM
the_chief: Delivery now will cost $0.01.

After reading the article, that's my thinking. Charge some nominal amount.

I do like that France tries to protect small businesses. Selling below cost by huge retailers is only good for the consumer in the short run.
 
2007-12-13 08:31:11 PM
short work weeks, tons of vacation time each year, cheap/free health care and they're biatching about a few euro in shipping?
 
2007-12-13 08:31:24 PM
After that, it must pay a fine of €1,000 (US$1,470) per day that it continues to offer free delivery.

Oh no, Amazon will be bankrupted!


They should send that to them them one check each day.

/of course, they'll have to charge delivery for the check
 
2007-12-13 08:31:52 PM
kirbeep: Amazon lost a fight to France?

That was a laugh and a half. Methinks Amazon lost the battle, but Franc shall surrender the war.
 
2007-12-13 08:31:57 PM
you can't have liberty AND egality.
 
2007-12-13 08:34:27 PM
KrispyKritter: Sacre bleu! Students Muslims will riot in the streets!

FTFY.

/it is France, y'know
//don't keep 'em from their free Korans
 
2007-12-13 08:36:18 PM
We must protect the people from lower prices! If this is typical, it's no wonder their economy is in the crapper.
 
2007-12-13 08:36:26 PM
Boobies!!!: After that, it must pay a fine of €1,000 (US$1,470) per day that it continues to offer free delivery.

Oh no, Amazon will be bankrupted!


In all seriousness, amazon could very well stand to lose more than $1500/day if they drop free shipping. Making paying the fine a more profitable option.
 
2007-12-13 08:37:18 PM
Anyone seem some [strike] tags laying around? I dropped 'em somewhere.

/Ah, "DON'T preview" is what that says....
 
2007-12-13 08:37:54 PM
I'm torn on issues like this. It is to protect the small businesses which is a good thing. It prevents crap like Wall Wart paying Chinese 10-year-olds 10 cents a day just so you can have cheap shoes.
 
2007-12-13 08:39:03 PM
DarthBrooks: ...pays du les des tetes-de-diques.

N'est pas?
 
2007-12-13 08:40:12 PM
SoxSweepAgain: Selling below cost by huge retailers is only good for the consumer in the short run.

Limited availability of less popular items and lack of convenient 24 hour service from mom and pop stores is never good for the consumer.
 
2007-12-13 08:40:32 PM
scuba17: Yeah, I'm sure Amazon is really concerned about this. //sarcasm//

FreeCrunch


Um, your link had nothing to do with this story whatsoever.
 
2007-12-13 08:43:19 PM
vodka: I'm torn on issues like this. It is to protect the small businesses which is a good thing.
Why do you think that's a good thing?

And scuba17 quit putting that link in every damn thread. I don't know if it's against the rules or not, but it's annoying.
 
2007-12-13 08:43:45 PM
Um...punished for being better than the competition? Who'd have thought?

/I'll just go in the corner and be mediocre now.
 
2007-12-13 08:44:02 PM
vodka: I'm torn on issues like this. It is to protect the small businesses which is a good thing. It prevents crap like Wall Wart paying Chinese 10-year-olds 10 cents a day just so you can have cheap shoes.

And don't forget the chemical manufacturers that dump toxic substances into our waterways because it is cheaper to pay the EPA fines than it is to pay companies to properly dispose of them. Which, of course, is dumping chemicals into someone else's waterways...
 
2007-12-13 08:46:35 PM
serial_crusher: Limited availability of less popular items and lack of convenient 24 hour service from mom and pop stores is never good for the consumer.

You sound like a shill for big mom and pop.
 
2007-12-13 08:47:15 PM
I ordered a book from Amazon.fr yesterday. The shipping charge to assure a Christmas arrival was thirty-two dollars, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

/I'm not kidding. The book was only six dollars.
 
2007-12-13 08:48:20 PM
perhaps they can run a program like, buy 3 books a month, get a 4th for free.

They are *selling* books at normal price, so they are within the law there, but is there a rule in France against *giving something for free*?
 
2007-12-13 08:51:22 PM
I'm not surprised France didn't surrender. They seem to be picky about Socialism.
 
2007-12-13 08:52:59 PM
LemSkroob: They are *selling* books at normal price, so they are within the law there, but is there a rule in France against *giving something for free*?

France has all kind of arcane laws concerning sales. There are only certain days that stores are allowed to sell stuff at a deep discount. On these days the stores open very early and it's a madhouse. I would think they have a law to cover what you're describing.
 
2007-12-13 08:55:26 PM
I used to work at a small, independent bookstore (so I'm really getting a kick out of some of these replies, natch) and can say with confidence that selling books is simply not something that can be done on a small scale. There are too many books, and a store has to have tens of thousands of titles to adequately serve the public. Plus the profit margins are razor thin. Mom and pop bookstores pay very low wages and can't provide benefits. If those are things you want to support, go ahead.
 
2007-12-13 08:58:02 PM
In Soviet France, books ship you!
 
2007-12-13 08:59:25 PM
ne2d: I used to work at a small, independent bookstore...

Tell me, what are the margins for a small bookseller? And can you send back unsold inventory? What's the inventory turnover rate?

I'm asking because I've always been interested in that business.
 
2007-12-13 09:00:54 PM
We have, or at least before Lord Reagan, did, have anti-trust laws in this country. The theory is simple, the monopolist will withdraw the discounts after his competitors have perished.

I wonder how we got all of these broke-stroke laissez-faire capitalists in the first place.
 
2007-12-13 09:01:08 PM
www.inklingsbookshop.com
Hunting frogs.


/no I don't know the gender either
 
2007-12-13 09:02:39 PM
[pay] compensation to the booksellers' union.
the union charged...
The union said...
the union won a similar legal victory...
The action, brought in January 2004 by the French Booksellers' Union

Anyone see a common thread here?

/they sound disturbingly similar to the RIAA/MPAA
 
2007-12-13 09:05:54 PM
signaljammer We have, or at least before Lord Reagan, did, have anti-trust laws in this country. The theory is simple, the monopolist will withdraw the discounts after his competitors have perished.

Is this just theoretical, or do you have any examples of where this happened in the last 25 years or so?
 
2007-12-13 09:09:22 PM
radioshack: Tell me, what are the margins for a small bookseller? And can you send back unsold inventory? What's the inventory turnover rate?

I'm asking because I've always been interested in that business.


The retail price of a book is set by the publisher, so the margin is based on the discount that you get. It's usually 40%, less for small publishers. However, most bestsellers and new releases are sold at a discount, usually 20% to 30%. So you'd pay $12 for a $20 cover price book that you'd have to sell for $16. You can send back unsold inventory, except for some small publishers, but you have to pay a restocking fee. I don't know what the turnover rate is and I can't even really say whether it's high or low because I have no reference.
 
2007-12-13 09:09:42 PM
hmm. I can understand restricting sales below cost to prevent predatory competition. However, the MSRP restriction is a biatchslap to the face of capitalism. The invisible hand should slap right back.

Things should cost what supply and demand settles on, not some price set by the publisher/government to keep inefficient businesses in business.

/buy American?
//we surrender!
 
2007-12-13 09:11:31 PM
images.despair.com
 
2007-12-13 09:12:59 PM
France does NOT surrender!
 
2007-12-13 09:13:36 PM
LemSkroob: They are *selling* books at normal price, so they are within the law there, but is there a rule in France against *giving something for free*?

Evidently there is. France apparently treats the entire book order as a single sale, including the shipping cost. If the "free" portion of the order (shipping) exceeds the "maximum discount" regulation then they are breaking the regulation.

BTW, Amazon? Selling things under cost? WTF are those Frenchies smoking? I almost always find things selling from other vendors for less than Amazon, the thing is that Amazon has a huuuuuuuuuuuuge inventory so you can sometimes find things there that you can't get anywhere else (or at least not nearly as easily).
 
2007-12-13 09:13:41 PM
SoxSweepAgain: I do like that France tries to protect small businesses. Selling below cost by huge retailers is only good for the consumer in the short run.

This is ironic considering it was the French that invented the concept of Laissez-faire economics.

Personally, I'm all for Mom & Pop's stores (and I shop at locally run businesses whenever possible), but if I learned anything in 37 years on this planet, it is that whenever Government attempts to remedy a situation, it will invariably screw it up, fail miserably and cost society more in the long run).

Government needs to stay out of free market economics in 99% of cases. Anti-trust, environmental, civil liberties and legal type cases are the rare exceptions.
 
2007-12-13 09:14:01 PM
radioshack: ne2d: I used to work at a small, independent bookstore...

Tell me, what are the margins for a small bookseller? And can you send back unsold inventory? What's the inventory turnover rate?

I'm asking because I've always been interested in that business.


I don't know about small book dealers, but at Barnes and Noble, when their books don't sell, they'll rip the front covers off and throw them out. Makes dumpster diving interesting.
 
2007-12-13 09:15:01 PM
hudef: no I don't know the gender either

The gender of the frogs she's hunting or the gender of the woman in the photo?

Because that's a chick.
 
2007-12-13 09:19:19 PM
rebelyell2006: I don't know about small book dealers, but at Barnes and Noble, when their books don't sell, they'll rip the front covers off and throw them out. Makes dumpster diving interesting.

Yeah, everyone does that with the mass market paperbacks. You just have to send the cover back to the distributor to get a refund. Believe it or not, books are actually so cheap that they literally aren't worth the cost to ship them. I have hundreds of coverless books on my shelves that I took home.
 
2007-12-13 09:20:32 PM
Ecrazez L'Online-retailer.
 
2007-12-13 09:21:11 PM
Stupid French.
 
2007-12-13 09:23:07 PM
MonkeyBoy666 ...Because that's a chick.


/cue the Crying Game theme....
 
2007-12-13 09:24:01 PM
Espertron: Personally, I'm all for Mom & Pop's stores (and I shop at locally run businesses whenever possible), but if I learned anything in 37 years on this planet, it is that whenever Government attempts to remedy a situation, it will invariably screw it up, fail miserably and cost society more in the long run).

Government needs to stay out of free market economics in 99% of cases. Anti-trust, environmental, civil liberties and legal type cases are the rare exceptions.


Because government couldn't possibly screw up Anti-trust, environmental, civil liberties and legal type cases, right?

/What about health care?
//not threadjacking
///you started it
 
2007-12-13 09:37:46 PM
Wow...can we get a "from orbit" remark? That is farked up. Go to hell, unions.
 
2007-12-13 09:38:41 PM
whyworry: Because government couldn't possibly screw up Anti-trust, environmental, civil liberties and legal type cases, right?
/What about health care?
//not threadjacking
///you started it


Fair enough.

Yeah, government would probably screw those up too if it was given the chance. I am a big proponent of the maxim: The government that governs least, governs best.

I don't have all the answers. Sincerely. But I think business and government are two entities that don't need to be bedmates in most situations.

Why should it be the employer's job to provide health care? Seriously. Where is that written?

ALthough I can see the benefits of universal healthcare provided and operated by the government, I simply don't think the US Federal Government is capable of doing it in an efficient and cost effective manner.

If and/or when that happens, you can expect to see the largest barrel of pork since Medicare-D (another inefficient, over-priced and ineffectual government run healthcare/prescription program).
 
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