Thursday, October 23, 2008

Brits Get Pounded (and then some)--veinglory

Ebook Reader prices in the UK, What Gives?

I was watching the clip below, in which librarians from the British Library try out various ebook readers. The comments are, on the whole, extremely predictable. But what caught my ear was the prices!

The Sony reader at 199 GB pounds, The Cybook at 269 and the Iliad at 389. Compared to a currency conversion of the US price, these readers are retailing for an extra 7% for the Sony and Iliad and a whopping 19% for the Cybook. And of course the Kindle is not availble at all via although I notice they do sell power cords and other accessories for the US model.

Bearing in mind that most of the manufacturers are based closer to the UK than the US (Netherlands, France) what accounts for the difference? Taxes? Economy of scale?


Stacia said...

Probably a bit of both. Everything in the UK seems to cost well over twice what it does in the States, after currency conversion. A book you'd buy there for $6.99 is usually anywhere from £5.50-£7.99 here.

Jules Jones said...

"Because we can" accounts for some of it. It's fairly standard for things to have the same number after the pound sign as after the dollar sign.

This is why I have a second-hand Cybook. If I'd had to be an ebook reader at new prices, I wouldn't have bought one.

Jules Jones said...

Had to *buy*... too late at night here, I need to go to bed.

Erastes said...

Yep - it's the norm, annoyingly.

I'm a gamer and when a games console is announced for sale in the USA it's generally $300 but over here it's £300 - DOUBLE the price. I've often bought things from the USA - and they've worked out cheaper, even with the shipping and buying conversion kits.