Australians even get ripped off on DIGITAL book pricing

Why is the Amazon Kindle price of Ben Shapiro’s new book “Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV” almost double when I have my Kindle zone set to Australia?

Kindle 'Zone' set to Australia (click to embiggen)

Kindle 'Zone' set to USA (click to embiggen)

The takeaway lesson for Aussies would seem to be:  just set your Kindle “zone” to USA if you want to buy American books. No, I don’t know how “kosher” that is, but yes, I know that it works.

But the question remains:  why would a digital book, composed of nothing but zeros and ones, cost someone in Australia (who admits they’re in Australia) almost double?  This is what the blurb about “applicable taxes” says – as far as I know Australian GST is not charged on any internet purchases of under $1000 or so, and even if it were, a 10% GST would only add $1.29 to the price, not $10.18.

Is this still our protectionist luvvies in The Yartz at work, making sure we don’t find American books overly attractive?   (For background on Australia’s protectionist book pricing, see Tim Blair “Local Books for Local People” and “Luvvies Win”, and Bob Carr “Protectionism Means You Pay More For Books” and “It’s the Lunacy of Protectionism Write Large”)

Or is it just a matter of different publishers for the US and Aussie markets, each charging what they believe the market will bear?

And how realistic is that, really, in an Internet-enabled world where you don’t exactly need to be a rocket scientist to order from the most attractive market as opposed to being locked in to a local market?

Any thoughts &/or explanations most welcome in comments.

5 Responses to “Australians even get ripped off on DIGITAL book pricing”

  1. bingbing Says:

    Does have a kindle function?

  2. minicapt Says:

    I would guess you’re being tagged with an internet delivery fee courtesy of the local ‘Whispernet’ affiliate.


    • spot_the_dog Says:

      I don’t get charged any extra with other titles which use the local Whispernet affiliate. For instance, some Kindle titles are the same whether your zone is Australia or USA, and some (not many, but some) American titles from American publishers actually are cheaper with an AUS zone setting (Michael Connelly’s “The Fifth Witness”, also with “free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet”, which I downloaded recently, was actually only $9.99 for Aussies but it’s $14.99 for Yanks – go figure).

      I’ve never actually seen a book, even set on “Australia”, where there was that big of a difference as there is with Shapiro’s though… almost twice the price??? – that was really a shocker.

    • minicapt Says:

      Obviously then, you’re not putting your tongue in the right cheek at the proper time. Practice, my lad!!


  3. Niall Says:

    And publishers of digital media wonder why torrents and Calibre are going strong.

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