Sunday, February 10, 2008

David vs Goliath or LFB vs Amazon: You can buy the hype or buy cheaper books.

A lot of people simply buy the hype and don’t look at the substance. And the hype is that Amazon is cheaper when it comes to libertarian books. Well, it just isn’t so. We recently compared 75 titles we stock and compared them to the prices at Amazon. We were surprised. And, no, we didn’t cherry pick titles to favor us. We took titles in lots of 10 from the beginning, middle and end of our list. And they were in random order to begin with.

First, out of the 75 titles Amazon doesn’t even stock 21 of them. They don’t sell these books or DVDs. If you were to go to the Amazon site to order those 21 books they would place the order with Laissez Faire and have us ship you the books. They would, of course, take 20% for doing this. You could get the title directly from us at the same price that Amazon would charge you but the postage costs would be lower. Amazon charges a flat fee on these orders of $3.99 per book. We charge actual postage rates plus .50¢ for the box and that almost always comes out less. This is especially true when it comes to multiple books. One poor fellow ordered 10 books from us through Amazon. He was charged $39.90 for shipping. We felt awful and sent it expedited mail, instead of the slower service Amazon offered, and that was only $8.95. His order cost him $30 more than necessary because he didn’t buy direct from us.

Our next surprise was the cost of this basket of titles (those you could get from Amazon that is). Of course, we had to delete the 21 titles that Amazon doesn’t actual sell themselves, and which they would order from us to ship to you. So our final basket had 54 titles in it. Amazon’s cost for those books would be $681.52. The same titles from Laissez Faire would be $610.94. That would mean that Laissez Faire was $70.58 cheaper. The difference means that the same basket of books cost about 12% more from Amazon than what it would cost from Laissez Faire.

And, while we applaud profit making companies, we are a libertarian educational foundation. We only carry libertarian books. And we publish them as well --- something Amazon would never do. We also distribute books to various think tanks and worthy students around the world free. Our goal is spreading the libertarian message. But if that sort of outreach message doesn’t concern you then just look at the bottom line. The choice is yours. You can buy the hype or you can buy books at better prices.

No comments: