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Young Geoffrey

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More Random Gloats (No More Pointless Apologies) [Apr. 17th, 2004|10:25 am]
Young Geoffrey
Monopolize This

All right, I admit it: advertising sometimes does have an effect on me. A flyer that came with yesterday's Globe and Mail advertised Margaret MacMillan's Paris 1919 for something like $19.95 at Indigo. I had decided to buy a copy of Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren for L (yes, we saw each other again last weekend and are tentatively set again for this, thanks for asking) and so went in to kill two birds with one stone. While there, I thought to see if they had a copy of Koestler's The Sleepwalkers. I'd lent my ancient, tattered edition to L and told her to just toss out the pages as she finished them.

Long story short: No copy of The Sleepwalkers in the store, but they have it at their warehouse. Very good, sez I, I'd like to order it.

But guess what? There's a delivery charge! Same price I would be if they delivered it to my fucking door! Since when do bookstores charge a fee for placing a special-order? Especially when the desired volume is in stock at their warehouse.

Christ. You'd think I'd know better than to patronize a monstrous semi-monopoly like that. It's Book City or something independent from now on, even if their in-stock selection isn't as extensive.

Meet Joe Cool

Oh the bitter irony: Now that I'm wearing contact lenses most of the time (though I didn't manage to get them in today), I've had to go out to buy a pair of sunglasses.

I like them. There's something fun about knowing people can't see your eyes.

I should gain 50 pounds, move to Alabama and become a State Trooper.

Will I Stay or Will I Go

The moment of truth approaches in the trenches of wage-slavery. I handed in my application for my company's voluntary severance package this week and, apparently, will find out on Tuesday whether or not I will soon join the ranks of the happily unemployed. I am trying not to get my hopes up, but it's difficult; I really need to find another place and maybe another way to support myself.

Finally ...

... I don't for one moment believe those awful rumours about our beloved Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Paul Martin, and the blueberry cheesecake.

You people really ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

[User Picture]From: sabotabby
2004-04-17 10:51 am (UTC)

Got your message, but I've been doing protesty-things all weekend so I haven't had a chance to call ya back. How's next week shaping up for a beer or ten?

Mmmm...blueberry cheesecake.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-04-17 12:57 pm (UTC)
Mmmm...blueberry cheesecake.

Indeed; I feel hungry all of a sudden.

Next week should be good - if I get notice that my voluntary severance has been accepted I'll be dancing in the streets (which, considering how I dance, might lead you to wish for my continued employment).

Definitely give me a call when you get the chance. We can do those beers and find out whether your fiery revolutionary fervour can outdrink my creeping bourgeois accomodationist tendencies.
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[User Picture]From: sabotabby
2004-04-17 01:55 pm (UTC)
Heh, I can't outdrink anyone.

By the way, I have Paris, 1919 if you want to borrow it.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-04-20 05:08 am (UTC)
Thank you, but I bought the damned thing. In a moment of weakness a couple of months' back, I bought their "loyalty" card, so I want my money back before I start my boycott.

(Lord, I sound like such a hypocrite, don't I?)
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From: borntohula
2004-04-17 01:45 pm (UTC)
I work at an Indigo, and it seems to me the reason behind the shipping charge is as follows:

It costs exactly the same to ship a book to your house as it does to have it shipped to the store. I don't see why it's so surprising there's a delivery charge, since the book doesn't just go in with the rest of the bulk stock deliveries. It has to be packaged and delivered individually, hence the extra cost.

Just out of curiousity, did you buy Paris 1919? Because it really confuses me when I cash out people who, while purchasing a discounted book, complain about how Indigo is such a monopoly instead of paying full price for it at an independant book store.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-04-20 05:15 am (UTC)
That's more or less what the clerk told me, but I don't buy it. If they delivered it to my house, they would need to pay a courier for that unique trip, as opposed to dropping it in a box labelled "Indigo: Richmond Street" with a sticky note and my name on it (I know, it would be a little more complicated than that).

But yeah, I did by the Paris book, along with a copy of Dhalgren for L. As I mentioned in a another reply, I want to recoup what I spent on the discount card before I cease darkening Indigo's attractive and well-laid out shelves.

Soon, though, my complaints will not sound quite so hollow.
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From: borntohula
2004-04-20 09:17 am (UTC)
Special orders come to our store via courier as well. It's the same shipping method. In fact, I think you're pretty much better off having it ship to the store because Xpresspost never checks to see if you're at home and if the package doesn't fit into your mailbox they'll just drop it off at the nearest post office, where they'll only hold it for a few days before sending it back to us and thus begins a goose chase on your part. I always tell people that to have it shipped to your home basically means to have it shipped to your nearest postal outlet.

And really, I think the Indigo monopoly is not really the company's fault. People prefer cheaper books. If they cared about in-store variety they wouldn't go to Indigo. 90% don't care. They're women, in and out for the latest romance novel or shopaholic book, or someone picking up a best-seller. Those who do care, have discovered the wonders of ordering books online. The only small book stores that are worth going to these days are the specialized ones - the witchy wicca stores or university textbook stores.

My two cents.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-04-20 10:45 am (UTC)
Special orders come to our store via courier as well. It's the same shipping method.

That sounds to me like another example of corporate intelligence at work, but it may be there's some method in that madness.

As for your second point, given the nature of capitalism and its natural encouragement of corporate gigantism (no matter how damaging it is to itself in the long-term), I'll accept that Indigo's near-monopoly isn't entirely its fault. At the same time, the same kind of predatory pricing that got me into the store on this particular occasion is also the sort of behaviour that has kicked the hell out of its smaller competitors over the past few years.

And I've certainly noticed that, since Indigo swallowed Chapters, the in-store selection is much poorer than it used to be.

You're more or less right about the good bookstores; but unless things have really changed, they'll still special-order without a "service" fee.
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[User Picture]From: vienneau
2004-04-17 07:29 pm (UTC)

It's great to hear that you and L are getting along! Excellent!

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2004-04-20 05:16 am (UTC)
Thank you, though it's a little scary, too.
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