Excessive UK price margins

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Craig Cockburn

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May 11, 1993, 2:14:24 PM5/11/93
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As most of you probably know, the Heritage select committee is currently
looking into UK CD prices and investigating why they are so expensive
in the UK compared to the US. This investigation has made the news
frequently over the last few months as the CD industry tries to
justify its rip off prices

Whilst welcoming the fact that CD prices are being investigated, I think
that this is only one symtom of a much more general problem. It doesn't
seem to matter what it is, virtually every product from clothes and food
to electrical goods and books is cheaper in the US than it is in the UK.
About the only things which are cheaper in the UK are baked beans,
mars bars and cans of coke.

Back in Dec 92/Jan 93 there was a debate here about various UK Vs US
prices and that many people felt they were being ripped off by
artificial exchange rates and excessive profit margins. The US
consumer seems to get a much fairer deal than their conterpart in the
UK.

With this in mind, I wrote to the Chairman of the Trade and Industry
Committee (Mr Caborn), to see if he would investigate the rest of
the rip off UK prices when they have finished looking at CDs. This
is the reply:

From: The Trade and Industry Committee, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Direct Line: 071 219 5469
7th May 1993

Dear Mr Cockburn,
Mr Caborn, Chairman of the Trade and Industry Committee, has asked
me to thank you for your letter of 30 April about profit margins in the UK.

As you rightly say, the Heritage Committee's present inquiry into CD prices
has implications for other types of goods. It is a subject which the Trade
and Industry Committee may wish to examine at some stage. However, the
Committee is about to begin an inquiry into the competitiveness of the UK
manufacturing industry which will last for most of the remainder of this
year, and therefore there will not be time in the near future for the
Committee to consider UK profit margins.

I am sorry not to be able to give you a more encouraging reply.

Yours sincerely,
Dorian Gerhold, Clerk of the Committee.

Well, that's the story. If you'd like something done about UK rip off
prices, then now you know where to write! Please contact the above
address and make your views known, or contact your MP.

Craig

p.s. I'm on the smoke free areas in pubs campaign too, developments in this
area will be forthcoming soon.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Craig Cockburn E-mail: lss...@cs.napier.ac.uk
Napier University Fon/Phone: 031 556 9578 (home)
Edinburgh, Scotland Sgri\obh thugam 'sa Ga\idhlig ma 'se do thoil e.

John F. Leghorn Kramer

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May 12, 1993, 11:24:01 AM5/12/93
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In article <11983.93...@hades.cs.napier.ac.uk> lss...@cs.napier.ac.uk (Craig Cockburn) writes:
>As most of you probably know, the Heritage select committee is currently
>looking into UK CD prices and investigating why they are so expensive
>in the UK compared to the US. This investigation has made the news
>frequently over the last few months as the CD industry tries to
>justify its rip off prices
>
>Whilst welcoming the fact that CD prices are being investigated, I think
>that this is only one symtom of a much more general problem. It doesn't
>seem to matter what it is, virtually every product from clothes and food
>to electrical goods and books is cheaper in the US than it is in the UK.
>About the only things which are cheaper in the UK are baked beans,
>mars bars and cans of coke.

A bit of history. When CD's came out in the UK, the record companies
deliberately overpriced them many times overs the normal margin for
what is considered new technology. They claimed that as production
increased etc etc, that prices would actual compare or be lower than
the price of a record. Almost ten years later, they have yet to make
good that promise and continue to con the public. For CD's prices,
investigate no further than the basic notion that the record companies
are greedy bastards and made the most of new technology to screw joe
public even more.

Happy listening!

Rich Haller

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May 12, 1993, 12:50:15 PM5/12/93
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In article <11983.93...@hades.cs.napier.ac.uk>, lss...@cs.napier.ac.uk

(Craig Cockburn) wrote:
> Whilst welcoming the fact that CD prices are being investigated, I think
> that this is only one symtom of a much more general problem. It doesn't
> seem to matter what it is, virtually every product from clothes and food
> to electrical goods and books is cheaper in the US than it is in the UK.
> About the only things which are cheaper in the UK are baked beans,
> mars bars and cans of coke.
> Craig

Do you mean even after subtracting VAT? We don't have that (yet). Some
states or cities have sales tax, but there is no national sales tax or VAT.
I will say that it did seem to me that UK prices were high when I visited.

-Rich Haller <rha...@ns.uoregon.edu> University of Oregon, Eugene, OR,
USA

Steve McKinty - SunConnect ICNC

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May 13, 1993, 3:23:23 AM5/13/93
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In article <1993May12....@sequent.com>, j...@sequent.com (John "F. Leghorn" Kramer) writes:

> A bit of history. When CD's came out in the UK, the record companies
> deliberately overpriced them many times overs the normal margin for
> what is considered new technology. They claimed that as production
> increased etc etc, that prices would actual compare or be lower than
> the price of a record. Almost ten years later, they have yet to make
> good that promise and continue to con the public.

Whilst I agree that the prices are too high, I don't think anyone's being
conned. Standard sales practice is to charge what the market will bear, and
as long as people are prepared to fork out #15 for a CD, that's what the
companies will sell them for.

If the record buying public could be persuaded to boycott CD purchasing for
6 months it might help, but I doubt if you'd ever make that work.

Steve

--
Steve McKinty
Sun Microsystems ICNC
38240 Meylan, France
email: smck...@france.sun.com BIX: smckinty

Geoff Lane

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May 13, 1993, 9:08:46 AM5/13/93
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Steve McKinty - SunConnect ICNC (smck...@sunicnc.France.Sun.COM) wrote:
: Standard sales practice is to charge what the market will bear, and

: as long as people are prepared to fork out #15 for a CD, that's what the
: companies will sell them for.

Us CD buyers have not missed the fact that a large number of music
orientated magazines come complete with a cover CD each month; we then
wonder exactly how much a CD costs to make, if it is can be given away
``free'' on a cover (it's not free of course, the cover price has usually
gone up a pound or so.) The gap between a 1 pound cover CD and a 15 pound
chart CD is a large one and only about #2.50 of it goes to the artist.

Even allowing reasonable margins for the retailer someone, somewhere is
making a lot of money.


--
Geoff. Lane. | Internet: zza...@uts.mcc.ac.uk | Janet: zza...@uk.ac.mcc.uts
UTS Sys Admin, Manchester Computing Centre, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9PL

He's dead Jim. Grab his tricorder. I'll get his wallet.

Steve McKinty - SunConnect ICNC

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May 13, 1993, 10:53:33 AM5/13/93
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In article <1993May13.1...@nessie.mcc.ac.uk>, zza...@uts.mcc.ac.uk (Geoff Lane) writes:

> Us CD buyers have not missed the fact that a large number of music
> orientated magazines come complete with a cover CD each month; we then
> wonder exactly how much a CD costs to make, if it is can be given away
> ``free'' on a cover (it's not free of course, the cover price has usually
> gone up a pound or so.) The gap between a 1 pound cover CD and a 15 pound
> chart CD is a large one and only about #2.50 of it goes to the artist.
>
> Even allowing reasonable margins for the retailer someone, somewhere is
> making a lot of money.

Some years ago I saw figures indicating that a CD costs about 50p to stamp,
plus a few more pennies on the jewel box, sleeve etc. The record companies
do indeed rake in a fortune, but if we (the CD buying public) continue
to give it to them, they aren't going to stop.

Steve

Paul Birrel

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May 13, 1993, 2:24:22 PM5/13/93
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lss...@cs.napier.ac.uk (Craig Cockburn) writes:
> As most of you probably know, the Heritage select committee is currently
> looking into UK CD prices and investigating why they are so expensive
> in the UK compared to the US. This investigation has made the news
> frequently over the last few months as the CD industry tries to
> justify its rip off prices
>
> Whilst welcoming the fact that CD prices are being investigated, I think
> that this is only one symtom of a much more general problem. It doesn't
> seem to matter what it is, virtually every product from clothes and food
> to electrical goods and books is cheaper in the US than it is in the UK.
> About the only things which are cheaper in the UK are baked beans,
> mars bars and cans of coke.
>
>
> Craig
>
> p.s. I'm on the smoke free areas in pubs campaign too, developments in this
> area will be forthcoming soon.
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Craig Cockburn E-mail: lss...@cs.napier.ac.uk
> Napier University Fon/Phone: 031 556 9578 (home)
> Edinburgh, Scotland Sgri\obh thugam 'sa Ga\idhlig ma 'se do thoil e.

--Hello Craig. Being from Glasgow and living in Fresno, California, I
couldn't agree with you more regarding the price of consumer products. I
am returning to Glasgow in June for a year and am bringing my CDs with me.
I refuse to help the Virgin Megastore grow even larger.

Re: smoke free pubs, the city in which I live in the US has just passed an
ordinance banning in all restaurants. It's a start at least.

Paul

______________________________________________________________________________
Ignorance is curable...it takes but an open mind and libraries, and maybe
a few pints.
______________________________________________________________________________

Craig Cockburn

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May 14, 1993, 8:59:32 AM5/14/93
to
Re: The article by Steve McKinty..

> In article <1993May12....@sequent.com>, j...@sequent.com (John "F. Leghorn" Kramer) writes:
>
> > A bit of history. When CD's came out in the UK, the record companies
> > deliberately overpriced them many times overs the normal margin for
> > what is considered new technology. They claimed that as production
> > increased etc etc, that prices would actual compare or be lower than
> > the price of a record. Almost ten years later, they have yet to make
> > good that promise and continue to con the public.
>
> Whilst I agree that the prices are too high, I don't think anyone's being

> conned. Standard sales practice is to charge what the market will bear, and


> as long as people are prepared to fork out #15 for a CD, that's what the
> companies will sell them for.
>

Depends what you mean by "the price the market will bear". PRicing has had
an effect on CD sales in the UK it seems, and whilst the CD manufacturers
are still making a profit (that's all that matters in a free market isn't
it?) the public is saying that CD prices are too high. This is borne out
by the fact that the number of CDs in the UK per CD player is only half
the number it is in the US. Perhaps UK buyers would buy more if the prices
were more reasonable?

Andrew Ment

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May 14, 1993, 6:01:24 PM5/14/93
to

>Steve

Another contributing factor to the disparity in price is the different
natures of the U.S. and U.K. music industries. ecorded music of all kinds
(since they effectively no longer produce records in the U.S.) this would
include casettes and CD's, are more expensive by a factor of almost two in
the U.K. I think this probably has something to do with the fact that the
UK industry must cater to a public that demands consistently new products.
UK music sales are based on the performance of *singles* which have a much
shorter lifespan than albums which determine performance in the U.S. Also,
since U.S. firms can count on the public buying a huge proportion of Allman
Brothers, Who, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, era the business is much less
risky. I think that Pink Floyd's The Wall is still in the top twenty annual
album sales.

I think that much of the markup has to do with the fact that given the
fickleness of consumer demand for any one group, the record companies rarely
get to produce at the maximum levels of efficiency. That said, I am sure
that the generally higher cost of living in the UK allows the record
companies to mask some of their markup.

Andrew
--
-------------------------------
email: me...@cs.swarthmore.edu
-------------------------------

C R Pennell

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May 16, 1993, 7:17:13 AM5/16/93
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me...@cs.swarthmore.edu (Andrew Ment) writes:
: Another contributing factor to the disparity in price is the different

: natures of the U.S. and U.K. music industries. ecorded music of all kinds
: (since they effectively no longer produce records in the U.S.) this would
: include casettes and CD's, are more expensive by a factor of almost two in
: the U.K. I think this probably has something to do with the fact that the
: UK industry must cater to a public that demands consistently new products.
: UK music sales are based on the performance of *singles* which have a much
: shorter lifespan than albums which determine performance in the U.S. Also,
: since U.S. firms can count on the public buying a huge proportion of Allman
: Brothers, Who, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, era the business is much less
: risky. I think that Pink Floyd's The Wall is still in the top twenty annual
: album sales.
:
: I think that much of the markup has to do with the fact that given the
: fickleness of consumer demand for any one group, the record companies rarely
: get to produce at the maximum levels of efficiency. That said, I am sure
: that the generally higher cost of living in the UK allows the record
: companies to mask some of their markup.

There may be something in this: keeping up with fashion and all that,
different size of teh markets.

So I have a suggestion. Lets take a CLASSICAL piece - and an immensely
popular one. Beethoven's Sixth (Pastoral) Symphony in a recording that
should be available in classical music shops everywhere.
Deutsche Grammophon: Claudio Abbado conducting Weiner Philharmoniker on a
diskette Meerestille (opus 112) and Fantasie c-minor (op 80) [ut
mineur/c-moll / do minore. On cd 419 779-2. What is the price in
1. USA
2. Britain
3. Irish republic
4. Germany
5. France
6. Australia
7. Canada
8. Italy
9. New Zealand
10. Anywhere else
Remember to specify the tax rate included in the purchase tax.

To kicj off:

11. Singapore - $Sing 28 (=Pounds 11.60)
No VAT/ Sales tax in SIngapore at the moment (THAT benefit is coming soon)

You don't need to buy iy, of course - just a phone call to you friendlyu
local dealer - and please avoid special offers.

Richard Pennell History NUS.

Ronald_J. Bartle

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May 16, 1993, 2:50:01 PM5/16/93
to

>To kicj off:

>Richard Pennell History NUS.

I'm afreid I can't give the German price at the moment but I would like
to hear what the price is in terms of no of minutes or hours/minutes
that one would have to work (e.g. as a backery shop saleswoman!) in the
various countries to pay for the CD! Just a figure in money which then
gets converted into other figures in other currencies etc says very
little compared to the above method of comparison!

How about this?

snuffy
(the last cold/war cornish vet at the wall!)


--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
EMAIL:snu...@zelator.in-berlin.de Ronald_J. Bartle
"Ron is looking for new work Berlin" (voice)+49.30.68963546
-But I do rent rooms again!" Fax: +49.30.6860053
===============================================================================

C R Pennell

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May 17, 1993, 4:26:55 AM5/17/93
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snu...@zelator.in-berlin.de (Ronald_J. Bartle) writes:
in reply to my suggestion about comparing prices of records
: I'm afreid I can't give the German price at the moment but I would like

: to hear what the price is in terms of no of minutes or hours/minutes
: that one would have to work (e.g. as a backery shop saleswoman!) in the
: various countries to pay for the CD! Just a figure in money which then
: gets converted into other figures in other currencies etc says very
: little compared to the above method of comparison!
:
: How about this?

A valid point, in determining the value in a society. We would be
comparing two different things though. Here. 1. the absolute price: since
that is what the argument is about anyway: that forbidding parrallel
imports is the operation of a cartel
2 Snuffy's idea is to compare
value, in a way. A good point: so lets do both - but not bakery shop
workers - rare in some places (Singapore for instance) How about
supermarket checkout people as starting salaries, no experience. But don't
forget to stipulate length of working week. [cue SOCIAL CHARTER, John
Major alarums off]


So let's have both.

Richard Pennell,

Rich Haller

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May 17, 1993, 12:28:20 PM5/17/93
to
In article <1993May17.0...@nuscc.nus.sg>, his...@nuscc.nus.sg (C R

Pennell) wrote:
> A valid point, in determining the value in a society. We would be
> comparing two different things though. Here. 1. the absolute price: since
> that is what the argument is about anyway: that forbidding parrallel
> imports is the operation of a cartel
> 2 Snuffy's idea is to compare
> value, in a way. A good point: so lets do both - but not bakery shop
> workers - rare in some places (Singapore for instance) How about
> supermarket checkout people as starting salaries, no experience. But don't
> forget to stipulate length of working week. [cue SOCIAL CHARTER, John
> Major alarums off]
>
>
> So let's have both.
>
> Richard Pennell,

A method of comparison that has become popular is 'Big Mac' equivalents.
That is, divide the item's by the price of a McDonalds Big Mac.

Struan Gray

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May 18, 1993, 9:02:19 AM5/18/93
to
In article <1993May16....@nuscc.nus.sg> C R Pennell,
his...@nuscc.nus.sg writes:

> So I have a suggestion. Lets take a CLASSICAL piece - and an
> immensely popular one. Beethoven's Sixth (Pastoral) Symphony
> in a recording that should be available in classical music shops
> everywhere. Deutsche Grammophon: Claudio Abbado conducting
> Weiner Philharmoniker on a diskette Meerestille (opus 112) and
> Fantasie c-minor (op 80) [ut mineur/c-moll / do minore. On
> cd 419 779-2. What is the price in

[various lands deleted]


>Remember to specify the tax rate included in the purchase tax.

>11. Singapore - $Sing 28 (=Pounds 11.60)


>No VAT/ Sales tax in SIngapore at the moment (THAT benefit
> is coming soon)

Sweden: SKR150 (approx Pounds 13.00) incl. 20% VAT

I'm surprised none of the resident Economist regurgitators have
mentioned the recent article on this subject. It's conclusion was
that most of the extra cost payed by British consumers was added
between retail and wholesale, and that wholesale prices in the UK
and the US are pretty well equivalent. This implies that it is the
retailers and not the record companies who are twatting the
consumer. However, what it doesn't say is how much power the record
distributers have over the prices that the record shops set.

Why is it that individual CDs are either on offer everywhere or
nowhere? Why are prices exactly the same in almost all shops? Why
is it that although amateur groups can record and sell music for
their mothers on CD much more cheaply and easily than they could
with LPs, professional outfits blather on about how much more a CD
is worth. It is possible that all sellers of music are in an unholy
cabal but that seems unlikely, especially as even non-specialist
retailers like Woolworths and W.H.Smiths who otherwise compete
fiercely with each other follow the same pricing as everybody else.

To me this indicates a too rigid distribution agreement, and
places the blame back in the laps of the record companies. The lack
of discount retailers in an overpriced market further reinforces
this belief, since it implies that they simply cannot get hold of
reliable supplies of CDs. What I do not understand is why the
record companies do this, since the benefit ends up in the pockets
of the retailers. Maybe the answer is that artificially higher
prices feed the perception of quality that maintains the highly
profitable difference in price between CDs and cassettes.

I believe that the record companies are acting in concert to
inflate prices, and will be huffed and puffed at to bring the
in-shop cost down, but I also believe that we are witnessing another
storm in a teacup distraction from more important issues. Don't
forget that Britain has a tradition of milking the consumer and the
taxpayer in order to 'protect' domestic producers (cars,
electronics, food) or because of a percieved threat to 'quality'
(the BBC, the Net Book Agreement, subsidised arts). Much more
insidious and destructive overpricing takes place everyday,
particularly in the realm of farm products, and I can't help feeling
that a lot of the outrage recently expressed by parliament and the
media is just another example of the British habit of kicking over
molehills while the slag heap threatens to engulf the village school.

Craig Cockburn

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May 17, 1993, 11:56:20 AM5/17/93
to
Re Steve's article:

> From: smck...@sunicnc.France.Sun.COM (Steve McKinty - SunConnect ICNC)
> Newsgroups: soc.culture.british
> Subject: Re: Excessive UK price margins
> Date: 13 May 1993 07:23:23 GMT
> Message-ID: <1sst1c...@uk-news.uk.sun.com>
> References: <11983.93...@hades.cs.napier.ac.uk> <1993May12....@sequent.com>
> NNTP-Posting-Host: hardy.france.sun.com
>
> Whilst I agree that the prices are too high, I don't think anyone's being
> conned. Standard sales practice is to charge what the market will bear, and
> as long as people are prepared to fork out #15 for a CD, that's what the
> companies will sell them for.
>
> If the record buying public could be persuaded to boycott CD purchasing for
> 6 months it might help, but I doubt if you'd ever make that work.
>

It isn't just the UK public that's being conned, it's the artists too.
The number of CDs sold per CD player is only half the level in the UK than it
is in the US. Perhaps the price of CDs here has something to do with it?

How would you feel if you were in a band and your CDs were only selling in
half the quantities they ought to because CDs were being sold "at a price
the market could bear". If it was me, i'd be pretty pissed off that I was only
getting half the royalties I should be.

Charles E Thorne

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May 19, 1993, 3:32:28 PM5/19/93
to
In article <1993May18.1...@nomina.lu.se> Struan Gray <strua...@sljus.lu.se> writes:
>In article <1993May16....@nuscc.nus.sg> C R Pennell,
> his...@nuscc.nus.sg writes:

>> So I have a suggestion. Lets take a CLASSICAL piece - and an
>> immensely popular one. Beethoven's Sixth (Pastoral) Symphony
>> in a recording that should be available in classical music shops
>> everywhere. Deutsche Grammophon: Claudio Abbado conducting
>> Weiner Philharmoniker on a diskette Meerestille (opus 112) and
>> Fantasie c-minor (op 80) [ut mineur/c-moll / do minore. On
>> cd 419 779-2. What is the price in
> [various lands deleted]
>>Remember to specify the tax rate included in the purchase tax.

>>11. Singapore - $Sing 28 (=Pounds 11.60)
>>No VAT/ Sales tax in SIngapore at the moment (THAT benefit
>> is coming soon)

> Sweden: SKR150 (approx Pounds 13.00) incl. 20% VAT

> I'm surprised none of the resident Economist regurgitators have
>mentioned the recent article on this subject. It's conclusion was
>that most of the extra cost payed by British consumers was added
>between retail and wholesale, and that wholesale prices in the UK
>and the US are pretty well equivalent. This implies that it is the
>retailers and not the record companies who are twatting the
>consumer. However, what it doesn't say is how much power the record
>distributers have over the prices that the record shops set.

But how much of this price is tax that Britain is imposing to keep the
CD's from arriving?

Charlie


Struan Gray

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May 20, 1993, 1:39:55 PM5/20/93
to
In article <1te20c$9...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>

Charles E Thorne, cth...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu writes:

> But how much of this price is tax that Britain is imposing to
> keep the CD's from arriving?

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

If you mean 'does the UK impose a tax on CDs' the answer is no.

If you mean how much of the UK price is direct tax, the answer
is 17.5%: the current VAT rate for most goods in Britain. VAT is
paid but reclaimable by all the businesses between digging the
petrochemicals out of the ground and putting the CD in the carrier
bag, so you would expect it to inflate the price jump between
distribution and retail. However, its effect is too small to
explain the difference between UK and US prices.

If you mean 'would CD prices be cheaper if UK tax rates on
businesses were different' the answer is blowing in the wind.

Struan

Rich Haller

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May 20, 1993, 3:32:22 PM5/20/93
to
In article <1993May20.1...@nomina.lu.se>, strua...@sljus.lu.se

(Struan Gray) wrote:
>
> In article <1te20c$9...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>
> Charles E Thorne, cth...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu writes:
>
> > But how much of this price is tax that Britain is imposing to
> > keep the CD's from arriving?
>
> I'm not sure what you mean by this.
>
> If you mean 'does the UK impose a tax on CDs' the answer is no.
>
>
> Struan

However, I have read that there are duties on imported CDs that protect the
artificially high prices of UK CDs. Otherwise they would be forced to lower
their prices because no one would buy them. Perhaps he is referring to the
duties.

Ronald_J. Bartle

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May 18, 1993, 1:17:57 AM5/18/93
to

>Richard Pennell,

No objection to the supermarket check-out starting wage! Just any
generally present "everyday" sort of job/salary will be fine so long as
all reports use the same "base/line"!

Will be watching interestedly to see responses comming in!

(I must find out about the CD price here myself - have no cd-player
myself and so have never bought CD's(dosen't reduce the interest in
comparative economics!) ;)

snuffy

Ronald_J. Bartle

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May 18, 1993, 11:22:10 PM5/18/93
to

unfortunatly the `Big Mac'equivalent method would completly obliterate
many differentials and make the question of "why so much more expensive
here (or there!) dissapear completly" - because; Big Macs are deffinitly
one of the first things to be overpriced in Europe(especially UK in
terms relating to wages..!) compared to US!

snuffy

Gwyn Evans @ IME

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May 21, 1993, 3:55:55 AM5/21/93
to

In article <rhaller-20...@rhaller.cc.uoregon.edu>,

rha...@ns.uoregon.edu (Rich Haller) writes:
>
>In article <1993May20.1...@nomina.lu.se>, strua...@sljus.lu.se
>(Struan Gray) wrote:
>>
>> In article <1te20c$9...@charm.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu>
>> Charles E Thorne, cth...@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu writes:
>>
>> > But how much of this price is tax that Britain is imposing to
>> > keep the CD's from arriving?
>>
>> I'm not sure what you mean by this.
>>
>> If you mean 'does the UK impose a tax on CDs' the answer is no.
>>
>>
>> Struan
>
>However, I have read that there are duties on imported CDs that protect the
>artificially high prices of UK CDs. Otherwise they would be forced to lower
>their prices because no one would buy them. Perhaps he is referring to the
>duties.
>
Just to attempt to clarify this a little... To the best of my knowledge,
there's no specific duty payable on imported CD's, however, goods imported
into the UK in excess of the personal allowance (about £32 per person from
a non-EEC country, I think) are liable to have excise duty levied upon them.
at a rate somewhere around 5% (I'm not sure of the exact rate) although I
don't think that VAT is payable on goods bought abroad.

The only goods-specific tax that I could think of was the special car
tax, which was abolished in the last budget.

Gwyn
--
+============================================================================+
| Gwyn Evans @ IME |eva...@uproar.enet.dec.com| Views expressed and |
| Digital Trading Solutions | DTN 769-8108 | statements made are |
| Uxbridge, Middlesex, U.K. | gw...@cix.compulink.co.uk | mine, not Digital's |
+============================================================================+

Vincent J. Perricelli

unread,
May 21, 1993, 10:24:51 AM5/21/93
to

[...]

>So I have a suggestion. Lets take a CLASSICAL piece - and an immensely
>popular one. Beethoven's Sixth (Pastoral) Symphony in a recording that
>should be available in classical music shops everywhere.
>Deutsche Grammophon: Claudio Abbado conducting Weiner Philharmoniker on a
>diskette Meerestille (opus 112) and Fantasie c-minor (op 80) [ut
>mineur/c-moll / do minore. On cd 419 779-2. What is the price in
>1. USA
[...]

>Remember to specify the tax rate included in the purchase tax.
[...]
>Richard Pennell History NUS.

Price at Tower Records (a national chain) in Cleveland, Ohio, USA:

$17.11 -- about #11.11

($17.11 = $15.99 sticker price + 7% local/state sales tax)

Most CD's (classical, rock, pop, etc.) at Tower seem to have sticker
prices of $11.99 - $15.99.

Vince Perricelli
cm...@cleveland.freenet.edu

Rich Haller

unread,
May 21, 1993, 2:23:15 PM5/21/93
to
In article <1993May21....@decuk.uvo.dec.com>,

eva...@uproar.enet.dec.com (Gwyn Evans @ IME) wrote:
>
>
> In article <rhaller-20...@rhaller.cc.uoregon.edu>,
> rha...@ns.uoregon.edu (Rich Haller) writes:
> >However, I have read that there are duties on imported CDs that protect the
> >artificially high prices of UK CDs. Otherwise they would be forced to lower
> >their prices because no one would buy them. Perhaps he is referring to the
> >duties.
> >
> Just to attempt to clarify this a little... To the best of my knowledge,
> there's no specific duty payable on imported CD's, however, goods imported
> into the UK in excess of the personal allowance (about 32 per person from
> a non-EEC country, I think) are liable to have excise duty levied upon them.
> at a rate somewhere around 5% (I'm not sure of the exact rate) although I
> don't think that VAT is payable on goods bought abroad.

My memory is that there is some sort of charge, probably a tariff rather
than a duty, that is specifically meant to protect UK CD companies.

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