Four Ways You Can Save Money On Books

September 26, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Business, Finance and Investment 

Not many people would dispute that Australian consumers get ripped off when buying books.

I first noticed this in the year 2000, when the GST was introduced by the Howard government. I was a university student, and the cost of a single textbook had broken the $100 barrier. It seemed that book prices had virtually doubled overnight. When I asked the manager, I was told that the introduction of the 10% GST and the new accounting procedures added a lot of overhead.

I think that’s only a small part of the explanation:

In Australia, four chain bookstores dominate retail book sales: Dymocks, Angus & Robertson, Borders & the Co-op Bookshop. They are traditional walk-in bookshops with large displays, elaborate decorations and many staff. Online book retailing in Australia has not yet reached the mainstream as it is in the USA and Europe.

Also, Australia has controversial laws preventing parallel importation – stores are not allowed to legally sell a cheaply imported book published overseas if the same book has also been published locally. There have been calls to change these laws to allow parallel importation,  but I doubt it will reduce prices significantly.

Despite this, there are still many things you can do to avoid overspending on books. Here is a list:

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