HERE) which brought this to my attention - in my review I listed the US price at $3.44 which is the price I saw when I went onto Amazon.Com to check the book out. The author promptly emailed me saying that the price in the US is actually $2.99 - and yet I was still getting $3.44 when I visited the Amazon US store -Why was this? Well it seem it's a complicated business and Amazon are charging international buyers a surcharge when titles are purchased through the Amazon US store. The fact that the book offers great value at either price is besides the point.
Some have suggested that the reason for this is that international data roaming can be expensive - yet this would only apply if you were buying the eBook over the Kindle's 3G network, since if you were using the wireless to connect than you are merely using your own internet connection.
Another reason for this surcharge, at least to UK customers, is that the current government is a limp coalition with the nasty party very much in charge, and they classify eBooks as software rather than books. The reason for this is that there is no VAT payable on books but there is on software. So is it the British government that are forcing Amazon's hand over the surcharge? If this was so then this should only affect UK customers but I am informed that everyone outside of the US and Canada is charged this extra rate when using the US Amazon store. So maybe, for once, it is not the fault of those self serving, library closing, warmongering, manifesto-breaking, cut-making toffs in the British government. Mind you, pretty much everything else is!
Amazon commented - "International customers do pay a higher price for their books than US customers due to higher operating costs outside of the US. Additionally, VAT rates in the EU are higher on eBooks than on print books."
However that seems to be bollocks when you consider that Project Guttenberg doesn't charge for it's free downloads outside the US, the books are not just free to those in the US. And with most other digital stores it seems eBook prices are the same for US customers and those elsewhere in the world. Something seems not quite right here.
Another important factor is that, despite the above statement Amazon don't seem to be upfront about this extra charge. Check out Misfit Lil again from the UK but using the US store and the price is clearly stated at $3.44, when the books should be $2.99, but we are not told there is a surcharge or that the actual price set by the publisher is $2.99. If the surcharge can be justified then the price should come up as $2.99 but state that there is an extra charge for international buyers.If you email Amazon about this they come back with the above statement, but this should be made clear in the Amazon store itself.
My bet is that most people are unaware of this extra charge.
So what's going on? What is the reason for this surcharge?
(Shrugs shoulders,scratches head,frowns) - I've no idea!!!