I have an exceptional interest in this. Co-owning an insurance agency, my competition is the internet and direct corporate sales along with other brokerages. I've always thought it unfair that while I can "build" a car online, I cannot buy it. The fact that this problem needs to be solved was made apparently to me last year when the dealer I eventually bought my new car from all but refused to get me the car I wanted and I haven't been as happy with it as I had hoped to be as a result.
Insurance agencies everywhere are not only still in business but profiting quite nicely, even though anyone can purchase almost any insurance online and without benefit of human interaction. Why are we still around? We back up our sales with service. And if a client doesn't get the service they want, the agent risks losing the client to a competitor who will give better service. And if a client feels they can never get what they want from an agent, then can buy direct from the company.
I think car dealers need that same competitive risk. I know for me it would have made my latest car-buying experience more positive. Dealers will do just fine. They'll lose a small amount of sales. If insurance is an indication, only a small and not really growing percentage of most insurance is purchased online. The majority is still bought and sold face to face. Car dealers will always have customers who wish to purchase via relationship-selling.
The other thing they haven't mentioned, is how much the publisher increases prices based on potential resales of the same book. With ebooks, there's no second sale ... yet, so we should not be expecting those 1st sale prices to be as high.
That's something Microsoft could have done to sell the controlled used game problem on the original XBox One design. A disk sale could have been $60 - trade it all you want. Or buy it digitally for $25 and then, like current digital goods, no returns or exchanges.
Thank you for including the quote about how, if Apple was responding to possible problems with Amazon's pricing, their solution was flawed. You're the only site that seems to be reporting this particular tidbit.
I've been an ebook purchaser since 2008 and I'd always thought something was fishy how prices suddenly hiked when Apple came on the scene.
I've always felt the storage marketing needs reform anyway. My 32 GB iPad has only 28.xx GB of space available because of the OS. I buy a 1 TB HDD, I have 8xx GB of space to use. Selling me something of one size when I actually have a smaller one is always a little upsetting. I know formatting and mathematical calculations take up some of it, but it seems like this whole concept of upgrading to more storage seems in need of reform.
I also moved away from paid TV a couple years ago. Got myself a mac mini, an HDMI cable, and an app to control the mini through my iPad. Watch most of my TV for free through Hulu, Netflix, or the show's websites. A couple I have to get through iTunes, but a couple of season passes once a year cost less than one month of DirecTv.
A valid point, the software to do text to speech is a lot better than it used to be (my Kindle does a better job than my old Mac LC running OS 6, for example), but as an avid listener of audiobooks, the acting a professional reader gives in the audiobooks far outweighs what a computer can do. You can hear the difference. I don't think inflection will be mastered by software anytime in our near future. At least, not for the purposes of reading our audiobooks.
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