Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Summer Sales

I dropped by HMV today and was surprised to find them laying out their wares for their summer sale. So, I browsed around a bit and managed to get the MIB 1+2 box set for only GBP 2.70. That's 67.5p per DVD!

Alvin and I were telling Voon the other day that DVDs in the UK are friggin' cheap. I've rarely paid more than 3 quid for a DVD here. I've not been back home in Malaysia for a couple of years but I've been told by some friends that the price of pirated DVDs is about RM 5-8 per disc. This makes my original purchase here, cheaper than the pirated discs at home.

That's one of the reasons why I don't buy pirated discs. They cost so much, and the quality is suspect. It isn't that they're stupid cinema copies. These days, they're usually verbatim copies of the originals, including any special box set covers. It's just that sometimes, the disc isn't made very well and doesn't play on all players. Then, the customer service sucks and trying to get a refund is impossible.

If originals in Malaysia sold for the same prices that originals here sold for, the pirates would quickly run out of business. I'm not quite certain why retailers here like Virgin and HMV can afford to sell off their inventory at such low costs while those at home, like Speedy, can't. I'd imagine that they get their stocks from similar sources and the business overhead is certainly cheaper in Malaysia.

This led me to the hypothesis that the retailers in Malaysia are keeping the prices of original DVDs artificially inflated in order to boost sales of pirated DVDs at high prices. If you compare the price of pirated DVDs in Malaysia with those in the region, we're certainly charging a hefty sum for it. But the only reason for the retailers to do this is if they are in cahoots with the pirates. That would mean that their retail outlets are merely fronts for their business and they actually make their money from pirates.

Nothing would surprise me. But like I said, this is just my pet hypothesis. No evidence whatsoever.

PS: I might drop by again tomorrow go get the Cube trilogy.

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