Over the last few weeks we’ve been having a lively discussion about Kingsway’s practice of offering “discounts” at kingswayshop.com by comparing their own prices to their own RRPs, typified in the following screenshot of the new Very Best of Graham Kendrick album:
If you’re new to the story, you can backtrack by reading through these posts:
- Kingsway, Cross Rhythms and the cost of Christian music: are retailers being priced out of the market? (May 17, 2010)
- Amazon, Kingsway, STL and the Art of Customer Service (May 20, 2010)
- Kingsway: John Paculabo Responds (May 28, 2010)
I have invited Kingsway to respond to retailers’ concerns about the situation, summarising the problem in the form of four questions:
- Do you consider it a fair practice to compare your own prices to your own RRPs in order to present things at a discount?
- If so, on what basis?
- Are you aware of the impact this practice is having on retailers, your trade partners?
- Does this concern you and if so, how do you propose to address it, please?
Kingsway’s only responses to date have come from John Paculabo, who has evaded the questions, made repeated attempts to dismiss this blog as a venue for discussion and, rather than prioritise or address the matter, has instead called for a meeting to be held in London on July 21, departing with a metaphorical stamp of his foot and declaring,
This is my last, absolutely once and forever last posting on this blog, which ensures you can have the fnal [sic] word Phil.
… and whilst it’s very gracious of John to offer me the last word, I take this opportunity to assure him and all concerned that I don’t want it: this remains an open forum and my invitation to John (or any other representative of the David C Cook group of companies if John himself really has spoken his last word) to contribute a guest post also remains open.
Before we get to the polls, however, a word to those inclined to vote in favour of Kingsway’s practice: please read the Government’s Pricing practices guide: guidance for traders on good practice in giving information about prices (pdf, 422kb | Google Docs ‘Quick View’) before you cast your vote. If after reading those guidelines you still believe that Kingsway’s practice of comparing their own prices to their own RRPs when they have never charged those RRPs is a fair business practice, then by all means vote in favour — but remember that by making that choice you are giving your approval to any other retailer who also manufactures their own products to do likewise: that dress, for instance, which you see advertised in the M&S Sizzling Summer Sale at Our price £15, RRP £25 would never need to have been offered anywhere at £25: the supposed discount becomes a deception and the so-called RRP becomes nothing more than a baited hook to lure you in.
Update, 13/06/2010: For a closer look at Kingsway’s pricing practice with specific reference to the Government’s guidelines, see Truth, Lies and CD Prices: Taking a Closer Look at Kingsway’s Price Comparisons
Update, 24/06/2010: Some thoughts on the poll results so far: Kingsway: The Poll Results – because the questions haven’t gone away…
Now, with all that in mind — to the polls!
If you don’t like the poll answers, feel free to give your own answers in a comment as usual…