Book Prices – Something’s definitely ‘off’ in the state of South Africa

I’m rather partial to relaxing with a book by Frederick Forsyth. Yesterday, I was at Estoril Books, Fourways Shopping Mall in Johannesburg and bought the soft cover version of his latest release, The Cobra for R220 (That’s US$31.90, using my favourite currency converter at

Federick Forsyth's The Cobra - Highly recommended

I’ve just visited a South African online store here, and am able to buy the same book at R174.36; a saving of R45.64.

I also bought Michel Roux’s book on sauces at R285.00 (US$41.23) whereas I could have bought it for R212.46 at the online store – a saving of R70.54

More saucy bedtime reading - sorry.

Now I’m not your Blaise Pascal of Muddler’s Drift – but a saving of just over 23 % – translating to R116.18 on only two books sounds awfully attractive to me. Something the mall retailers ought to start thinking about.

In the USA and Europe, over 80% of the population do the majority of their shopping via the internet, whereas a mere 2% of South Africans shop online (Oh please, you can stop with the ‘poor oppressed masses’ already – cleverer people than you have ridden that horse to death already). With South Africa’s infamous crime rate (take a bow SA Minister of Police Service), and our distribution network looking like the Dead Pony Express in comparison to First World services, it doesn’t look good, but for you entrepreneurs out there (who have more money and patience than I) this could be a good venture in the future.

Out of interest, I obtained the prices from Amazon; and Fred’s Cobra (hardcover nogal) is going for US$16.22 (R112.12) and you can have Michel’s Sauces for a mere US$16.47 (R113.78). That is a saving of a collossal 44.8% – less a bit of postage and customs!

But of course, Amazon doesn’t sell to South Africa any more does it. It is, quite understandably, not prepared to participate in South Africa’s (government endorsed) national sport – WRTS or Wealth Redistribution Through Savages.

If Marcellus thought Denmark had something iffy about the Royal House, I’d love to know what he’d he say about the right royal idiots leading South Africa?

About Freud Fission Chips

Despite the banality of the name, FFC has led an intensely varied life. Grateful for surviving almost three years as a 'troepie' (soldier for non-South African Readers) in the Angolan war, he determined to wring as much out of life as possible. Currently providing Business Analysis services, trading on the stock market and developing web pages to pay the bills, FFC also dabbles in wildlife, landscape and people photography, writing, and far too many interests for his own good. He has also travelled extensively in southern Africa (working on the sound theory that a moving target is more dificult to hit). These peregrinations also include over 1500kms on foot through some of the worlds most spectacular scenery. It hasn't all been plain sailing, beer and skittles, and endless beds of roses... Chief amongst the prerequisites for surviving Africa, with its mind-bending characteristics, is an appropriate sense of humour.... So, for now, he will be recounting the amusing among the annoying, the frustrating wrapped in the funny and extracting the mirth from the melancholy... Oh yes, there might be some alliteration too.
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