What’s the logic behind HMV’s pricing system?

Posted: October 23, 2011 in Discussion, News
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Another visit to town, another baffling experience in HMV. Just what is the thinking behind the music megastore’s pricing system? 

To illustrate my point, yesterday I bought Killer Sounds by Hard-Fi for a bargain £5.99 while their two previous efforts were set in stone at £10. Reverend & The Makers’ 2007 debut The State Of Things was still lingering at the purse-emptying £15 mark along with White Lies To Lose My Life… in Christmas 2010. There are endless examples to reel off but I shall not bore thou art.

So expensive I want to commit suicide.

It strikes me that some late shift lunatic has been allowed free-reign with a sticker gun, so random and changeable are HMV’s CD prices. 

The worst thing is the lack of consistency and chronology in prices between HMV’s high street and internet shopping. The same two Hard-Fi albums referenced before can be purchased online for £8 with free delivery and not a calorie of energy expended. Bizarrely, The Horrors earliest effort Strange House is £2.50 more expensive than their 2nd sleeve Primary Colours, and is £1.50 dearer than their most recent release Skying. Where is the sense in that? Is it any wonder that record sales have switched so dramatically towards downloads in recent years!? Thank goodness Waterstone’s was never plagued by the pricing travesty during the two stores’ joint ownership. 

Let’s give HMV some credit. Their 2 for £10 offer is like gold dust and gets hoovered up faster than laminate floors. While great for presents, it’s agonising to see an album halved in price the week after you have snapped it up at the cost of 2 hours wages.

You are probably thinking, get real man. Pricing is determined by bulk of stock and customer demand. Common sense and not music should be at the back of your MIND! As the Reverend Jon McClure notes, the music industry is suffering a self-inflicted demise. So bad are the state of things. 

Well, I say [radically], let us start a vinyl revival! Let us blow the cobwebs off our parent’s antique record player. Let us bring back the LP and make the retro trendy once again. 

  1. iamkaja says:

    Hey you know what? I was planning on writing a similar post myself after visiting that dearly beloved store a few days ago. I was looking for Jeff Buckley’s Grace and found it, priced at £8. I thought to myself “No… I’ll wait for it to go down on the 2 for £10 offer, whenever that will be. or look online”, as their prices also vary online. But just before leaving, I found it over at the 2 for £10 offer rack!

    Now, I wonder if they would have charged me £8 if I picked up the version without the promotion sticker?

    • thereviewer says:

      Scandalous! You really do have to be careful… I’m pretty sure they would have charged you face value on the £8 version. I’ve had a few run-ins with their bar-code and scanner systems too, I’m not a shoplifter mind! HMV = Haphazardly-Managed (music) Vender :S

  2. J. says:

    I agree James, life would be so much better with vinyls and cheap cigarettes and if dananananaykroyd weren’t departing 😦
    (all of this is totally unrelated OK cool)

  3. thereviewer says:

    WHAT! Dananananaykroyd are splitting? Oh here we go (press release) – “We’re very keen at the same time to make sure we’re never compromising or giving anything less than 100% and at this juncture of our collective lives, it makes sense to go out with a bang – which is exactly what this tour will be”.

    What a bloody shame. Which leaves 12 must-see gigs left to witness… including Firebug, Leicester on the 1st Nov! [I shall have to review it]. Will be hard to forget the Glaswegian architects of the Wall of Cuddles.

  4. J. says:

    Will be SO jellz if you get to see Danananana in Leicester! Can’t believe they’re splitting up, their last album was so good too 😦 Glad we went to see them at the harley though!

  5. thereviewer says:

    You could come over the “Anglo-French pool” and visit, si vous n’etiez pas etudiant bebe 🙂 … THAT gig at The Harley was memorable, they owned the intimate setting! Foxy Shazam at Leadmill was even more bizarre, the singer chompsing on lit cigarettes! Two bands who I thought could not sustain such high energy-expenditure performances for long… Gutted though nevertheless, great entertainment value

  6. rt2011 says:

    When I bought Modest Mouse in HMV the same CD behind it was £2 cheaper.

    I agree! Bring back Vinyl.

    • thereviewer says:

      Ridiculous isn’t it? Absolutely no consistency… Modest Mouse would be disgusted to know. I tend to buy from independent record shops when I can, more verve and character, if a few quid more

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