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DAWN The Review, December 25-31, 1999

Discount Campaigns

So you still think books have become too expensive? Obviously you are not updated.

First it were these exhibitions where publishers like Ferozesons and Oxford University Press began offering huge discounts and regained some of the confidence of a reading public that had been put to fright (read flight) by the escalation of the mid eighties. Then booksellers like Pak American and Paramount followed suit by organizing their own book sales which were advertised as "10 to 70% off" and in the early days the claims were unbelievably true.

Then, as those book fairs (now an annual event of the city) began growing stale with a few titles (mostly leftovers from the previous year) piled up on the "70%" table while the other, more sought after ones offered at the uncompromising "10% off" other dealers came to the foreground. Welcome Book Port tried to make its presence felt by its aggressive marketing with prolonged sales and handsome discounts (such as 33% off on all titles) and Fazli Book Supermarket soon appeared as its arch rival. Also, these two being situated in Urdu Bazaar (Karachi) drew the customers to that corner of the city that was previously visited mostly by whole sale purchasers and college students alone.

The current scene is that most booksellers offer some discount, and if you visit the big dealers you are likely to hit the sale prices throughout the year. These discounts have become so much of a norm now that most publishers are compelled to keep it in their budgets when costing their books. It is now customary to fix the price at 4 or 5 times the cost of the book so that it could be given out to the dealer at 50% to 60% discount. Juggling up with figures? Well, believe it or not, it works.


The current scene is that most booksellers offer some discount, and if you visit the big dealers you are likely to hit the sale prices throughout the year.

 
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