During a visit to my not so local bookseller, I was surprised to find a number of books with no price on the cover – either inside or out. There are always odd ones where the retailer might have forgotten to whip a pricing gun over them. Anyway, I discovered, while treating myself to Clive James Poetry Notebook – highly recommended – that I was being charged £3.00 more than the cover price. When I queried this, I was informed that the price had changed. The assistant indicated the bar code with the end of his hand scanner.
‘There’s been a price increase,’ he repeated.
‘But the cover says £9.99.’
‘Well now it’s £12.99.’
My response is not printable, but was around the theme of ‘you’re joking.’ So reluctantly, but politely we went through the arduous process of refunding the difference. I imagine we’re going to see a lot less of cover prices and more use of bar coding so the publisher and covertly hike the price.