Monday, December 2, 2013

Cost, worth and assorted thoughts about Black Friday

 So, Black Friday.
You know, that annual Friday where someone would have to PAY me to go near a mall. Never mind, Wal-Mart.  Or *shudder* an outlet mall.

It's not the crowds.  It's not the risk of bruising. It's that I don't wait well.  Even in my favorite restaurant for my favorite food with my favorite friends, my limit is about 40 minutes. And that's if we can wait in the bar.
I don't wait.  There is very little in the world, materialistically speaking, that is worth more than my time. So the idea of standing in line to buy something just doesn't compute. Especially waiting in the middle of the night, in the cold. With crazy people.  

Black Friday simply isn't for me. 

But the whole idea of it brought up an interesting conversation with my family which went along nicely with an interesting conversation I had with an author friend Sunday.

How does what something *costs* speak to you about what it is *worth*?

My family and I were talking about how far something would have to have its price cut before I'd go out on Black Friday.  My dad asked, "would you stand in line for five hours for a 60 inch tv that was only $100".  No.  My mom asked, "would you stand in line for five hours for a new car that was only $100?"  I paused longer at that one, but no. Five hours??  My sister asked, "would you stand in line for five hours for Garth Brooks concert tickets that were only $100?" Again, a longer pause, but no.
I just HATE waiting.  It isn't *worth it* to me.

My author friend and I were then talking today about e-book pricing... how much e-books should cost and what people are willing to pay. 

There is-- and I do find this fascinating--  a faction of romance readers who won't pay more than $2.99 for a book, no matter what. No matter if it's 400 pages, or the last book in a series, or by their favorite author.  They feel that $2.99 is a fair price.  But there is also a faction that won't pay *less than* $3.99. They don't see books priced less than that as "valuable".  These people also won't ever download a book that is free, feeling that it must not be worth their time.

I personally don't fit into either category and I would guess most readers also don't fit strictly in one or the other group.  For instance, I have some authors I would pay almost anything for.  I'd be ticked, but I would pay.  I've bought ebooks for $10.99 (and complained about it loudly).  I've also downloaded and read free books.  For me, the price doesn't tell me the true value of a book.

But, I'm curious how you all feel.  What things play into making a book "worth it" it to you? Author name, the series, the premise, something else?

And, did you go out on Black Friday?? :)  How long did you wait and was it worth it?


Meg Benjamin said...

I'm like you--hate waiting in line and hate crowds. Black Friday is *so* not me.

MamaMasseyWVU said...

I did go out on Black Friday, but it was around 7pm and there was NO ONE in the Target I went to! I guess I am lucky because I do live in a huge Metropolitan area that there are so many stores to chose from and I went to one that is sorta out of the way and smaller so it didn't attract the crowds.

On the e-book side, I've paid as much as 11.99 for e-books. Am I happy about spending that much? Most of the time no, but I make do when I want to read something. I've been lucky enough to read a lot of fantastic free books as well (*cough, cough* Just Right). I do get frustrated if the book is 100 pages and $4.99.
Referrals from friends and other authors I like play a huge part for me to actually buy a book most times.

kmx2 said...

I refuse to call the day after Thanksgiving anything other than the day after Thanksgiving. I hate this moniker for that Friday. Also, I won't step foot outside my house on that day. I made my husband go to Walmart on Friday to pick up a prescription. It gives me the heebie jeebies thinking about that.
As far as pricing for ebooks, I don't have a set limit, but I always try to find the lowest pricing if there is a particular book I'm looking at purchasing. I'm exclusively an ereader now, so I want to make sure that I will enjoy a book before I purchase it for all time. It's not like you can resell them. Of course, if you happen to be on my favorite authors list, its a guaranteed purchase regardless of cost.

Anonymous said...

I NEVER shop on Black Friday, because I worked Black Fridays when I was in college and am still traumatized by the experience, over 25 years later. Plus, there's nothing I need to have that involves a to-the-death cage match with other patrons.

If I like an author's work, there is no limit to what I will pay for an ebook. But, for authors I haven't read before, or am unsure of, I stay below the $2.99 price point.


Slick said...

I'm not a Black Friday shopper unless it's online.

Books, I've paid up to $9.99 for a book by an author I know puts out quality and it is a series but I'll tell you it kind of chaps my hide to pay that much for an e-book. I know that's the publisher and not the author but it still really does bug me. If a book is under $5 I rarely hesitate but if it's a new author, I'll ask friends or read reviews before I pay that much.

Erin Nicholas said...

This is all great input ladies! Thanks!

Fiona McGier said...

I quit my second job which was in retail, the beginning of November because I couldn't stand the idea of working one more Black Friday 8-hour shift being yelled at by aggressive customers for things I had no control over, like how long the lines were, why we didn't have their size/color in the store, etc. For minimum wage? No thanks! Not worth all of that abuse for so much less than even $100.

I don't shop in big stores at all. I do most of my gift-buying on-line or through catalogs, unless it's to go into a small, local place to find a unique item.

As for books, I have found some great eBooks free...I've also read some crap. I've paid up to $8 or $9 for an author that I really want to read, but not usually. I like around $5 as a comfortable price so that even if I don't like the book, I don't feel so ripped-off.