Book Delivery

The Week, 1 October 2022, News section, Page 7

Book delivery: The French government is planning to force booksellers to charge at least €3 per delivery, in an attempt to loosen the grip on the market of e-commerce giants such as Amazon. In 2014, France reacted to pressure from independent retailers by making it illegal to offer free delivery for books, but Amazon got around this by charging its customers a nominal one cent. By contrast, independent booksellers, who are reliant on smaller logistical networks, have to charge as much as €7 per delivery. Amazon condemned the proposed minimum fee, which applies to sales of up to €35, on the grounds that it would “negatively impact the purchasing power” of French book lovers who do not have close access to bricks and mortar bookshops. The proposal will now be passed to the European Commission for approval.

I remember reading that Amazon had a free postage tier above a certain spend in every country except France. And that when Amazon changed the token amount of postage in France (for a spend above a certain amount) – sales in France went up. In other words, free has a huge attraction even in relation to a very small delivery cost.