Long gone are the days when I used to travel to HMV in Market Street with a list of CD’s, Video’s and occasionally book’s that I could only buy from the store. There was always the trip a little further down the street to the Virgin Megastore to compare prices. I mean if I could walk 100 yards to save a few quid I would do. Those days are B.I. (before internet). Nowadays I do all my shopping online.
Tod Browning's Freaks
I saw in Empire magazine that the Tod Browning film Freaks was being released on DVD. I had recorded the film the last time it was shown on TV. Prices for the video at the time were around £15, which seemed a bit steep considering the film is only just over an hour long and is one of the first ‘talkies’. The advert in the publication showed a price of £15.99 with a little line of small type stating that the release would be a HMV exclusive and also wasn’t to be released until April 25. No I didn’t immediately pre-order the DVD. Over the last 10 years, whenever I have been near a HMV I have always paid them a visit purely for the entertainment value. Having looked at the extras on the disc and obviously knowing that I liked the film, Johnny Eck and Prince Randian being my favourite Freaks, I checked Amazon.co.uk. They didn’t have it listed for sale as a region 2 disc, because HMV have the exclusive remember, but they had it listed as region 1 sold by Caiman USA in the Amazon Marketplace. The price was, drum roll please, £7.82 with £1.24 postage and packing from the states. Buying it from HMV.co.uk would have cost £15.99 with £1.40 postage and packing and not available until April 25. That’s a saving of £8.33 or 91%. You wonder why I hate HMV.
Another thing, while I’m on a roll, figuratively speaking. I’ve been waiting for the Kill Bill DVD box-set. Yes, the one that Quentin Tarantino promised would have both films and better extras than the individual DVD’s. Of course I’m still waiting. Just before Christmas, can you spot the cash-in yet, HMV released ‘a’ Kill Bill box-set, I checked the extras and this is not the one that I’m waiting for. The price for Kill Bill Vol. 1 at HMV.co.uk is £8.99. The price for Kill Bill Vol. 2 at HMV.co.uk is £9.99. The price for the HMV ‘exclusive’ box-set is, wait for it, £28.99. Let’s look at the figures again because they can seem a little baffling at first glance. Cost of the individual DVD’s £18.98. Cost of the ‘exclusive’ box-set £28.99. Therefore, and I think you are ahead of me here, you are indeed paying £10.01 for the cost of a box, just a simple cardboard box.
HMV obviously have to pay substantial amounts for the real estate that they have in most high streets. Thankfully the only people who buy goods from them are just buying the odd CD or DVD once a year as gifts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely anti-HMV, occasionally, in the sales they do have the odd bargain. You just have to look long and hard for them. As with all things you have to shop around.