PRICE GOUGING ? I don't think so. -Reply

Susan Sloan (sesloan@osprey.smcm.edu)
Fri, 05 Apr 1996 15:09:38 -0400

You miss my point: no institution, person or significant other should be
forced to pay a price that includes public performance rights if he/she/it
doesn't intend to use if for that purpose - that's what I mean by blanket
policies. I don't think anyone is against fair pricing, and we understand
the differences inherent in market pricing structures. But why should a
library pay 2, 3, or 10 times what an individual pays when the use of the
item will ultimately be the same? We're all willing to pay for PPRs when
and if we need them. Sue

>>> <FanlightP@aol.com> 04/05/96 11:45am >>>
There seems to be some very negative feelings here about
distributors...so, being one I thought I'd put my two cents in.

Here goes...for what it's worth. Though I can not speak for all
distributors, nor can I presume their motives, I can probably speak for
many.
We here at Fanlight Productions are in no way trying to cheat libraries or
other educational institutions out of their money!

In response to some of the comments I have been reading:

Philip Fryer wrote: I personally chastise many vendors for their marketing
short-comings, particularly if they have a great title that ends up only
being viewed by a privileged few, often in an academic setting.

Vendors market from experience. Our company has been in this
business for over 12 years now and managed to stay alive despite the
recent increase of vendors going under (I know of three this month).
While we have some films that may have wider market appeal, the
majority do not. We try hard to stay consistant within our own price
structure so as to not work against ourselves. For example while the
film "When Billy Broke His Head"
(disability rights) may have a large public appeal, films like "The Drop-In
Group" (AIDS educ. for mentally ill) and "Maternal PKU"(phenylketonuria)
do not. In order for us to make the less popular films available there
needs to be some sort of institutional price structure. Although we wish
for large markets that we could tap into, are experience tells us
differently.

Susan Sloan had this to say: ...companies like this one (referring to the
one in Hawaii) won't feel that they can make blanket policies.

These blanket policies are there for a reason, In short, they help substain
a business like ours. It is our right to price videos as we see fit. Words
like public performance, home use, individual and institution are there to
convey meaning about numbers, size, people. Consequently they have
been linked to price. There are no laws that I am aware of that say home
use must be $19.95, $29.95 or even bargin prices.

Dispite this freedom in pricing we do have, it is not in our best interest to
eliminate potential markets by having an exorbitant price structure. Nor is
it in our best interest to sell "Maternal PKU" for $19.95 if only 50 people
are going to buy it. Think about marketing cost to find those 50 people.
The prices are set for what the market can bare. And yes, in many
cases to carry the titles which need to be carried. Fair you say?
Probably not. Should we eliminate obscure topics and small distributors
and only have Home Depots to drive the price down?

On many occassions we have offered special library only prices,
worked with consortiums and always take written letters of price offers.
We are sensitive to organization's smaller and smaller budgets. Elitist
and rich we are not...gouging, I don't think so. Maybe there should be a
forum between the two groups, because I can hear your concerns.

Regards,
Amy Brisebois
Marketing
Fanlight Productions