In previous posts, we’ve discussed the funny Amazon discrepancy where they charge pretty much the same price for an MP3 album and for a physical disc that comes with a free MP3 album. What about when the price difference is great enough that it affects your purchasing decisions, but you get stuck with discs you don’t need or want?
That’s the problem that reader Shawn has. He writes:
An album I want to buy came out today, the Legend of Korra soundtrack, and so I went to amazon.com, because I prefer their mp3 store to using iTunes. That’s when I noticed that the mp3 album is $10.99, and buying the CD, which includes a free copy of the album on mp3, is $8.89.
Normally, I might react with “Hey! More stuff cheaper!”, except that I don’t even own a CD player anymore (seriously, it’s 2013). So I’m torn between wanting to save $2, and not wanting to cause more waste by supporting the manufacture of CDs that I won’t use, and the shipping and processing of getting it to me. It also encourages them to keep doing this thing that I think is dumb. So, I either spend $2 extra on principle, or I save $2 and am kind of annoyed about it. I realize this is very much a first world problem, but it’s still frustrating.
Anyway, Amazon should stop doing this, because it’s dumb. I figured I’d email you folks, because it’s not like I expect a response from them.
True. Maybe if enough customers complain, they’ll change prices accordingly, but that seems unlikely. For now, there are always options for the CD: you could sell it at a used CD store (depending on the license of the MP3 copy) or give it as a gift. You could donate it to charity, or use it as a coaster or play tiny Frisbee. You could keep it in the car or hold on to it as a backup in case something horrible happens to your digital music.
Readers, what would you do? Take our poll. Note that “just torrent it already” is not an option.