A Brief Rant on HMV DVD Gouging

The retailer I typically buy most of my DVDs at is HMV, which is the main music/video chain in Canada.  I always typically find that the pricing at HMV is usually fair (or at least close to the suggested retail price).

However, as I walked into HMV today pick up a copy of Hugo (my favourite film from last year and a fresh winner of 5 Oscars), only to be shocked at the fact that the Blu-Ray/DVD combo of the film was priced at $32.99 (which would have cost me more than $37 after the sales tax)!  While, I have known HMV to raise DVD prices after the first week, this is only the second DAY Hugo was on sale!  I just couldn’t believe it and I just left the store without even thinking about getting the disc at that price.

Thankfully I was at the HMV at Yonge and Dundas in downtown Toronto and there were two other stores in the vicinity I could check.  Futureshop (right next door to HMV) was sold out of Blu-Ray copies of Hugo, but I managed to find one at the Best Buy across the street.  Both had the Blu-Ray priced at $29.99, which was still not the best price, but better than HMV’s, so I bought it.  When I got home, I found out that Amazon.ca was selling the same disc for $24.99.

I think this is gouging pure and simple.  It’s no secret that sales are down and these types of retailers, so they are obviously trying to make up for it but charging as much as they can for their biggest release.  Sure, HMV eventually drops the price and you can buy clearance discs for $15.99 or less.  However, I would probably would have to wait months, or even more than a year, before the disc is at a more affordable price.

It’s probably not something I should get too hung up over.  I’ve been trying to slow down a bit on the number of discs I buy, so it’s not really something that’s going to concern me too much in the near future.  That said, it does seem a little counter-productive making up for poor sales by rising prices.  In the long run, it would only make the sales worse.

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).