Finding the cheapest copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Australia
If you're paying the full $45, you're a Muggle.
The script book for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the two-part play which continues the Harry Potter saga some two decades after the original run, is published this Sunday (31 July). It's been a long wait for J.K. Rowling fans; the final book in the main series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was published way back in 2009.
Dedicated Potter fans will end up buying the book at least twice. During 2016, the print version will be a "special rehearsal edition script". The final version, reflecting the changes that result from tweaks during previews, will appear in 2017. The script book makes up a little for the fact that relatively few fans will have been able to obtain tickets for the original London production (we're sure there'll be a movie eventually, but not for a while).
But how much will it cost? The official "list price" for the title in Australia is $45, but you'd have to be insane to pay that much. Big W will be selling the book on launch day in store for $15. After Sunday, the price will go up to $20. (Update: Kmart is matching the $15 price, though both chains ended up selling out of initial shipments pretty quickly.)
The Sunday release date is a nuisance for Aussies, since there's no way to get the book in the post on that day. Assuming you don't mind waiting a few days or weeks, The Book Depository has it for $24.90, delivery included. Lots of other retailers have it for around $30, though most will also charge extra for postage.
This is a classic example of a "loss leader": a product which is sold for no profit in the hope of attracting shoppers into the store. In the book industry, the purchase price for a retailer is typically 40% of the list price, which would mean retailers are paying $18 a copy. Big W might have negotiated a slightly better deal owing to its size, but I would be genuinely surprised if it had scored its shipment for under $15. But hey, if it wants to lose money, it's not my place to argue when there's a bargain to be had.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on finder.com.au.