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How Much For a CD?
Jonny Greene

Hi Jonny

thanks for the great mail out and great news!

I got to say it I really want the MotherGong Uncon CD (I was there) and all the others but the total price is the ONLY thing stopping me. I don't know what you think but £14 seems a lot nowadays.

JD

Hi JD,

I absolutely agree about the price of a CD. It's even worse when you break down why that is so, and work out what I make and what the artist makes via the various record labels. With the 'big boys' playing the games they play vis-a-vis VAT wrinkles and Amazon, and e-Bay, etc, it becomes harder and harder for GAS to survive. Starting May 1st of 2007 it has cost me £13.00 per day to just be here, and that's with me taking no drawings at all - and one can only do that for so long.

So I thought I'd do the maths on a CD sale using a Voiceprint CD as a model. The dealer prices are often much higher on other bought CDs, and therefore the 'profit' even lower.

'Special' Voiceprint CD dealer price to GAS - £6.00 (I won't go into what happens to the £6.00 paid to the record company and how much of that ends up with the artist - but of course I could, in detail).

VAT on that dealer price = £1.50
Total dealer price £7.50
GAS sells for £10.64 + VAT & P&P

The VAT is fixed and can't be avoided as I'm not selling thru the Channel Islands and all the crap (despite what governments do with some of the money they receive I don't have a problem with the concept of taxation. Unlike many on-line shops I don't charge VAT to the overseas customers who do not need to pay it - and I think to grab it is actually theft.
P&P is charged pretty much at cost - sometime pennies are made, sometime lost - believe me it balances out.

£10.64 minus £7.50 = £3.14 (Gross profit)
Minus credit card percentage fee (this varies with the card but can be averaged to:- £0.25)
Leaving £2.89

From this remainder must also be deducted percentages of pennies for:
  • shopping cart Fees
  • credit card terminal rental
  • web server
  • phone lines
  • phone calls to debit the cards
  • office rent and Council Tax
  • office/stock insurance
  • stationery (paper, printer ink, etc.)
  • and probably other stuff I forget which all has to be paid so I can actually exist to do what I do.

I have never worked out what all these costs are per CD sold, but it's obviously more per CD the fewer you sell.

It sort of comes down to whether a person is prepared to sometimes pay slightly over-the-odds for a CD so an independent like GAS exists at all - to do all the other things it does. I wouldn't dream of dictating what anyone does, that's a personal choice and up to the individual. But for example I buy a healthy percentage of my stationery needs from the local stationers (rather than everything from some company like Viking Direct, or the 'local' Tesco) because I want the Glastonbury stationers to be there, as I believe it adds to Glastonbury's high street and the local community, and I want it there for those 'emergency' last minute needs.

As daevid once said to me, "I choose to live in a community, not an economy!". All communities are, I believe, under constant attack because they can exist, support and nurture their members without being primarily 'economic units'.

As always I look and strive for ways to step outside the economic imperative being forced upon us, but sometimes I'm (just) existing within it - which is why a CD from GAS costs £13.68 delivered to a buyer in the UK.

Jonny