Amazon.com pulls a DVD Empire

This forum is for questions/discussions about the now sold out first DVD box set by BMG / AnotherUniverse.
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TessD1891
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Re: AMAZON POST A REVIEW

Post by TessD1891 » Oct 5th 2002, 1:00 am

I second the motion!
pgh_kenny wrote:Actually, Jason, since you are the only one of us that has seen the set, I think that you should do the honorable thing and

"Be the first person to review this DVD!"

over at amazon.com :) :)
Brian, we're not talking about wallpaper here, are we.

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Post by Cornelius1047 » Oct 5th 2002, 1:37 am

Jason Rosenfeld wrote:The way BMG sees it, you should have had this in your hands in August. They were giving 2-3 months, according to what they told me.
But, um, aren't BMG the ones who didn't finish these in time for us to have them in August? (Or June for that matter.) Then, of course, September 17 rolls by and still no discs. Anyone else see this contradiction? See, that's what I don't get. Correct me if I'm wrong.

K
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Post by dTheater » Oct 5th 2002, 3:26 am

And by the way, what's a slipcase? Is that the one that unfolds?
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Post by funnyusername » Oct 5th 2002, 5:08 am

easy does it. jeez, everyone's acting like they are waiting for their ebola virus anadote to arrive via air mail. i am just as pumped to get my disks, and have been waiting just as long. 6 months is a very long time to wait, i concur, but every time i get twitchy and want to snap, i repeat to my self these words: "it's a tv show, i've seen them all, i actually know the dialoge off by heart, and they will arrive soon. pick up a book jamieson. and don't forget to check the mail tomorrow."

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Region 1!

Post by Gillian » Oct 5th 2002, 5:33 am

I'm quite concerened that the amazon listing says the DVDs are region 1 . I thought they were supposed to be region 0 .

If they are region 1 I won't be able to watch them ( I live in the uk) :(

So , does anyone know what region the DVDs are going to be for ?

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Re: Region 1!

Post by Cornelius1047 » Oct 5th 2002, 6:08 am

Gillian wrote:I'm quite concerened that the amazon listing says the DVDs are region 1 . I thought they were supposed to be region 0 .

If they are region 1 I won't be able to watch them ( I live in the uk) :(

So , does anyone know what region the DVDs are going to be for ?
The DVDs ordered from AU are Region 0. And Jason says that the ones being sold on Amazon.com are identical, just minus the bonus disc and lunchbox (eventhough they have the bonus disc listed - it's a mistake). They are all Region 0.
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Post by David Lambert » Oct 5th 2002, 6:37 am

I should not be a consideration in making a purchasing decision.
Noble of you, but I think we'd all like to see you do decently out of this. Consider it our investment in you managing to be able to DO a "next project". If you end up broke out of all this, who will spearhead the next thing? Don't worry...I'm only being selfish here. :D
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Post by pgh kenny » Oct 5th 2002, 9:45 am

Okay maybe this is a really stupid question, but forgive me I'm an engineer not a business person...

Is it safe to assume that Anotheruniverse.com receives no financial benefit from BMG selling the dvds to other distributors (e.g. Ventura) which sell the dvds to other retailers (e.g. Amazon) :?:

I'll comment further if someone knows the answer to this question.

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Post by Jason R » Oct 5th 2002, 10:30 am

Answering the last two questions.

1) This project has been a lesson in trust. Unfortunately for me, it has to do with whom I don't trust to work with. Sometimes you pay a lot for tuition in life's school of Bendover U. This has been one fu*king expensive lesson for me.

2) AU does benefit from this going to retail, but not by much. I tried to argue with AU and BMG, but I essentially feel like I was not listened to. I was told, by BMG, that a certain deal had my seal of approval on it, but TRUST ME, it did not. Gord can vouch for me that I went down to BMG practically foaming at the mouth in the days before my wedding to put the kibosh on the deal. I even strained my relationship with BMG somewhat by writting to the Senior VP of my old division to try to create pressure from above to kill that deal. And I did use the words "kill the deal." But I feared that BMG would get tied up in the blame if they did not allow a brag window.

However, BMG told me that since Ross okayed it, they were powerless to stop the deal, since they already committed to Ventura. I constantly reminded Ross about this, but he seemed to not think the other deal was going to ever be completed. I even asked him if he thought he could compete against the likes of Amazon.com.

The ironic part of this whole deal? I brought Ventura to BMG in the first place. However, I assure you that my plan had a significant delay before sending to retail, as well as a minimum advertised price (which may have just been shot down in the courts, anyway). I brought Ventura to BMG, but I did not approve anything that BMG or AU or Ventura discussed without keeping me in the loop. Why did I bring Ventura into the deal? The rights to the show expire in less than a year, and if there was ever to be a chance at retail, it had to be investigated now. Regardless, BMG and Ventura are not doing anything that was not approved by Ross.

I do not blame BMG for any of this. They have truly been stand up fellows. The only professionals in the bunch. They have been very patient in dealing with AU. They would not have moved forward with other retailers without TACIT approval from AU. I don't understand why AU approved it. I suppose I will never know. All I know is that I am, again, getting emails from AU telling me that it is obvious that I don't want to work with them again.
Last edited by Jason R on Oct 5th 2002, 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by mephisto » Oct 5th 2002, 11:04 am

Jason Rosenfeld wrote: They [BMG] would not have moved forward with other retailers without TACIT approval from AU. I don't understand why AU approved it. I suppose I will never know.
does anybody understand?

do they try to get out of business and to drive their customers away? not that we still would be satisfied customers after all the errors that happened. but we are still customers. paying at least 30$ more and having no advantage from preordering (yes we get the bonus disc and the lunch box, but amazon-customers will get the DVDs not much later than we will)

anyway, I already deducted that money and I know that we'll eventually get everything we ordered. but it was certainly the last time I ordered from AU

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Post by Jason R » Oct 5th 2002, 11:15 am

I believe that it is something as simple as overestimating customer loyalty and underestimating the competition's ability and/or desire to undercut your price.

I'd be surprised if Amazon was making more than $8 after kicking in free shipping.

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Post by LetsBolt » Oct 5th 2002, 12:02 pm

So is AU going to be giving us something extra? Besides the bonus CD, and a luunch box, which not all of us will be receiving. Seriously, money off the set doesnt seem too far fetched anymore, and maybe thats just me - and im no buisness man so i really dont know s**t.
Basically we've all been jerked around, lied to, and treated very VERY un-professionally. Its going to be interesting to see what AU will say to us, the people who started this with signing a petition way back in the day, getting emails from jason and hearing little by little details of what is going down. We are the people that have been waiting so long for this, and the thought that anybody can just go to amazon and receive them for 30 bucks less and get them in like....3-4 weeks...is just unsettling.

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Post by Fedup » Oct 5th 2002, 1:40 pm

Jason, as always, thanks for the inside scoop. I think I'm getting a clearer picture of what's going on and if Ross and AU don't state soon what their "in the works" plans are to compensate people who ordered the discs early through then I think I'm leaning towards cancelling my order. I assume AU wouldn't have allowed BMG to have others distribute the disc unless it benefited them somehow.

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Post by pgh kenny » Oct 5th 2002, 1:54 pm

Jason Rosenfeld wrote:
2) AU does benefit from this going to retail, but not by much.
Jason, thank you very much for answering my question. I have a lot of respect for people that don't shy away from public questions and tell it like it is, even when the answers are unpleasant.

The deal leading up to amazon.com selling the episodes didn't happen over night so anotheruniverse had plenty of time to remove statements regarding exclusivity of the "DVD collection" from their website. Actually they should have publically retracted them. if they truely still believe that a bonus cd is worth a $50 premium and a statement of exclusivity, then i give up.

I think that anotheruniverse did mislead people into believing the AU website would be the exclusive retail outlet for the dvd "collection" for a decent amount of time, say 6 months after release. AU's actions are a little unethical since they make money off of those willing to pay the premium price as well as the bargain hunters. But the way they made money off of the premium purchasers was by creating a false demand with th exclusive retailer statement. Anyone who pre-ordered for $115 after the collector's lunchbox period was especially punished.

You said that they don't stand to make much money off the sales at other retailers, but if the other retailers move a ton of units, I assume the amount won't be neglible. I'm sure it won't be long before amazon has the bonus cd... after all money talks, just ask courtney love...

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Post by Jason R » Oct 5th 2002, 2:08 pm

At the time of the BMG press release, it was an exclusive deal. BMG was not going to find another seller. I introduced them to Ventura for possible retail sales down the line. I don't really know exactly what happened next, but I do know that BMG, AU and Ventura all spoke with each other at various times. I know that I am a red-white-and-blue-blooded capitalist, and I make no bones about it, but the deal really ended up benefitting no one.

AU is not getting a heck of a lot out of the discs being available elsewhere, so I really don't understand why they okayed it. I've never understood it. It is kind of like the missing link of logic. I tried to get them to answer, but the response has always been sort of along the lines of "don't worry, it will take that deal a long time to be completed, and we are not really worried about it. besides, they won't have the lunchbox or bonus disc."

And that's true. When those items are completed, and if they are shipped to you, you will actually have something that is quite collectible and rare. However, I don't know how much of a premium you place on those things, and a $50 price differential might be steep to quite a few people, and the way this process has been handled, thus far, might make some customers a bit uneasy about the promise to deliver. It's not, at all, how I wanted things to work out.




pgh_kenny wrote:
Jason Rosenfeld wrote:
2) AU does benefit from this going to retail, but not by much.
Jason, thank you very much for answering my question. I have a lot of respect for people that don't shy away from public questions and tell it like it is, even when the answers are unpleasant.

The deal leading up to amazon.com selling the episodes didn't happen over night so anotheruniverse had plenty of time to remove statements regarding exclusivity of the "DVD collection" from their website. Actually they should have publically retracted them. if they truely still believe that a bonus cd is worth a $50 premium and a statement of exclusivity, then i give up.

I think that anotheruniverse did mislead people into believing the AU website would be the exclusive retail outlet for the dvd "collection" for a decent amount of time, say 6 months after release. AU's actions are a little unethical since they make money off of those willing to pay the premium price as well as the bargain hunters. But the way they made money off of the premium purchasers was by creating a false demand with th exclusive retailer statement. Anyone who pre-ordered for $115 after the collector's lunchbox period was especially punished.

You said that they don't stand to make much money off the sales at other retailers, but if the other retailers move a ton of units, I assume the amount won't be neglible. I'm sure it won't be long before amazon has the bonus cd... after all money talks, just ask courtney love...

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