Since I’m having some hard time in understanding the implementation of all the on-line algorithms for the construction of suffix-tree, I decided to move on buying some additional books which supposedly are going to cover more clearly those topics.
Technical books are outrageously expensive, and when you think you’re able to save some money by making an order to A. USA instead of A. Germany or UK then your order get rejected since “Sorry, this item can’t be shipped to your selected address“!.
Let me do some math here, “Introduction to the Theory of Computation” is on sale for 49USD + shipping costs on A. USA, the very same book is available in Europe on A. DE at the price of 73,95 EUR, so we have a difference in price of 30,78 EUR or 34,93 USD.
The VAT for importing that book in EU is 11,27 USD or 9,93 EUR, so the net price difference should be somewhere near 20,85 EUR or 23,66 USD.
I perfectly understand that shipping one book from let’s say Washington to Gdansk may be expensive and make no commercial sense, but I may safely assume that whoever sells book in UE and needs to ship them from USA to some storehouse in Germany first, then he’ll go with some bulk shipment using for example some freight service, moving some hundred/thousands of books at once, which should make the shipping price per unit pretty small.
For example Fedex priced a shipment from Washington to Gdansk of a 70Kg package about 200 EUR, or 2,85 EUR per kilogram. Even assuming that a single book weight 1 kilogram (which is not the case of course) then the shipping cost are relatively low.
So what’s the reason behind this price difference?
If I checkout my order for the book I was talking earlier, A. price me the shipment 24,95 USD due to a unfair change rate between PLN/USD, so basically the shipping price cover exactly the difference in prices (at fair change rate) between the same book in A. USA and A. EU!!
But as the FedEx experiment proved, this is just an A. facade, and seems that they are just gaining on this kind of transaction and the real shipping price is way much lower (2,85 EUR per book, at most!)
One funny thing is that the book embargo does not apply to all the books on A., I managed to buy many time and very good prices books from A. USA, and had no problem with the shipment, “Introduction to the Theory of Computation” is one of those books, whereas this other book is under embargo..
Thanks for reading, will write a post on suffix-tree and the Ukkonen algorithm soon 🙂