Re: Vendor Exchange Rates (Mary Ellen Kenreich) ANN ERCELAWN 21 Oct 1993 01:40 UTC

Date: 20 Oct 1993 17:57:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Mary Ellen Kenreich <kenreich@GODZILLA.LIB.PDX.EDU>
Subject: RE: Vendor Exchange Rates (Hannah King)

I thought the foreign price was set by the publisher using whatever
the exchange rate was when the price was set.  A vendor rep patiently
explained to me last year that it was not a good idea for us to re-
calculate the exchange on invoices (as required by our state higher
education system) when doing so was to our advantage.  The vendor said
that the foreign publishers go to the bank and lock in an exchange
rate which then determines the price of the journal in all foreign
countries.  Even if the rate had changed more to our advantage by
the time I received the invoice, we would be cheating the publisher
if we did not pay the amount listed on the invoice.  I had trouble
understanding this but the vendor compared it to a pair of Nike tennis
shoes which would cost the same in Germany no matter how the exchange
rate might fluxuate from day to day.

I thought I understood this further when I read about Elsevier
setting their prices when the exchange rate was not the most
favorable to the US.  But when I read the message from Hannah King I
was confused again.  Based on the explanation I was given, I thought
the exact price of the foreign journal would be whatever we were
invoiced, whether the invoice came from the publisher or a vendor.

So what is the answer?  Do all foreign publishers (and US for that
matter) set their foreign prices at a specific exchange rate in
each country and hold that price for a certain amount of time even
though the rate may fluctuate?  Does it matter when the order was
placed or paid for?


Mary Ellen Kenreich
Serials Librarian
Portland State University