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Re: Faxon Subscription Agency query - Sheila Denn Scott Wicks 09 Feb 1996 20:44 UTC

Perhaps a few vendor reps will respond to Sheila's question as to why her
quotation was off by $32,000, well, maybe not why it was off by $32,000,
but why her final bill would differ from a May quotation.

I would offer that a price quote one receives in May bears little
resemblance to actual prices charged by publishers in late fall/early
spring for the following calendar year's output.  Most firm prices are not
set by publishers until later in the year.

The most a vendor can do is to give possible price projections based on the
data they have.  I know that Faxon is one of a number of vendors who offer
cost projections at various points throughout the year taking into account:

*value of local currency against publisher's local currency (subject to change)
*page inflation (subject to the publisher providing this info in advance)
*general inflation
*postage price increases
*firm price as quoted by publisher

The vendors offer advice on how much of an increase an average library
should expect to see modifying this projection as more of the data becomes
firm.  Most of this data is posted to SERIALST and The Newsletter on
Serials Pricing Issues.

To offset this discrepancy between price quoted and price billed, some
vendors offer a guaranteed rate.  They bill you for your titles based on
what they think the prices will be.  You should ask your vendor if this is
an option.

Vendors can only offer the data that they have.  In May, they don't have a
very clear picture of November.  For that matter, neither do the publishers.

This is part of what makes serials so interesting, albeit frustrating.  We
never really know how much a title will cost until after we've paid for it,
and even then we sometimes receive those supplemental bills.

I'm sorry for your $32,000 surprise.

--Scott Wicks

                        Scott B. Wicks                      *
                 Acquisitions Librarian              *
            Cornell University Library       *
                    110A Olin Library          *
                          Ithaca, NY              *
                       14853-5301        *
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                                  -            *