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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11597/the-human-action-fiasco-and-a-solution/

The Human Action Fiasco and a Solution

February 3, 2010 by

It’s time to explain the fiasco with Human Action yesterday. In a warehouse move, we found 87 copies an old edition of Human Action published in 1999. We decided to move them out for $15 each – after all, many were lacking the dust jacket and none had the slipcase. We figured it would take a few weeks or longer to empty our inventory.

All things are clear in retrospect, but yesterday afternoon we had no idea what the result of this announcement would be. Our servers were slammed as never before. The store actually crashed under pressure (which our webmaster says should not have happened, so we might actually might need some software tweaks, but of course the worst time to attempt that is when the whole world is trying to use your software).

In any case, after the server crashed, people turned to the phones, so our office was suddenly bombarded with phone calls. We are not exactly staffed for this, but we were taking names and addresses and trying to deal with the frenzy. Within about 15 minutes or so, and even with a dead store, all 87 copies were gone. Of course we all felt foolish for not having seen this coming.

In any case, we all feel terrible about this fate. It was no one’s intention. But it is a fact that many people wanted a low-priced edition of Mises’s great book. So here is what we’ve decided. Our other hardback of Human Action retails at $40. The Mises store has sold it for $36. To meet the demand and deal with the backlog, we are now making this available at $25.

Thank you again for, our apologies again, and we hope you can benefit from this new offer.

{ 21 comments }

whittaker February 3, 2010 at 9:39 am

I guess we have a new data point on the supply-demand curve for this book.

Jeffrey Tucker February 3, 2010 at 9:48 am

Apparently so. It’s a good thing we are a charity.

Colin February 3, 2010 at 9:53 am

I had a feeling this was happening. I had one in my cart, went over to get a lapel pin, and then everything broke. Too bad this isn’t being produced any more: the blue and silver lettering looks absolutely brilliant. Congratulations to those who managed to grab one!

I think this is an amicable solution. Kudos to Jeffrey and co. for working something out!

Brian February 3, 2010 at 9:53 am

No problem. I look at it as good news. This kind of demand wouldn’t have happened a few years ago. The LvMI is obviously getting the word out about Mises and Austrian economics. Thanks.

Jesse Forgione February 3, 2010 at 10:13 am

Likewise.
My disappointment at only having gotten as far as the shopping cart is completely outweighed by the pleasure of knowing that there is such a demand for this book.
(And after all, I do have a perfectly good copy already.)
I’ll be letting friends know about the current discount as well.

Sean A February 3, 2010 at 10:35 am

Just finished listening to the book online: absolutely brilliant; life changing. A must read for anybody. Man, Economy, and State just arrived in the mail so that is my next read. I’ll be taking advantage of this deal as it is a necessity to have a hard copy of this book. Thank you for everything.

czelaya February 3, 2010 at 10:56 am

Well, I was planning on purchasing this book once I’ve read a couple more entry and intermediate level books on Austrian Economics, but at that price I may have to purchase it much sooner.

Walt D. February 3, 2010 at 11:29 am

Price floor creates a shortage!

Muddlehead February 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Good call!

Can you explain a couple of the features of the book:
What is “case-bound?”

“The pagination of the original 1949 edition is preserved, but it also includes invaluable additions.” What are the additions?

What does it mean that it is “keyed to” Robert Murphy’s guide?

Curt Howland February 3, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Markets clear. Sometimes slowly, sometimes in a stampede.

And this is a 60 year old book, available online, gratis, in three different formats! Take that, copyright mavens!

I described _Human Action_ to a friend as the _Atlas Shrugged_ of economics. Really big, really dense (ideas per paragraph), not to be attempted lightly, but selling in this political and economic environment because people really are trying to get back to the basics to figure out what’s going on.

I sincerely hope that the Mises Institute is making enough money at $25 to afford the discount, and afford the up-front costs to make another print-run.

Bravo, Mises folks. Bravo.

MBrown February 3, 2010 at 12:35 pm

(let’s try this again)

I have the 3rd and the 4th editions, so I wasn’t planning on getting this edition. But at this price (plus it ties into the Study Guide, which I have) I very well may get it.

TheOldCrusader February 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm

-IF one received an order confirmation from shopmieses@mieses@org does that mean that one got one of the 87 copies?

Or should we just wait and see if it turns up in the mail?

Henrik R Clausen February 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Took part in crashing the server, and am enjoying the humourous and constructive response. And in turn proceeding to get a copy at the new price, along with the study guide.

The State (EU, to be exact) will bill me just as much as Mises.org, even though not exactly contributing much to getting me my books. I’ll have to live with that.

Working in publishing myself, I’m confident that LvMI makes a profit also at $25. Storage is an expense as well, and moving stock faster makes slimmer profit margins just as profitable as higher margins on fewer copies. And I’m confident that the people at Mises prefer to sell more copies at lower margins.

Fourier February 3, 2010 at 4:32 pm

“Our other hardback of Human Action retails at $40. The Mises store has sold it for $36. To meet the demand and deal with the backlog, we are now making this available at $25. ”

Ermm.. when there is excess demand the price should go up?

Hume February 3, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Interesting hypothetical for Contracts class re: offer/acceptance . . .

Peter February 3, 2010 at 4:39 pm

You know, you really need some auction software for things like this: let it find its own price… :)

TokyoTom February 4, 2010 at 2:13 am

Jeffrey, may you continue to blessed by “problems” such as this!

Pat Bateman February 4, 2010 at 10:19 am

I was incentivized into entering the Mises store when you dropped the price of Human Action to $25, but I ended up spending $60. Perhaps a temporary sale on Man, Economy, and State will result in a $100 purchase. Gotta love the Mises Institute.

Wayne February 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

re: My disappointment at only having gotten as far as the shopping cart is completely outweighed by the pleasure of knowing that there is such a demand for this book.

I second that!

David K. Meller February 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Times have certainly changed from the days when Mises’ writings were considered mere curiosities, haven’t they?

We still have a lot of work to do, but I am looking forward to the day when Misesians will be the standard for economic and sociological scholarship in our society, and Mises (along with Hayek and Rothbard) enjoy influence comparable to that which Marx and Keynes possessed in the previous century!

PEACE AND FREEDOM!!
David K.Meller

Orlando M February 4, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Great deal, thanks!

I had one in my cart before the server went down and was disappointed to miss it.

Will the Study Guide combo still yield an extra discount or am I just pushing it?

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