In my post-March piece on US amazon rankings, I noted there were other retailers that sold anime over the internet. I figured it was an important enough point that I took a look at the prices offered for the releases I’m tracking in April. Specifically, I took the MSRP for each of these 32 releases, and compared it to the actual prices offered at Amazon, Right Stuf, and Robert’s Anime Corner Store. Even a look limited to these three stores shows a pretty significant variation in which one offers the lowest price and how much (prices are in dollars and rounded up, lowest price in blue):
No one store has the consistent lowest price title sowed up. RACS seems to have be the bargain more of the time, and the amazon releases that are lower than the competition are much lower, but the relative price being offered really seems to depend on each release. Beyond helping me tweak my model and expectations for what US amazon can and can not be used for,* this list makes the millionth version of this point; if you’re going to shop for R1 releases, shop around.
*The rankings could still potentially be very indicative of the relative strength of similarly priced series, as stuff like shipping and service can cause people to prefer certain retailers. It comes down to whether amazon popularity is indicative of popularity elsewhere or not. Either way, it’s probably smart to expect Sentai releases with their lowest prices offered elsewhere to be underestimated by an amazon-only model.