Yesterday I decided to purchase some audio books in Russian language. Buying paper books is a nuicance, and what can be easier that downloading an mp3 file right after you pay for it?
Ozon.ru is the #1 Russian e-Commerce portal (they call themselves “Online Megamarket #1”). It’s almost like amazon.com here in the US. Kinda. So I found the audio I wanted, added it to the shopping cart and was ready to pull out my wallet, but got this message:
In English it means the following:
“Yakov, You’re planning to order a shipment of an item, which is not a printed book. Unfortunately, it’s not possible. To continue, please remove the items, which are not books. Currently we’re working on increasing our inventory avalable for the international shipments. We hope to offer you better inventory and service in the future.”
I was surprised to say the least. International delivery of the audio files shouldn’t be overly complicated for the #1 online store in Russia.
The story was not over. Next morning I got the following email from ozon.ru:
It reads, “Hello Yakov, Sometime ago you’ve added goods to your shopping cart, but didn’t complete the order. You can return to these goods at any moment, but remember that our stock is limited, and you can reserve these goods only after the order is complete.
I’m a subscriber of Amazon’s service Audible.com and buy audio books from them all the time – it’s great and easy to use service. I guess, Audible spoiled me.
My first thought was that ozon.ru has only a CD version of this mp3 file. But if this is the case, they simply loose business by not offering direct downloads. Does it mean that they don’t know how to run business?
Then I applied Sherlock Holmes’ science of deduction and figured out that most likely ozon.ru decided to sell only a CD version of the the mp3 just to have a tangible item to ship. Otherwise they’d need to create an infrustructure for the digital right management, which is mission impossible in Russia.
No hard feelings, ozon.ru. I know, you have to operate in a tough environment. Let’s wait for the better times.
Update. After I published this blog one of my readers suggested to try this service: http://www.imobilco.ru/music/audiobooks. I tried. Very little variety, but when I found the audio book I wanted to buy it displayed me a message “Currently not in stock”. The mp3 file is not in stock? God bless America! Happy Thanksgiving!