When a best-selling book was first released in paperback, the Hercules
Bookstore chain seized a profit opportunity by setting a selling price
of $9 per book (well above HerculesA????1 $5 average cost per book). With
paperback demand given by P = 15 - .5Q, the chain enjoyed sales of
Q = 12 thousand books per week. (Note: Q is measured in thousands
of books.) Draw the demand curve and compute the bookstoreA????1s
profit and the total consumer surplus.
B. For the first time, Hercules has begun selling books onlineA????1in
response to competition from other online sellers and in its quest for
new profit sources. The average cost per book sold online is only $4.
As part of its online selling strategy, it sends weekly e-mails to
preferred customers announcing which books are new in paperback.
For this segment, it sets an average price (including shipping) of $12.
According to the demand curve in part (a), only the highest value
consumers (whose willingness to pay is $12 or more) purchase at this
price. Check that these are the first 6 thousand book buyers on the
demand curve. In turn, because of increased competition, Hercules
has reduced its store price to $7 per book.
At P = $7, how many books are bought in HerculesA????1 stores? (Make
sure to exclude online buyers from your demand curve calculation.)
Compute HerculesA????1 total profit. Then compute the sum of consumer
surplus from online and in-store sales. Relative to part (a), has the emergence
of online commerce the welfare of book buyers as a
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