This letter is in regard to the questions raised about Harcourt's sale of the Schärf-fix 80. In early 1981, Harcourt received an exclusive distributorship for sales in the United States of this skiving machine. During 1982, it became known that the Eberhardts in Pennsylvania were selling the same machine for less than what Harcourt had been paying. Harcourt immediately investigated the situation and, after correspondence with interested European firms, was disconcerted to learn that 1) the manufacturer neither authorized nor recognized Harcourt's role as a distributor; 2) that Harcourt's supplier was not the manufacturer but rather a wholesaler; and 3) that the manufacturer was selling directly to the Eberhardts, which explains why their resale price has been less than the price Harcourt was paying its supplier.
During the time Harcourt sold the Schärf-fix ix 80, we believed that we had a valid contract to do so and we charged a reasonable price given what we had paid our supplier. It is with this in mind that we cannot give refunds or discounts on machines purchased from us. We acted not only in good faith, but also (so we thought) in the interests of the American bookbinding community. At this time we still heartily recommend the machine and will continue to refer all queries about it to the Eberhardts.The Harcourt Bindery, Inc.