Why bookstores are failing

by - August 23, 2010

So I was writing this in my journal and I thought I would share with others...
So as you have seen from my wife's previous post I got the Pioneer Woman cookbook for one of Makana's presents. If I haven't told you about the Pioneer Woman, she is Makana's idol. She is a city slicker girl who married a country man and now writes a blog with a big following and published a cookbook of her recipes. Makana told me how much she wanted the book, but she never thought that she would get it. So I picked it up from the library for her! :) I also bought it online and it arrived Saturday.

This brings up a story I want to tell about. I went to pick it up from Barnes and Noble and it was going to cost me $30. If I bought it online from their website, it would have cost me just $18 plus S&H. I was shocked. I asked the clerks there what was up with that and they said well you have to pay for shipping and wait for it. I said, even with shipping it is $8 more and I had to come in and spend 20 minutes trying to find the dang book; it would have been much simpler just buying it online! So I left and picked it up from the Library. What a stupid business practice. I mean, why would I ever go to Barnes and Noble to buy a book ever again. Books aren't something that you have to have right away (usually...nearly always) so why would you go out of your way to go to a book store and have to search through all the books to find the one you are looking for. They aren't even cataloged like a library so it's even harder to find. If I wanted to go and browse for books to read, I'd go to a library! It makes more sense like that anyway, because if I find a book I really like and would like to own then I can just go buy it online much more conveniently! Now there is something to be said for new books, and I know people like to go in there for the coffee (for obvious reasons we don't), and Makana and I have gone to both B&N and Borders for that very reason for dates, but we don't buy anything and I definitely won't now that I know how much cheaper they are from the store's website! If anything, you should save money because you don't have to pay for the S&H. 

Then Barnes and Noble wonders why it's sales numbers are down. Well if you sell it for cheaper on your website, a lot of people aren't going to purchase it at the store. Now that you have turned your customers to the Internet, the majority of them will search for the book AND NOT the store and find out that B&N doesn't even offer the lowest Internet price. Walmart or Amazon do. So unless they are one of those Anti-Walmart people, they will buy it from one of those other stores and B&N is just left with excess inventory that they are paying taxes on until they have to slash prices and end up breaking even or worse losing money on the whole endeavor. I was one of those and I bought mine off of Amazon for $14 total out the door. 

So tell me, knowing this, would you ever go and buy a book from the Barnes and Noble? If so, why?

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