Sunday, September 4, 2011

One Reason Readers Might Be Buying Books Online Instead of Visiting Bookstores

During this tough economy, we continue to hear about stores going out of business. The demise of Borders often brings about discussion of where and how readers purchase books. I sometimes feel a bit guilty because the majority of my books are purchased online. I have a busy schedule, and often I am browsing during the wee hours of the morning, so online works best for me.

Today we had to drive into Enfield, CT, so the hubby came along with the girls and me because he wanted to pick up a copy of Mark Steyn's new book, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. He found it at and could have it shipped to the store to avoid paying shipping charges, but since we were already headed that way, we planned to buy it at the store.

What we discovered, however, is that the store sells it for 30% off the list price of $29.95, so it would be more expensive for us to purchase it there than to buy it online. We asked one of the cashiers about it and she told us they can't honor the online price. We left the store and came home and ordered it online.

So, the store lost a sale because the company's website sells a book for less. Why wouldn't consumers purchase online instead of at the store? Isn't this policy crippling the ability of stores to be profitable?

Where do you buy the majority of your books? Would you purchase a book online if it was cheaper than in the store?

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