Buyer Beware - Barnes & Noble

Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
2,078
Location
SE Wisconsin
I had a rude awakening today and wanted to share the buyer beware. I'm a store type person. I prefer the store vs ordering something online. When I need to order something online I prefer human contact vs adding it to a cart and checking out.

I was looking for a book on Lightroom 3. Tomorrow we are going to run to Barnes and Noble to pick up the books I settled on. I went to Barnes and Noble online to see if they hopefully had a check local store stock option which they did. I also noticed they had a reserve a copy which I thought was awesome. That is where my excitement stopped.

The in store cost is much higher then online. One book online price is $29.26 with a in store cost of 49.99 and the other was online of $36.66 with store cost of $54.99. Add to that if I spend over $25 I get free shipping.

After talking to the store and being told there is no way to match this and that they are doing this to compete with Amazon the smart shopper in me ordered the book online.

What this cost Barnes and Noble though is I'm not looking at other books and magazines. It's rare we would walk into the store and just buy the one book we went after. We would normally shop around looking for other books. By pushing me to their online for the better cost I now have tunnel vision that I simply will buy the one book I was after. The wife and I won't look around for other books.

Sharing this feedback with them surprised me more. The store managers response was a I don't care type attitude and said it's corporate policy. The lady I placed the order with online totally understood and said they get this feedback often.

Being a smart shopper in this economy I won't even walk into a Barnes & Noble store now knowing I could be spending much more then if I order online. In the end I do come out ahead. I got a cheaper price and free shipping. I have no rush so waiting the 2-6 days is no problem. Add the 40 min round trip drive and gas at 4.19 a gallon it all adds up.

I wanted to share this experience not as a rip on Barnes & Noble but more of a buyer beware and that if you buy in the store you are paying much higher prices.

With this corporate policy I also won't be surprised when they start closing stores for losing business to online.
 

Growltiger

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
12,062
Location
Up in the hills, Gloucestershire, UK
I buy everything online except fresh food. Books, DVDs, batteries, cameras, lenses, shirts, trousers, hats, shoes, light bulbs, car (yes I bought one unseen), house (did see it first), art.

I have almost forgotten what a store looks like. Perhaps it is a shame but I don't like shopping and this way I save money.
 

Butlerkid

Cafe Ambassador
Moderator
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
20,157
Location
Rutledge, Tennessee
Real Name
Karen
I always price check on line first. I have to drive 60 miles to town, which offers the usual run of the mill stores and malls. For photogprahy items I'd have to drive over 200 miles to "maybe" find a store with some stock.

So - for me - on line is generally much cheaper, offers great choices and very convenient!
 

Thorsten

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
4,458
Location
San Jose, California
This is their corporate policy, and the local folks in the store won't be able to do anything about it. Even if they could, there would be two alternatives: Charge more for products sold in brick and mortar store to cover the overhead, or match the internet prices and go out of business. I really don't see any other option for them, this is just economics. Keeping huge amounts of books for display in hundreds of local places costs money, and somebody needs to pay for it. And it can only be the book buyer paying for it, that's their only stream of revenue.

And actually they may go out of business either way as more and more folks experience what the OP did.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
2,389
Location
NC
preaching to the choir, in my case.....with the exception of grocery stores, hardware stores and the occasional visit to the Apple store :smile: , I stay in the cyber world
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
2,078
Location
SE Wisconsin
It appears I need to become more cyber friendly with ordering. I know that they have store costs etc but I wouldn't expect to pay $35 more just to walk into the store. Normally the extra books, magazines that I buy aren't needed but bought since they caught my eye. In the end this "policy" is costing them more money by me not going into their store. I'm sure this has all been caluclated though and it's probably more profit for them but then just shut the store down and be online only like amazon.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2010
Messages
62
Location
Nova Scotia, Canada
It's nothing new. In the '70s I used to buy records through mail-order because it was cheaper, and better selection.

People moved away from small stores in favor of 'big-box' stores because the prices were cheaper. Now people are moving to on-line ordering because it is cheaper. And, in both cases, have better selection. Just as small stores couldn't compete with the bigger chains, the chains can't compete with global on-line retailers.

It's just the way it goes...
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
2,078
Location
SE Wisconsin
I just thought of this and it's not with Barnes & Noble but in general. Think of what would happen to the store if they posted two prices on in store item. It could say buy now for $50 or buy online for $30. I guess I was a dumb shopper which is why I did this post. All along I would walk into the store. Now I will buy online more.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2010
Messages
62
Location
Nova Scotia, Canada
I wouldn't say you were a dumb shopper (your words), it's sometimes difficult to understand how much the price changes.

It's a complicated retail landscape out there - lots of choices, almost too much selection unless you devote some research time to your purchases, and the possibilities of hidden charges - handling fees, shipping, re-stocking fee, and so on.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
2,078
Location
SE Wisconsin
I wouldn't say you were a dumb shopper (your words), it's sometimes difficult to understand how much the price changes.

It's a complicated retail landscape out there - lots of choices, almost too much selection unless you devote some research time to your purchases, and the possibilities of hidden charges - handling fees, shipping, re-stocking fee, and so on.
"dumb" was used lightly..... :biggrin:
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2009
Messages
7,285
Location
Texas (KSKF)
Sad thing is that the more people buy online, the less jobs there are for others.....

We have a local camera store here to which I've purchased a number of expensive items that I could have bought online for cheaper - but since I support the small business owner, I purchased them locally rather than saving money online....
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
1,980
Location
Los Angeles
Which is why I signed up with B&N's "frequent reader" program a while back. I'd get additional discounts in-store and every now and then a coupon for 25% or more off on a single item. The B&N program actually cost $ to join and I found that the free program from Borders gave me better and more frequent discounts so I dropped the B&N program.

Borders now does have a paid program that offers slightly better discounts, but I'm not biting that hook just yet.

Otherwise, I get my books on-line from Amazon.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
14,975
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I don't feel sorry for the big corporate stores. They killed small business by setting up shop and undercutting the little guy and now the big stores are complaining that online is undercutting their cost! In this case I have no sympathy for the big brick and motar stores. :eek:

At least 'smart' small business can flourish online finding niche markets and cater to a worldwide audience.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
1,980
Location
Los Angeles
Sad thing is that the more people buy online, the less jobs there are for others.....

We have a local camera store here to which I've purchased a number of expensive items that I could have bought online for cheaper - but since I support the small business owner, I purchased them locally rather than saving money online....
My determinant for buying on-line vs locally is a combination of the price, how fast I need the items, and how much for shipping. I just got a Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 tripod locally. The price from Amazon/B&H/etc. was much better than the local price, but I had procrastinated too long and needed it ASAP. The shipping for it would have made the price nearly the same as the local price so it became a wash except for sales tax. And the local shop was having a "no tax" sale for Mother's Day, so the decision to buy locally became a no brainer.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2010
Messages
62
Location
Nova Scotia, Canada
"dumb" was used lightly..... :biggrin:
I sort of thought that - but sometimes I can be (s)lightly dumb.:biggrin:

Before deciding where to buy, I work out the prices (with tax, shipping, etc) to see how close they are. As a rough (personal) guideline, if the on-line price is more than 10% cheaper that's the way I go. I've bought things that were a third the price on-line vs buying locally.

Of course, if what you want isn't available locally, the choice is easier!
 
Joined
May 18, 2007
Messages
1,033
Location
New Hampshire, USA
This is their corporate policy, and the local folks in the store won't be able to do anything about it. Even if they could, there would be two alternatives: Charge more for products sold in brick and mortar store to cover the overhead, or match the internet prices and go out of business. I really don't see any other option for them, this is just economics. Keeping huge amounts of books for display in hundreds of local places costs money, and somebody needs to pay for it. And it can only be the book buyer paying for it, that's their only stream of revenue.

And actually they may go out of business either way as more and more folks experience what the OP did.
That's Borders' story, too. However, I don't run home to buy on line for a small price difference, but these examples were outrageous. I buy a magazine sometimes from local B&M bookstore, but they aren't dependable and will have a title one month, but miss the next.
Amazon is killing these stores, but should NOT be a surprise.....:rolleyes:
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
33,092
Location
St. George, Utah
I just bought a tv, blu ray player, and router, all on line after checking them out at Best Buy. It was a good experience and everything worked well as well a saving me quite a bit to boot. Shipping on my order was free and it took 4 days for me to get the items. Brick and mortar stores cost a lot and the inventory is costly to maintain not to mention the sales staff. Barnes and Knoble is just doing what they have to in order to stay in business.
 
Joined
May 18, 2010
Messages
930
Location
Sacramento, CA
I keep the Amazon app on my iPhone, and use it when I'm looking at stuff in a real bookstore.

If the difference is less than $10 or so after member discount, I usually will just buy it on the spot. It's worth $10 every few months to support my local brick & mortar stores and keep them around for when I absolutely need something faster than online can provide. I feel like, as a photographer, I understand overhead about as well as anybody, and I'm willing to pay for it.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
902
Location
Highland,NY
Sad thing is that the more people buy online, the less jobs there are for others.....

We have a local camera store here to which I've purchased a number of expensive items that I could have bought online for cheaper - but since I support the small business owner, I purchased them locally rather than saving money online....

That is the real problem, the lost jobs that will never return. People think it is cheaper, easier, convenient, etc buying online (and it is) but will saving some money online really save you money in the long run? When the jobs are gone, and the economy goes completely in the tank, we will all pay.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom