August 31, 2010

459 words 3 mins read

Hard to buy books via Brick & Mortar

This weekend I randomly wandered my way into the local Borders to burn some time.  While I was there I found three books that caught my eye: The Official Ubuntu Server Book, LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell and the Chobits Omnibus (Book 1).  Even though I love myself some Amazon, I am still all for supporting the local brick and mortar businesses.  If I need a book post haste, or if it is only a couple bucks more in store, I will buy it offline.  That being said, I try to a savvy shopper. So I took the price tags on the books and then compared that to the Amazon.com price.  Sadly, I left the store empty handed.

Of the three books I looked at, Chobits was the closest I came to actually buying.  In Borders it is

$24.99, on Amazon it is $17.99.  I have a hard time overlooking $7, especially when the brick and mortar is going to add tax, which would make the different over $9.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted the book, which is what actually stopped me from buying that particular item.  The next two books… were much more clear cut.

Next on the list is The Official Ubuntu Server Book.  In Borders it is $39.99, but only $26.39 on Amazon.  A $13 difference (Plus Tax) is just not even close.  After flipping through this book, I decided it was actually quite nice and rather wanted to buy it.  So I purchased it from Amazon right there in Borders, using my Amazon Android application. The book will be here shortly.

Last was the LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell book.  In Borders it is a tech-book typical $49.99.  Demonstrating that it just isn’t financially feasible to use brick and mortar stores is Amazon with a price tag of just $31.49 which is an $18.50 difference (not including tax).  I realize that the $49.99 value is list price, but how can any consumer seriously consider spending 60% more on one single book, just to buy it in store.  Sure, if you absolutely, positively MUST have the book right that second, you’ve got no choice.  If I had any option whatsoever, I’d Amazon it.  $3.99 for overnight shipping is still much, much cheaper.

Yes, I like to be able to pick up the books and flip through them before I buy them.  Yes, I like to just browse the shelves of a bookstore.  But no, I will not pay a $39.10 premium to do so.  That is enough to go and buy a copy of Ubuntu: Up and Running: A Power User’s Desktop Guide AND the Ubuntu Pocket Reference Guide AND still have $6.00 left to buy a coffee at Starbucks.  Sorry, Borders loses.