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Old 02-11-2013, 09:51 AM   #16
din155
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suggesting that asking customers to "pay for the privilege of browsing" was not an insane concept in the current environment. Certain shoeshops in the US are already charging customers to try on shoes, she noted.''
Hope she likes the frequency with which I replace my shoes. She would go broke before I enter a bookshop again.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:52 AM   #17
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Oh great. You're running around doing your Christmas shopping and think "I'll pop into B&N to see what they've got."

You're really going to pay a fee to go in? Really?

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Old 02-11-2013, 09:56 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Browsing in a bookshop and then buying online strikes me as being fundamentally dishonest. If you browse in a shop, buy in that shop. If you don't, the shop isn't going to be there much longer.
Hear! Hear!
That is what I do. If I need a Showroom where I need/can touch the product, I buy at one that offers the (touching allowed ) service. Open Box, Floor samples will later have to be sold at a discount because they are now used.

I do do research products beforehand at Manufactures (and other sites).
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:59 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
It's impractical to suggest that a "bricks and mortar" shop can match the prices of an online bookshop, which has none of the overheads that the B&M shop incurs. You're being charged extra for the extras - the physical browsing experience - that the physical shop offers you.
I would think that using the shop to drive business on their website and vice-versa might be a model to go after. One is indeed propping the other up, but customer loyalty is useful. I just don't think bookstores are realizing that actually having a shop might be a marketing advantage in some aspects. Make the difference in price 10% and I wouldn't think twice about paying it, but when it's 20-25% it adds up too fast.

Frankly Chapters browsing experience has suffered now that many walls of the store are simply the tripe I would buy online. Seriously. A thirty foot display of The Hunger Games triology isn't finding me something I didn't know about or adding to my experience much.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:26 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
It's impractical to suggest that a "bricks and mortar" shop can match the prices of an online bookshop, which has none of the overheads that the B&M shop incurs. You're being charged extra for the extras - the physical browsing experience - that the physical shop offers you.
The difference in prices doesn't have to be huge because a physical shop has to pay a rent and online one doesn't.
And it is obvious that physical browsing experience doesn't compensate for that difference in price which is why the physical shops are in trouble.

That is why I added that physical shop should have something that online doesn't. Which set of measures, services or benefits I don't know, but something to attract a buyer that wants to be in a bookshop environment.

Charging for browsing is not that measure. Only thing that will do is piss off people.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:35 AM   #21
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Yeah I would never go into any store I had to pay to enter. That includes Sam's Club btw. I don't pay for the privilege of shopping somewhere.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:43 AM   #22
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If I went into a book store and was told that I would be charged a fee for browsing I would leave and not return. How do bookstores think new author's are discovered by the general public anyway? By browsing, that's how.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:09 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by xg4bx View Post
''HarperCollins c.e.o. Victoria Barnsley has said the idea of the bookshop as a book club, charging for browsing, is "not that insane", given the level of threat faced by the general bookshop.
It's a great idea, if the goal is to discourage people from even entering a bookshop.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:12 AM   #24
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Another way is to charge an inflated price for a cup of coffee as an 'entrance fee'. What Wait, they already do !
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:18 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes View Post
I would think that using the shop to drive business on their website and vice-versa might be a model to go after.
It isn't.

It's obvious that a lot of people are motivated by price. That means someone who is likely to browse in the store, and shop online, will happily bargain-hunt in the process.

So let's say you're B&N, and your main competitor is Amazon. B&N's online store has to subsidize 650 very large stores for customers to browse -- and Amazon does not. Since price is a factor, B&N can't charge much more than Amazon without losing sales -- certainly not enough to subsidize the stores.

Or, imagine you run an independent bookstore. You can't possibly compete with Amazon's online services, unless you're using another company like B&T for fulfillment -- which means less profit.

To put it another way: If stores did drive online sales, B&N would be mopping the floor with Amazon. The reality is that as Bezos realized so long ago, books are close to ideal for online sales. They're relatively small, easy to ship, and most people are fine with reading reviews rather than holding the object in their hands.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:19 AM   #26
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It is pretty insane, but it's pretty much a harmless delusion. People aren't going to pay to browse. People might pay a cover charge to get into a bar, but they have to really want to go to that bar. I don't think that people are as eager to go to a bookstore as they are to go to the most in-demand nightclubs.

People who walk into a bookstore are potential customers. It is much better to try to find a way to get them to buy books than to drive them away, which is just what charging them to browse will do. Most of us have times where we go to a store, don't find anything we want, and leave. That doesn't mean we might not buy something on our next visit. But if a store charges a fee just to look, that business is going to lose customers. If you assume that people are freeloaders, you're going to drive off potential customers. Even if they are holding an e-reader, it doesn't mean that they might not buy a paper book.

If B&N ever does go away, that will open opportunities for independent stores, but those stores have to be able to take advantage of the market. Blaming other businesses and technology doesn't do it.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:20 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
If I went into a book store and was told that I would be charged a fee for browsing I would leave and not return. How do bookstores think new author's are discovered by the general public anyway? By browsing, that's how.
There's nothing wrong with browsing - provided you then buy at that store if you like the product. What's being objected to is using the store to examine the goods, and THEN buying the products elsewhere. That's just... wrong.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:24 AM   #28
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The difference in prices doesn't have to be huge because a physical shop has to pay a rent and online one doesn't.
Actually, it kinda does.

The store has to pay rent, it has a lot of employees, it needs liability insurance, it has lots of overhead. Amazon basically needs servers and a few warehouses, and it's infamously demanding on its warehouse staffers. And if they don't have the book in their warehouse, they can usually get it shipped directly from distributors like Baker & Taylor, in a process that's invisible to the buyer.

As so often happens, people underestimate how much it actually costs to run a business.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alucarda
That is why I added that physical shop should have something that online doesn't.
That's why lots of bookstores have added cafés, non-book items and do author signings.

It doesn't seem to have changed the fundamental dynamic of the shift to online sales.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:30 AM   #29
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They can do whatever they want, but I'll never pay to browse, nor will I feel obligated to buy anything if I do browse. Imagine this happening across the retail spectrum -- pay to be accosted by car salesmen, pay an entry fee to buy groceries? How about an entry fee for Best Buy so I can compare a Nook to a Paperwhite?

What a stupid idea.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:37 AM   #30
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I always thought that shops existed to bring in a customer. Never thought it can be used other way round.
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