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Old 01-23-2011, 06:14 AM   #1
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Brick & Mortar Bookstore Swaps Paper for Kindles

Wonder if anyone else has spotted this ad for a B&M bookstore in Portland: http://microcosmpublishing.com/blogi...anted-kindles.

It takes very little simple mental math to see who really makes out of this deal. Take into consideration the high retail sales commission on their treebooks as list-priced, and then compare that with the re-sale value of an unwanted Christmas Kindle.

I call swizz on this. It seems (strictly personal opinion) little more than easily clearing treebooks from their shelves at high profit, whilst also cashing in on the re-sale of as-new ebook readers and the promotional advantage to B&M retail in general and this store in particularly of labeling ebooks trash. It's a win-win bet for the store.

Any thoughts? Cheers. Neil

Last edited by neilmarr; 01-23-2011 at 06:18 AM. Reason: trypo
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:11 AM   #2
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It would surely take more money than sense to buy something like a Kindle as a present for someone without first ascertaining that the recipient wanted one. I would be surprised if they got many takers. It's probably just a publicity gimmick.
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:23 AM   #3
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Hya DMB. Like all new technology, an ebook reader takes time and patience to master. I fear many folks who thought they wanted a Kindle give up in frustration when they hit a first snag without giving it a fair crack o' the whip. As you say, though, this 'deal' gets the publicity and trashes the ebook concept no matter how it turns out in practice. Cheers. Neil
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:03 AM   #4
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I think it is a great idea and that more stores should do it. If I had been given a Kindle, I'd gladly swap it -- especially for a Sony .

But you are right, Neil, that some people are given these devices thinking that it is something they want only to discover it is not. I think this is particularly true in the case of the Kindle because Amazon has done such a great job promoting it. People think it is easier to use and more enjoyable to use than it may be for their particular reading habits or level of technophobia.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:22 AM   #5
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As you say, though, this 'deal' gets the publicity and trashes the ebook concept no matter how it turns out in practice. Cheers. Neil

And that's all it really is. I'm sure it got them a mention in the local news. I seriously doubt they will get many takers, nor do they expect it to. If you look at what else they sell, the promo is consistent with their general theme.

Quote:
I call swizz on this. It seems (strictly personal opinion) little more than easily clearing treebooks from their shelves at high profit
They're non-profit, so I really doubt it. I know people who live in that town and shop there. Most employees are volunteers and one of them is a cat. Have you been to Portland? That sort of thing is commonplace. They have stickers that read "Support independent publishing."

They sell a book that looks kinda interesting: The Book Bindery
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:38 AM   #6
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How about the other direction can I trade my deadwood books for an electronic reader? Seems like this is the way to go.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:59 AM   #7
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Great business for them.
They sell $139 Kindle3 for $110 on Craiglist.
They give you $139 worth of books, on which they have plus/minus 50%. They are still 40 bucks ahead.

If it was only 10 bucks profit
  1. selling second-hand, never used Kindles for $80 a pop, or
  2. selling the Kindle for $120 on Craiglist and giving you books they purchased for $110 (20% rebate)
it is still worth the publicity.
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilmarr View Post
Hya DMB. Like all new technology, an ebook reader takes time and patience to master. I fear many folks who thought they wanted a Kindle give up in frustration when they hit a first snag without giving it a fair crack o' the whip. As you say, though, this 'deal' gets the publicity and trashes the ebook concept no matter how it turns out in practice. Cheers. Neil
if someone gives up in frustration with a kindle, they probably shouldn't be messing with anything more sophisticated than a chalk and slate
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:24 PM   #9
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If the customer gets what he wants and the business isn't tricking anyone, I don't see a problem. Yes, the business stands to make a profit on the print books, as well as the hardware.

They're basically offering convenience. You could sell the hardware on your own and get cash to spend as you like, or they can save you the trouble of selling on your own (if you happen to like the reading material that they sell).

People do this kind of transaction every day. Look at people who trade in cars at dealerships. It's not as if people don't realize that they can sell their cars on their own; they're essentially buying convenience -- skipping selling on their own. The dealership is going to make money selling them the new car, as well as reselling the trade-in. Everyone knows this.

Last edited by Maggie Leung; 01-23-2011 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:47 PM   #10
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I think that this is just marketing. And who would trade in their Kindle for books when they can just return it for free and get a full refund (through 1/31?).
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:27 PM   #11
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Ain't there an Amazon return policy for Kindles, though, Maggie?

***I'm sure it got them a mention in the local news***

Right, OtterBooks. But I picked it up here in the south of France early this morning. Word spreads.

I like JBCohen's idea of swapping unwanted treebooks for ebook readers. I could go for that. I'd have the full range immediately. Right now, I literally can't give English language treebooks away here in the styx of a non-English-speaking country. Here's Karma to ya mate, for a good thought.

Cheers, folks. Neil
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:36 PM   #12
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Ain't there an Amazon return policy for Kindles, though, Maggie?

***I'm sure it got them a mention in the local news***
As strange as it might seem to some consumers, there are people who support independent businesses, even if it means they don't get the cheapest prices, best deals and such. Many Portland residents are very pro-independent businesses.

If the bookstore got on the news for it, good for them. Nothing wrong with that, either.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:04 PM   #13
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Looks like a savvy promotion to me. It reinforces their independent image and implies that people all over Portland are being saddled with ereaders they don't want.

The article didn't mention how many (or few) Kindles they've actually taken in, which serves the store nicely.

From what I know of Portland...which comes exclusively from the new TV show "Porlandia,"...it may become the last bastion of the b&m DTB bookstore.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:20 PM   #14
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Looks like a savvy promotion to me. It reinforces their independent image and implies that people all over Portland are being saddled with ereaders they don't want.

The article didn't mention how many (or few) Kindles they've actually taken in, which serves the store nicely.

From what I know of Portland...which comes exclusively from the new TV show "Porlandia,"...it may become the last bastion of the b&m DTB bookstore.
Note that Portland is already home to Powell's, the world's largest independent bookstore.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:21 PM   #15
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Right now, I literally can't give English language treebooks away here in the styx of a non-English-speaking country ...
Come on ...
When I was in the compulsory army service, here in my small non-English-speaking country, I have found a treasure in a local municipal library in a small town (population of less than 5,000 plus, of course, large military base)

An English teacher from Britain (USA?, Canada?) spent several years there and accumulated quite a lot of books (bought during visits home at second-hand bookstores). When he (she?) was leaving for good he said that he would leave books in Library, because this way many people can read the books, as opposed to situation when he would give books to individual students.

I was desperately looking for English books and all they had on shelves were dusty classics. One librarian took pity and let me borrow some of those gift books (that haven't been put into official catalogue yet). This way I could spend all my army service improving my English. So that year wasn't *completely* wasted.
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