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Old 04-08-2011, 06:17 PM   #1
ebusinesstutor
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Just...can't...buy...local...tried

I have to admit, I love book stores. Wandering through them is like a "date" with my creative side.

I read a LOT of books. I buy a lot of my fiction used, but I regularly buy reference books that will help me in my business as new books. Recently I have started to buy my fiction as ebooks.

A few months ago, I bought Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. It is a book on how to avoid "Death By PowerPoint," by creating presentations with visual impact rather than bullet points. As a professional speaker, this book has had a HUGE impact on what I do.

I walked into my local Chapters outlet and came across a new book by Garr Reynolds called "The Naked Presenter." I thumbed through it and it looked like would be a great fit for my speaking business. It was a trade paperback (I think that is the term - an oversized softcover). The price was marked as $29.99 CAD or $24.99 US.

I pulled out my iPhone and checked the Amazon price - $16.37 New paperback or a Kindle price of $9.99! And Amazon ships to me for free with a minimum order (not too much of a hardship to pick up a few more books with my savings).

So I went home to think about it. I did some more research. I went to the Chapters web site and found they would sell the physical book for $24.99 CAD - a little better than the $29.99 but much more than the $16.37 at Amazon.

Chapters does sell the Kobo reader, but they don't sell any ebooks on their web site. So even if I did download the Kobo app and buy it the ebook at kobobooks.com how would my local store or even the Chapters chain benefit?

So my choice was the physical book at Chapters at $24.99 or a physical book from Amazon for $16.37 or a Kindle version for $9.99. I went with the Kindle version which saved me $15. I already have the Kindle app on my phone and will add it to my Android table when it comes so I can access it in useful formats.

I do like having a local store, but not so much that I would pay a 2.5x as much for a book.

So I tried, but failed to support the local bookstore. But is it really my failure? If their print price was about $17 (near Amazon print) I might have liked to have the physical version. If they sold ebook versions, I might have bought it from them.

So perhaps they failed to provide me with the right solution for my needs.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:32 PM   #2
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:45 PM   #3
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Interesting comparison.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ebusinesstutor View Post
So even if I did download the Kobo app and buy it the ebook at kobobooks.com how would my local store or even the Chapters chain benefit?
Well, if you did buy your e-books via Kobo, your local Chapters store could still benefit if you were to pay for your Kobo book purchases via one of those refillable Chapters Gift Cards*, which you could then top up by going back to the store and handing your credit card to the cashier to add extra funds.

That way at least the store would be seen as bringing in the sales for some item or other and hopefully not shut down as unprofitable.

It would also prevent having a lot of small charges which might trigger an attempted fraud alert at your CC company.

* I've been paying for all my Kobo books since the holidays with a generous gift card balance from the out-of-province relatives, which they purchased in their local Chapters.

Thank you, generous out-of-province relatives!
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ATDrake View Post
Well, if you did buy your e-books via Kobo, your local Chapters store could still benefit if you were to pay for your Kobo book purchases via one of those refillable Chapters Gift Cards*, which you could then top up by going back to the store and handing your credit card to the cashier to add extra funds.

That way at least the store would be seen as bringing in the sales for some item or other and hopefully not shut down as unprofitable.

It would also prevent having a lot of small charges which might trigger an attempted fraud alert at your CC company.

* I've been paying for all my Kobo books since the holidays with a generous gift card balance from the out-of-province relatives, which they purchased in their local Chapters.

Thank you, generous out-of-province relatives!
This is a possible idea. I had no idea that I could pay at Kobobooks online using a Chapters gift card. The web site certainly doesn't make it obvious.

However the ebook price on Kobobooks is still. When I search on Kobobooks for Garr Reynolds, or for The Naked Presenter.the book doesn't show up in the results. I found it only when typing in Naked Presenter as a suggested search and didn't show up in the results unless I clicked on the suggestions.

So at first look, I assumed they didn't carry it. And their ebook price is $6.40 more than Amazon so I would still be paying 64% more to support Chapters.. I don't know how much Chapters makes on the gift card/kobo online purchase combo.

So Amazon still wins out. It would be a lot of work and more money to try to implement this convoluted way to try to support Chapters.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:48 PM   #6
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Well, Kobo does have coupons applicable to non-Agency books (which in Canada, means all the US-Agency books except for Hachette/Little Brown/Grand Central and a few others).

I don't know if the prices would still be too high after you've managed to knock them down by 20-30% (usual Kobo coupon amounts) or more.

But for me I find them much cheaper for the kind of books I buy than Amazon (also, faulty ePubs are easier to fix than faulty Mobi). ~ $3.50-5 CAD including taxes, versus $6.29 charged in USD wins out every time. Even with the change in the relative exchange values of both dollars.

But yeah, their search engine really needs an overhaul. Technically, another overhaul, since they "improved" it from the barely usable unhelpfulness it used to be.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:35 PM   #7
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That's what I like about BAM - I can walk into the store and get the book right now (with a 10% discount for membership) or I can go online to their website and pay prices that are comparable to Amazon.

I figure it's a fair tradeoff.
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