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Old 02-11-2013, 07:48 AM   #1
xg4bx
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Bookshops could charge for browsing

''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.

Citing a reported figure that only 35% of fiction in the UK is bought through a physical bookshop, Barnsley commented: "They are under enormous pressure," 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.''

http://thebookseller.com/news/barnsl...-browsing.html

I like book stores but if charging for the privilege of browsing is the best idea floating around, maybe they should rightfully go the way of the dodo.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:05 AM   #2
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I would never pay to browse.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:07 AM   #3
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If HarperCollins is so concerned about physical bookshops, perhaps a better solution would be to withdraw from sale their books/ebooks at online booksellers? This is no more insane than charging for browsing.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
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.
William Gibson toyed with this in Virtual Light. You paid an admission fee of $500 to get onto the ship, and they gave you a $500 gift card at the top of the gangplank. The idea was that if you went there, you were expected to spend at least $500 before going back ashore.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:56 AM   #5
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Pay to browse. "Not that insane...?"

I beg to differ. While the level of threat to the bookshop may be great forcing people to pay to view and potentially buy books (at a cost greater than on-line) is not going to actually work.

You need to sell the experience and offer ways for people to find books they wouldn't find in another manner.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:14 AM   #6
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Only if the fee would be waived if you bought something...
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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What a silly idea.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:45 AM   #8
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All that will do is hasten the demise that bookshops fear.

I buy e-books almost exclusively, but still visit bookshops regularly and occasionally make unplanned purchases. If they charged for admission, I certainly wouldn't visit and the bookshop would lose out on even the occasional purchases I do make.

I've never understood why bookshops (the chain retailers, at least) haven't come up with some business model whereby they download ebooks for you - either direct to your reader or to a memory card/stick (the latter would no doubt raise DRM issues). I'm perfectly capable of downloading my own books, but I'd still take advantage of that sort of facility if I saw a book I fancied in a bookshop.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:50 AM   #9
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So ... in essence ... bookshops would charge admission fees to enter the store?

*pushing eyebrows back down*
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:57 AM   #10
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Yep, like a 'cover charge' at a bar.....wait a minute....
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:18 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:37 AM   #12
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^I agree with that sentiment, but it's hard to feel for Chapters when I go to the bookstore and the book is $20 and I can buy it on-line for $16 with free shipping from Chapters.ca. They are not looking at their entire eco-system, they are looking at different market segments. Why would I really want to pay the $4 not-paying-attention tax that my parents pay because they are scared of on-line transactions?

I browse my bookshop (there's only two in my city plus a couple of used ones) and I often buy things from the bookshop because I do want it to be there, but I do have a given budget for books.

I'll be sad when the bookstore isn't there, but they can't possible not understand that charging less on-line is going to make the store viable for the long term. Once the technologically-challenged market disappears they are done if they haven't adapted.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:42 AM   #13
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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.
There is nothing dishonest about buying where the price is cheaper.
It's basic market mechanism. Supply and demand.
If a bookshop wants to remain in business it should have a competitive prices on the market and something else online buy doesn't give you. What that is though I cant say.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:49 AM   #14
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Forgot to say, browsing charge is ridiculous. It will have negative effect of stopping people to go into bookstores at all.
You can't treat buyers like sh*t and expect them to come back. People are not idiots.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:50 AM   #15
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There is nothing dishonest about buying where the price is cheaper.
It's basic market mechanism. Supply and demand.
If a bookshop wants to remain in business it should have a competitive prices on the market and something else online buy doesn't give you. What that is though I cant say.
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.
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