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Old 03-06-2013, 08:20 PM   #256
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It turns out that their landlord simply wanted to rent the space out to someone else for more money, so they lost their lease.
That's the usual reason heard many times over.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:28 PM   #257
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Just curious, is this a conversation about the difference between mores, morals, and ethics, or a discussion about whether it's wrong to browse bookshops without spending money and therefore they should charge an entrance fee?

If it's the latter, I happen to disagree. I can understand the problem with going into a camera store, spend 2 hours discussing which camera is best for you with the salesman, then turning around and buying it on amazon to save $50. Part of the cost of buying in the store is the expertise you just got in picking out the right camera

There is simply no comparison to browsing a bookshop, then buying on amazon -- you are not spending the "valuable" time of their glorified cashiers, and no one will even notice whether you are there or not. The bookshop just wants to make more money any way they can.

If someone out there finds a bookstore where the cashier actually does know about books, and spends their time to try to find the right book, then yes, you should buy from them. Think of it as the extra cost of getting that help.
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:58 PM   #258
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i wouldn't pay a cover charge to go into a bookstore, any more than the average person would pay a cover charge to go into their local grocery store. keep in mind that while costco charges $55 a year (or $110 for the premium membership), their prices are lower, so if you shop there minimally, you'll save more than the cost of the membership.

it seems that harper collins' plan is to charge a door charge yet keep charging full price for books and offering no incentives. i've never seen this work with any business, and btw, most bars that charge a cover have live music.

bookstores that wanted to charge a door charge could at least include free coffee or hot chocolate, discounts, memberships or something. i'd like to see bookstores offer something i care about - authors that interest me in store, free ebook version of every book bought there, 1 free book after buying 4 books at regular price. or how about expedited special orders? i can get any book in print from amazon in 2 days. i don't mind waiting a little longer for brick and mortar stores, but our local store used to quote 2 weeks, and most of the time the book never arrived.

bookstores could at least try and offer something more than the same old failing business model, which in the case of our local defunct chain stores seemed to be "create a poor floorplan that makes listening to authors or getting from section to section uncomfortable and difficult, never have every book in stock in any series, have customers order in books that never arrive, charge more for gifts, DVDs and anything other than books than any other store in the area. have LOTS of floor space taken up by sale books that never sell 'cause no one wants to read them. make the bathroom unavailable to those of us who spend hours browsing to spend hundreds of dollars - especially hazardous if you buy coffee or waters while you browse, since now you'll have to leave to use the bathroom, and in that kind of emergency, you can't wait in line to buy anything! then the stores whine and complain that the problem is the internet". amazingly that this business model didn't work
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:38 AM   #259
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it seems that harper collins' plan is to charge a door charge yet keep charging full price for books
That's considerably over-stating it. There's no plan. There was a throw-away comment in a radio show where the head of Harper Collins said she could see it being something stores did in the future. It was a way of expressing the difficulties they (B&M stores) find themselves in rather than anything approaching a "plan".

Besides Harper Collins is a publisher AFAIK they have no B&M stores.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #260
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If someone out there finds a bookstore where the cashier actually does know about books, and spends their time to try to find the right book, then yes, you should buy from them. Think of it as the extra cost of getting that help.
There are bookstores with knowledgable staff. I find that used bookstores are better than most. Ditto for specialist bookstores.

As for the word should, it depends what you mean. Researching at vendor A then buying from vendor B is certainly short-sighted. Vendor A is unlikely to survive unless people buy from them, so you should buy from vendor A if you want to receive quality service in the future.

On the other hand, talking to salespeople is not a legal obligation to buy. Businesses realize this, and most wouldn't have it any other way. Could you imagine how hard it would be to get potential buyers in the door if they were obligated to buy something? People would avoid stores that they thought had higher prices, and markets that depended upon impulse buys would collapse.

Price shopping is also the norm for certain types of vendors. Car salespeople are pushy because they know that most people are shopping for the best price. The sale has to be closed before the buyer leaves the lot or the sale probably won't happen. Why should other stores have different expectations from their buyers? The fact that these big box book retailers think otherwise is an indication that they've been free from real competition for too long. In that case, perhaps this comparison shopping with online retailers will push them to be more competitive.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:44 PM   #261
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I totally agree about USED bookstores, they tend to actually care about the business. They also tend to have great prices, often equal to Amazon's when you count shipping.

Sadly, in Barnes and Noble, all you have are cashiers, who are there to take your money and otherwise don't give a darn about anything. Since you get absolutely NOTHING extra from them, I feel no need to to spend a cent there if I get a better deal elsewhere.

When it comes to a business, like cars and cameras and other stuff where you spend a lot of time discussing what's best suited to your needs, unless you can find a ridiculously better deal elsewhere, I would buy there. I'm not going to hunt all over creation to see how I can save a few $. In fact, I might go so far as to say, I feel they should get a little something extra. For example, when you go to a restaurant, you tip the waitress, depending of course on how well they serve you. Because that service is worth something to you. If the car salesman helped you make a better, more informed choice, he deserves the money, WITHIN REASON. I'm not saying you have to let yourself be ripped off.

I just think in any such situation, you should be honest with yourself, ask how much you have been helped, what's a reasonable thank you to offer, and then be willing to pay maybe a little extra FOR THE SERVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN.

Certainly, if you decide you don't really want anything after all, I'm not suggesting you must.

In that little mom & pop used bookshop where I can discuss books with the cashier, and get steered maybe toward a new author I will enjoy, then there too I would spend, maybe 50¢ more on a $3 book? It's like a tip. In Barnes & Noble they aren't doing anything to deserve anything, any more than a grocery store cashier.
The good news is, of course, that in a used bookstore, I'm likely to find the best prices anyway.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:50 AM   #262
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I just think in any such situation, you should be honest with yourself, ask how much you have been helped, what's a reasonable thank you to offer, and then be willing to pay maybe a little extra FOR THE SERVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN.
So, was that your first visit to the shop? Did you not know what kind of service you were going to get? Did you go anyway because actually being able to browse books in person was something you value? Do you not realize that that commercial space for you to browse in costs money, whether the cashier gives you advice or not?

From many posts here I've been reading rationalizations for why those B&M stores deserve to be used and not rewarded. Obviously, many find browsing in person valuable or they would just go to Amazon and the other online stores without leaving their homes. However, they are also okay with not helping to keep those browsing spots in business, despite being worth visiting. It all sounds penny wise and pound foolish to me. Or cynical.

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Old 03-10-2013, 03:13 AM   #263
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So, was that your first visit to the shop? Did you not know what kind of service you were going to get? Did you go anyway because actually being able to browse books in person was something you value? Do you not realize that that commercial space for you to browse in costs money, whether the cashier gives you advice or not?

From many posts here I've been reading rationalizations for why those B&M stores deserve to be used and not rewarded. Obviously, many find browsing in person valuable or they would just go to Amazon and the other online stores without leaving their homes. However, they are also okay with not helping to keep those browsing spots in business, despite being worth visiting. It all sounds penny wise and pound foolish to me. Or cynical.
You are assuming that I feel Barnes & Noble IS a service to me in that way. As far as I am concerned, the only service I NEED from them is the ability to actually BUY A BOOK.
I have visited Barnes & Noble a number of times. Sometimes I just go to browse and kill time. On occasion I even buy from them.
Either way, they have not lost anything, even the possibility of a sale.

More importantly, though, I believe I have the right to change my mind about whether or not to buy from Barnes & Noble at any point up till I have already given them my money. Barnes & Noble will be open whether or not I browse, and it's nice to have them, but I can do just as well without. Usually I have plenty of books to read while I wait for Amazon to ship me new books (although I tend to rely heavily on the local library, unless I really want to keep a book forever). Rarely do I need to buy a book "right this minute!!!" and I prefer having them delivered to my door, and usually cheaper as well, but primarily just because I AM LAZY.
On the occasion that I visit Barnes & Noble, with NO intent to buy anything, are they losing anything by my presence? No, they would pay money and keep that store open even if I didn't exist. The only reason why I might feel impelled to buy from them in that case is to support their continued presence for the principle of the thing. And honestly, I can easily live without it. They really don't provide me with anything other than instant gratification when I can't find a certain book on the shelf at the nearest library. Why wait if it's right there and I have time to spare? But if Barnes & Noble closed down (no doubt solely due to my refused patronage) I will cheerfully wait for the library and/or Amazon to ship to me, while I attempt to make a dent in my large reading list of books that were suggested to me by friends and which I may actually read someday. Or read Harry Potter, Discworld, The Dresden Files, or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for the 28th time. I am by no means dependent on Barnes & Noble for anything.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:52 AM   #264
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I am not saying anyone has the obligation to buy when they enter a store. I'm saying that it's short-sighted or cynical to use B&M stores to discover books with the intention of then buying them online because they're cheaper there. That's all I'm saying.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:30 AM   #265
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And I said that's not what I am doing. I am just trying to see if they have a good price. They don't.

Or I'm just spending some quiet time with a book that I don't intend on buying. In which case I am just as happy to wait for it at the library while I read something else at home. Either way I have no vested interest in resuscitating a failed business scheme.

Let me reiterate: I am not getting any value from Barnes & Noble that is actually worth cash to me. They are, in my mind, a library with no checkout and just as many books available sooner. But I'm not in a huge rush, and if I am then I do buy from them.

My money goes toward whatever value I feel I am getting. And I don't pay for what I can get for free. If Barnes & Noble closed down, I could still get everything they have, albeit without the instant gratification. And when I really want instant gratification, I pay Barnes & Noble for it.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:11 AM   #266
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I am not saying anyone has the obligation to buy when they enter a store. I'm saying that it's short-sighted or cynical to use B&M stores to discover books with the intention of then buying them online because they're cheaper there. That's all I'm saying.
While I have no doubt that showcasing happens, I also have no doubt that brick and mortar stores are overstating it.

Online retailers often provide better information that brick and mortar stores. The former usually provides free samples of electronic goods and datasheets for physical goods. I've been had sales people get angry at me, and managers threaten me, for asking for the same level of service as online retailers (which is kinda odd because I have a meek personality). Granted, it is much more common for them to tell me to look stuff up online.

If you can get better information about a product online, why would a person ever step into a brick and mortar store? For most products, it is because they want to buy the product now. They step in, find out that the product costs far too much, then they step out. There is nothing wrong with that. Some products may be more susceptible to showcasing, because they are expensive and people want to try them out first. Yet that is no different from the days before the Internet, because people usually comparison shopped for those items.

This comparison shopping was no different because there were mailorder houses. There were even stores with just a service counter and a warehouse (the customer had no access to the warehouse portion, so think of it as retail meets mailorder). So there were expensive places to showroom and cheap places to buy. Businesses used to grumble about this, but I doubt that there were people arguing that you had a moral obligation to buy at the expensive store.

I would argue that the current complaints of brick and mortar stores are nothing more than brainwashing. They are attempting to redefine social values to reflect their interests, even though it is a detriment to our own interests. By the sounds of it, it is rather effective.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:29 AM   #267
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If you can get better information about a product online, why would a person ever step into a brick and mortar store? For most products, it is because they want to buy the product now. They step in, find out that the product costs far too much, then they step out. There is nothing wrong with that. Some products may be more susceptible to showcasing, because they are expensive and people want to try them out first. Yet that is no different from the days before the Internet, because people usually comparison shopped for those items.
Yeah. It's like I said, if they aren't actually providing me with something extra -- price, expertise, whatever -- then there is no reason for me to even begin to think of buying there.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:17 AM   #268
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The bottom line is that I do not owe no business the privilege of my spending money on a product that they sell. I choose to do business with whom I choose to. I, for one, do not see anything wrong with comparison shopping. It's a way for a consumer to get educated to make the best buying decision that they can on their behalf. I don't begrudge a business for doing what they feel is in their best interest to maximize their profit potential. If that includes paying for the ability to browse in a store, so be it. As long as they realize that there are consequences for any action. What business need to do is to give the consumer a reason to buy from them, whether that be price, service, atmosphere, superior product(?)etc. If they provide one of these better than their competitors, they will succeed. If not, their business will not last long.

Find your niche and do everything you can do satisfy that population. Words a successful business should live by.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:45 PM   #269
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Independent bookstore owners may be able to succeed, but the curmudgeonly bookstore owner is likely to fail. Berating owners of e-readers doesn't sell books. I don't think the phenomenon of people using bookstores - especially independent bookstores - as showrooms is nearly as widespread as people think. There is a confirmation bias at play. If someone walks into a store looks at items but doesn't buy anything, that doesn't mean they were using the store as a showroom and buying online. They might have had some time to kill, or might simply not have found a book they liked. In any case, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if they come in with an e-reader in their hand. If you treat every person who enters your store as if they are a potential customer, you'll sell a lot more books than if you treat people as the "enemy".
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:57 PM   #270
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When I was dating, going to a bookstore was one of my favorite things to do with a date. You can really get to know someone browsing through the books and talking about them.

But now I want to buy books. The various lists and sorting features that I get online are perfectly suited to the way I used to browse (let's see all the books on the poor Cubbies). As a matter of fact, now I look at the bestseller book table at Costco, and then come home, put a hold on the book at the library, or, sometimes I just buy the hardcover at Costco. Because I really want to read that book now. But then of course, it goes on my TBR pile, because my attention has shifted.

You could have/should have charged me for browsing when I was single. I was broke, and wouldn't have been able to pay you, but since I didn't have money to buy a book (had to buy all those textbooks), it was a moot point. And I suspect it will be so for a lot of young people.

At Costco, with the Executive membership, if you don't spend enough to get back the entire membership fee in rebates, they will give you the excess. I have never come up short. So you really aren't spending anything.

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