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Old 02-11-2013, 11:44 AM   #31
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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.
So be it. It's not dishonest, it's shopping. They got the potential buyer in the door to be sold to. The buyer's browsing debt is now paid by the act of presenting themself.
The shop is not worse off for the browser than if they never went in in the first place. They are in fact better off be because they now have the chance to sell to them.
If they can't get a sale, it's their problem, and they and the browser must accept the loss if they fail. If the browser regrets the loss of the ability to browse, the next shop in line may benefit from the regret. If not, then c'est la entreprise. Or whatever.

Last edited by ApK; 02-11-2013 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:47 AM   #32
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The Internet will probably go that way too, having to pay to get past a shop's firewall - it happens in some places, especially news etc.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:47 AM   #33
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We must agree to differ about that. It goes against my personal code of ethics to do that, but if you're comfortable with it, then fine. But don't complain when the shop has to close due to lack of sales .
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:52 AM   #34
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A more reasonable way for stores to charge for browsing would be something along the lines of Sam's Club or Costco, where you would pay an annual membership fee for unlimited entry, but in return can buy books at significantly discounted prices. Actual Costcos aren't quite like that, but you get the idea. This hypothetical store would still face stiff competition from Amazon in both pricing and breadth of inventory.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:53 AM   #35
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I always thought that shops existed to bring in a customer. Never thought it can be used other way round.
It's a brave new world!
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:55 AM   #36
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I won't pay a browsing charge, I know that much.

I don't feel guilty if I browse at the bookstore and buy online, but I also don't usually leave the bookstore without spending something, either. I buy the things I think are well-priced at the bookstore, and I buy the things I think are overpriced somewhere else (if I can get them for what I consider a reasonable price).
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:09 PM   #37
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Yep, like a 'cover charge' at a bar.....wait a minute....
Ha! That's the first thing that popped into my mind. And I don't go into bars that charge covers. Here, many don't.

But... I have noticed that some people prefer to pay a cover. Apparently, they feel that it makes for a more "select" crowd. (So I've been told by acquaintances who feel this way.) Perhaps these same people will prefer bookstores where one must have at least $10 in their pocket to gain entry. For every hairbrained scheme a business can come up with, there are customers happy to rationalize it for their own purposes.

I only go into bookstores if I intend to buy. (Why drive somewhere just to browse when I can do it from my couch? If I actually go there, I'm not coming home empty-handed.) But a browsing admission fee? Ha. Not a chance.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:10 PM   #38
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What is a "cover charge"? I haven't come across that. I don't think we have that in the UK (although, not being someone who frequents bars, I wouldn't really know ).
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:29 PM   #39
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We must agree to differ about that. It goes against my personal code of ethics to do that, but if you're comfortable with it, then fine. But don't complain when the shop has to close due to lack of sales .
The shop will close faster if no one walks in the door at all, and they do all their browsing and buying online. If I walk in the door to browse at something that I might buy online, there is the chance that I might buy another item that I happen to see, or the chance that they may convince me to buy the thing there after all*. If I don't browse, they might as well as well close up now.
And yes, if the store close, so be it, no right to complain...and probably no desire to, either. If I wasn't doing my bit to support them, there was probably a reason.

*That has happened to me many times. I thought I was going to browse and compare, and I walk out with the item...a little customer service and the lure of instant gratification goes a long way.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:32 PM   #40
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What is a "cover charge"? I haven't come across that. I don't think we have that in the UK (although, not being someone who frequents bars, I wouldn't really know ).
Usually in clubs with a performer of some sort. You pay just to enter whether you buy food and drink or not.
There is also the "two drink minimum" where you will be required to buy two drinks whether you want/drink them or not.

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:34 PM   #41
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Usually in clubs with a performer of some sort. You pay just to enter whether you buy food and drink or not.
There is also the "two drink minimum" where you will be required to buy two drinks whether you want/drink them or not.

ApK
Oh, OK, so it's just a charge on the door. Yes, I've come across that - just haven't heard the name "cover charge" used for it before. Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:38 PM   #42
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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.
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.
There is all sorts of Rent and other expense paid by Online retailers.

[these can be lower cost than Retail Space ]
1)Warehouse space for physical products
2)Office space for business staff, Web programmers
3)Server (CoLo) rack space expense

[These are not typical in pure B&M retail]
4)Additional space for Large Shipping operations (retail may have a 'shipping table')
4b) Employee expense at Warehouse location
5)Higher credit card (non-swipe) fees

The costs are not that much apart, just different.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:40 PM   #43
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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.
Yeah, but how many people *ACTUALLY* go into stores with the specific intention of browsing for things to buy online? (as opposed to retailers assuming that happens because they have the same number of browsers as they have always had, but online sales increasing)

And seeing expensive stuff in one store and then going somewhere else to get the exact same item (or a different brand, but same quality) cheaper, ie comparison shopping, has been going on for decades, even before the 'Net made it easy.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:45 PM   #44
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And seeing expensive stuff in one store and then going somewhere else to get the exact same item (or a different brand, but same quality) cheaper, ie comparison shopping, has been going on for decades, even before the 'Net made it easy.
Tell me about it. I used to work in an AT&T Phone Center in a mall, right next to a Sears, which also sold AT&T products. We had the knowledgeable sales people and working displays, Sears had lower prices. Guess which store is still in business and which isn't....
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:51 PM   #45
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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.
I can understand that businesses are in business to make money, but why should I have to pay just to look around and see if there is something I want to purchase? Sometimes when I go shopping I don't find anything I want to buy at that time. Nothing grabs my interest, so why should I have to pay a charge just to get in to see if there is something I want to buy?
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