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Old 10-24-2009, 12:27 AM   #1
desertgrandma
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A huge mistake on BN's part

According to this post from the Nook help board, you cannot use Barnes and Noble gift cards for e-book purchases:

Re: Buy ebooks with a giftcard
Options


Dear missacarissa:

I've checked with our Gift Cards team, and they've confirmed that at the present time, Gift Cards and Gift Certificates cannot be used to purchase eBooks, though they can be used for every other product line on the site. This may change at some future date as we move forward with our eBooks offerings, but there don't appear to be any immediate plans to make it happen. Sorry I can't provide better news.


You also cannot buy a specific book for someone who buys a Nook. (Amazon has this same policy.)

DemonicDuck wrote:

Is it possible for me to purchase an ebook for someone else as a gift so it would appear to their computer\smart phone\nook\whatever and not mine?

Sorry, Demonic,
You can send someone a nook, but you cannot "gift" an eBook at this time.



But wait. Whats the first thing most of us did when we got our Kindle.

We told all our friends, family etc that for Christmas or birthdays, we wanted Amazon GC's so that we could buy books, or covers or whatever, right?

So, in essence, Barnes and Noble is telling people to buy the nook, but no one else can buy GC's so you can add to your library.

Someone is definitely not thinking things thru here.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:30 AM   #2
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You also cannot buy a specific book for someone who buys a Nook. (Amazon has this same policy.)
I think Amazon (and B&N) are leaving a lot of sales of the table here. How awesome would it be to send someone and eBook as a gift.

Now that Amazon and B&N have PC/Mac apps (amazon for mac coming soon we hear) you could even buy ebooks for people that don't have the devices. They could read them on their PC and each "You've get ebook" email could include an ad for the device if you don't already have one.

Robert Scoble posted this on his blog like 2 days after the original Amazon Kindle came out, and it made so much sense.

BOb
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:41 AM   #3
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Seems to me that the recent rash of new ereaders has been rushed through. They all seem to carry simple problems that should have been fixed before release of the machines.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:45 AM   #4
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Seems to me that the recent rash of new ereaders has been rushed through. They all seem to carry simple problems that should have been fixed before release of the machines.
True. But I expected more from Barnes and Noble.

They've been able to follow Sony, and Kindle, and others, and could easily see the pros and cons of what was out there, and what was needed.

I think we have people here who could have done a better job. (no, I wasn't referring to myself.)
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:57 AM   #5
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I think we have people here who could have done a better job. (no, I wasn't referring to myself.)
We could certainly give them a priority list of features. But, you've got to admit, compared to the Kindle 2, the user replaceable battery and microSD slot are way cool.

One feature I have been wanting since I got my Kindle is the ability to add my personal documents to my online media library so they are backed up and available any time. With the feature I don't need to expand the memory.

Yea, we could have told B&N you need to allow for gift cards and or gifting ebooks. That one time loan thing would have been low on my list.

Also, that LCD screen would have been great if you could navigate through folders and/or tags to organize your ebooks. Because the LCD screen would be fast.

BOb
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:09 AM   #6
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The basic problem with gifting eBooks is one they need to work out. It is the DRM. Unless the person being gifted already has a credit card on file they have to way to do the DRM. I am sure they can work this out but it isn't automatic.

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Old 10-24-2009, 01:12 AM   #7
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The basic problem with gifting eBooks is one they need to work out. It is the DRM. Unless the person being gifted already has a credit card on file they have to way to do the DRM. I am sure they can work this out but it isn't automatic.

Dale
Good point. But, they could start with people that already have B&N account.

For example, when my mom asks me what I want for a gift, I can just say, go check out my Amazon/B&N wish list. Oh, wait you can't put eBooks on your Amazon wish list. At least you can buy Kindle books with Amazon gift cards.

BOb

Last edited by pilotbob; 10-24-2009 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 10-24-2009, 02:41 AM   #8
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Oh, wait you can't put eBooks on your Amazon wish list.
This bothers me as well! And there seems no good reason not to allow it. Grrr.

What would be really neat is if they allowed ebook gifting with a little note attached. So you could wake up on your birthday to find a new ebook on your Kindle/Nook and a birthday message from the sender.
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:27 AM   #9
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The basic problem with gifting eBooks is one they need to work out. It is the DRM. Unless the person being gifted already has a credit card on file they have to way to do the DRM. I am sure they can work this out but it isn't automatic.
It's hardly insurmountable - they could say "you can gift to anyone with an email address" and they can send that email address saying "so and so gave you this book, to claim it please send us your account name, or if you haven't got one here is how to set up an account". It's exactly like an online gift certificate, only it can be applied to only a specific book.

Hell, they could even not deal with that except verbally - "So and so has gifted you a copy of The Hobbit. You can claim The Hobbit or another book of equivalent value by....".

The point being that people who read just love gifting books. Not being able to do so is a real turn-off for many. Not to mention Christmas is coming up...
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:33 AM   #10
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Since BN had their ebook store up for a while, I guess this is not a new policy? But would one be able to buy the Nook with a Gift Card? Thinking about cashing in some AMEX points for BN Gift Cards.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:54 AM   #11
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These are problems that I am confident that B&N will get resolved before the November 30th release. It would be insane not to allow gift cards to be used for ebook purchases. Maybe they are planning separate Nook Gift Cards (though I see no need to differentiate).
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:24 AM   #12
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I think Amazon (and B&N) are leaving a lot of sales of the table here.
They definitely are, Bob. Not only can you not use B&N gift cards, if you are a B&N club member, you can't use the club membership discount. I'm a long-time B&N club member and book buyer, but I am unlikely to buy the Nook because of all of these limitations, which means that I am also unlikely to shop at B&N for ebooks (Fictionwise will still get my business unless B&N changes its policies).

I am much more likely to upgrade my Sony 505 to either the Sony Daily Edition or the iRex 800 than to the Nook.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
The basic problem with gifting eBooks is one they need to work out. It is the DRM. Unless the person being gifted already has a credit card on file they have to way to do the DRM. I am sure they can work this out but it isn't automatic.

Dale
If Fictionwise, a B and N subsidiary, can offer the option of gifting ebooks why can't B and N itself offer this too? This really does get me to worrying about B and N shutting down fictionwise. I mean ereader is superfluous now, but Fictionwise really filled in a niche that the B and N store doesnt, especially with its multiformat titles.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:48 AM   #14
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If Fictionwise, a B and N subsidiary, can offer the option of gifting ebooks why can't B and N itself offer this too?
I think B & N has learned from their ownership of Fictionwise (what works and what doesn't). Just because these details were not firmed up for the release press conference does not mean that gifting (and use of gift cards) or membership perks (maybe something like micropay rebates) will not be addressed by the November 30th delivery. I am optimistic that they will sort these issues out. However, they need to do so quickly (and make announcements) in order to capture many of the "fence sitters" that are out there before holiday shopping gets too far along.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:55 AM   #15
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Just because these details were not firmed up for the release press conference does not mean that gifting (and use of gift cards) or membership perks (maybe something like micropay rebates) will not be addressed by the November 30th delivery. I am optimistic that they will sort these issues out. However, they need to do so quickly (and make announcements) in order to capture many of the "fence sitters" that are out there before holiday shopping gets too far along.
I don't know, it seems if they planed to have it implemented by Nov 30th they would certainly know about it now and would certainly include it in the announcement.

Then again, perhaps B&N knows how to under promise and over deliver. Not sure about that considering the over promise on ebook lending.

BOb
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