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Old 12-04-2019, 02:44 PM   #1
mtreader
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Why Are E-readers Not Widely Sold in Stores?

Just an open question: We can buy tablets, phones, laptops and all kinds of related products from mass merchants (in U.S.). So why are we unable to find most e-readers in stores. I'm aware of the few exceptions that offer one brand, but would love to see ereaders by Pocketbook, Boyue, Onyx and even any Kobo other than the Clara (a nearby Walmart has a non-working display).

I'm struggling to decide between a Pocketbook Inkpad 3 vs Android-based 8"
readers. For any other product, handling the device would help make the decision easy. As an aside, if anyone who uses Send to Pocketbook would be willing to answer a few questions, I'd be grateful.

Last edited by mtreader; 12-04-2019 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:48 PM   #2
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Just an open question: We can buy tablets, phones, laptops and all kinds of related products from mass merchants (in U.S.). So why are we unable to find most e-readers in stores (even excluding the obvious cases like Nook and Kindle)?
They used to be widely available in Best Buy, Walmart and Target stores. I would guess they aren't stocked any longer because they don't see in enough number to justify them.

Best Buy still has Kindles, along with other Amazon paraphernalia. And B&N still has Nooks. Finding a Kobo displayed anywhere is nearly impossible though.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:52 PM   #3
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They used to be widely available in Best Buy, Walmart and Target stores. I would guess they aren't stocked any longer because they don't see in enough number to justify them.

Best Buy still has Kindles, along with other Amazon paraphernalia. And B&N still has Nooks. Finding a Kobo displayed anywhere is nearly impossible though.
Kobo is in Walmart.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:03 PM   #4
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Kobo is in Walmart.
Have you ever actually seen a Kobo device in a Walmart? If so, you live near one of the 1,000 stores (out of approx. 4,800 in the US) that has them on hand.

Otherwise, you have to order online.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Kobo is in Walmart.
Kobo is *supposed* to be in Walmarts.
Some stores actually display it.
Most don't.
Even in the ones that have it, they don't do much to push it. If at all.

https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/...elling-ebooks/

https://the-digital-reader.com/2018/...elling-ebooks/

https://the-digital-reader.com/2019/...rough-walmart/

Online yes, in-store, nearly impossible.

https://www.walmart.com/search/?query=kobo
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:49 PM   #6
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As an aside, if anyone who uses Send to Pocketbook would be willing to answer a few questions, I'd be grateful.
I do, what do you want to know?
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:05 PM   #7
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I'm pretty sure Best Buy carries kindles.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:21 PM   #8
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They are not much in demand. Many people just don't read or they buy physical books. I am the only person at my job walking around with an e-reader. As a matter of fact, I never saw or met another person that owns one. Best by and Target sells them So does officemax
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Old 12-05-2019, 05:32 AM   #9
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Majority of eBooks are read on phones.
Secondly tablets.
The eink comes third, it's a niche and hard to explain to someone that hasn't used one, doesn't read hours at a time and reads on their phone.
Only novels work well on eink. Text books, PDF documentation, cookery books, coffee table books, comics etc work better on 10" to 14" tablets.
Audio books in general might be more popular than ebooks from the Big Five.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:56 AM   #10
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Probably depends on the country. You can find Kobos and Kindles in any decent-sized retail electronics store in Italy; Kobos also have a partnership with two of our major bookshop chains (Mondadori and Feltrinelli), so you can also buy them in one of their stores. Tolino has a bookstore partnership as well (IBS+Libraccio).
I've never seen other ereaders on sale in stores, except maybe those made by Sony before they stopped being manufactured.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:32 AM   #11
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The eink comes third, it's a niche and hard to explain to someone that hasn't used one, doesn't read hours at a time ...
Heck, it's hard to explain to many who HAVE used (and own) eink devices and DO read hours at a time. I love how some people like to assume that all people who choose to read on anything other than eink devices are unenlightened, extra-light-reading fools who just don't know what they're missing. Couldn't be because of an informed conscious choice. No....

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Old 12-05-2019, 09:22 AM   #12
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PocketBooks are not in stores in USA, because long time ago PocketBook tried to sell readers for significantly lover price in USA than in the rest of the world - Europe and Russia and other former Soviet Republics. They had to sell cheap in USA, because they had competition from Amazon and other brands. And, of course, EVERYTHING electronic is cheaper in USA. No mandatory 2 year warranty, no strong consumer protection laws, no 20+% VAT on the top of the [advertised] price ...

This pissed off customers here in Europe and especially CIS, because in former Soviet Union states people typically earn much less than people in USA and can't afford an e-ink reader as easily, and PocketBook at the time was an Ukraine based company and people there felt that it was doubly unjust that they would have to sponsor lower prices for wealthy, spoiled Americans.

At first PocketBook tried to hide prices of e-ink readers for USA customers from the rest of [potential] customers, but, ... how would you do that effectively in the Internet era?

So ... they retreated from the American market entirely.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:06 AM   #13
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It appears that nobody is publishing eInk device sales anymore....but....I'm pretty d@mned sure that the heyday of eInk device sales is a thing of the past.

In the US...

The day of the independent eInk device is over. Only devices connected to a book store survive (Kindle, Kobo, Nook).

Lack of sales volume leads to lack of retail interest.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:30 AM   #14
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It appears that nobody is publishing eInk device sales anymore....but....I'm pretty d@mned sure that the heyday of eInk device sales is a thing of the past.

In the US...

The day of the independent eInk device is over. Only devices connected to a book store survive (Kindle, Kobo, Nook).

Lack of sales volume leads to lack of retail interest.
This makes sense given that how easy it is to buy and read a new book on an eInk device connected to a given store. The vast majority just aren't interested in side loading.

This is anecdotal, of course, but I'm actually starting to see kids reading on eInk device now. I was a bit surprised when I saw it. It could simply be that kid of that age grew up using smart phones and tablet and the feel of a physical book isn't as big of a deal for them.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:42 AM   #15
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When I was shopping for my first ereader in 2012 I was able to see all the major brands in stores. I think I looked at Nooks at the local Barnes and Noble store. Best Buy and Target both carried several brands at that time. I bought my Sony PRS-T1 at Target. It was really helpful to me to see all the devices in person and see how they felt in my hand.

The last time I checked store availability on Walmart none of the stores near me was carrying Kobo.
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