Because of the recent actions of my once favorite bookseller, Barnes & Noble (B&N), I have decided to change my membership to Amazon Prime.
I bought a cookbook from B&N earlier this year and about a month after buying it, I discovered that it had vital pages missing. I thought it was a simple solution – just take the book back and they will exchange it for me. It wasn’t that simple. They have a very rigid 14-day return policy – even if you have a defective book. They refused to exchange my book. When I contacted the publisher they said to get with the bookseller. I was stuck.
Fewer Discount Coupons
Being a long-time member of B&N, I would regularly get two 20% Off Coupons in the mail. Those have discontinued for some reason. I haven’t received any coupons for the past couple of months. I also noticed that their email discounts have gotten smaller and smaller, going from 20% off to 5-10%.
Online Prices Are No Longer Competitive
My last visit to B&N, I discovered that their online prices are no longer in line with Amazon Prime pricing. Here are some examples from my Wish List:
- 21 Lessons for the 21st Century – Retail: $28.00, B&N: $22.40, Amazon: $16.80
- The 5 Second Rule – Retail: $24.99, B&N: $19.99, Amazon: $16.99
- The House of Islam – Retail: $30.00, B&N: $27.00, Amazon: $19.40
- No Mud, No Lotus – Retail: $14.95, B&N: 14.54, Amazon: $12.76
- The End of Alzheimer’s – Retail: $27.00, B&N: $21.60, Amazon: $17.18
I always wondered why B&N sold their books for retail at the store when you could go to their online store and buy the same book at a 30-40% discount. If you were a member of their Book Club ($25 per year), you would receive the book within three days and the shipping was free. I read a lot of books and just cannot afford to pay retail at $25 to $30 a book. I will continue to visit B&N as long as they’re still around, have a cup of coffee, and peruse their books. If I happen to have a coupon, I may buy a book or two. If I don’t, then Amazon will get my order online. Not B&N.