I’ve been looking forward to the release of a book called “The Book of Basketball” by Bill Simmons. Simmons is one of my favorite columnists from ESPN.
I considered pre-ordering the book on Amazon. But while I was in Bellevue this afternoon, I decided to swing by Barnes and Noble and buy the book. It wasn’t in stock. As I was about to leave, the Barnes and Noble employee asked if I’d like to be notified by email when the book arrived.
Sure, why not. I gave him my email and he said, “That book is $30 in store.”
“Yes, in store price is $30. That means you want it now and will pick it up from the store.”
“But you don’t have it now. The same book is $16.50 at Amazon”, I tell him.
“You can always order it from our website, where I’m sure it’s less than $30.”
I left the store shaking my head. As much as I want to support local shops, $30 is quite the markup for a book. Does Barnes and Noble want my business? I left with doubts.
What if the employee had offered to ship the book directly to my house at the same price ($17.55) I can purchase the book from the Barnes and Noble website? I would have purchased it on the spot.
It’s only one book and I’m just some guy off the street. But Barnes and Noble missed an opportunity to sell me a book today. And more important, I doubt I’ll go back the next time I’m looking for a new hardcover.
The Amazon website was more helpful than the Barnes and Noble employee. I came home from work and ordered two books and some supplies from Amazon. I’m sure it won’t be the last time.