I went in to purchase it, and the price in store was a couple bucks higher than the listed price online. I asked the clerk about it, and he kind of shrugged and said he couldn't do anything about it.
I walked out without the book and ordered it from Amazon on my phone in the parking lot.
I still can't fathom the decision-making that led to that pricing strategy.
Beyond that, the in-store price is considered to be the “normal” pricing. You are getting a discount on the website.
I don’t like a company that sometimes squeezes and sometimes caresses.
If you're ever wondering why the online price differs from the in-store price by a significant amount, usually it's not because the retailer is trying to gouge you. It's because they would have to pay to have the shelves re-tagged. Retailers don't use the regular store associates to re-tag shelves. Instead they usually have roving teams of contractors who go around retagging everything on the store shelves periodically.
The only way to really eliminate this is using electronic shelf labels, and that's quite impossible in a bookstore. Much of their inventory is thinner than the tags themselves.
Borders did put a sticker on every book. 2nd & Charles does too.
The average customer gettibg the book themselves rather than ordering it and picking up at the counter is imposing more cost (and that's even more true of the average in-store customer, who probably hasn't searched online for a particular title and checked inventory and then decided not to do online purchase and pickup; by doing that you are making yourself indistinguishable, from a pricing policy perspective, from a much more expensive to serve class of customer.)
Over the past few years, products at my local Best Buy are regularly 20-40% more than on their site. (Unless you order through the site for local pickup... then you can get the online price.)
Walgreens is the same. Might be $12 online but $18 in my local store.
Barnes and Noble is pretty par for the course in this.
I'm surprised by the experience related here - I'd absolutely expect the store to price match online when asked about it even though I believe they were separate divisions.
If you have accepted location permissions for the Target app, the app will show the in-store price when it can tell you're in a store.
The only way of knowing this is that in smaller/lighter print under the price, it'll either say "Online" or whatever store location.
The most egregious example was an item I bought that cost 40% more in-store versus online, and you'd never know had you looked at the app.
i don't shop there much anymore, but i've done bopus (buy online, pick up in store) before to get the online price directly.
There's really not a good reason for their in-store price to be higher than their online price in 2019.
Think of the price match as a coupon that you have/know about but others don't. The store is content to sell you the item at a discount (they likely still make money and they keep you coming to them) but they'd still prefer to sell to you at the higher price.
This is of course a very stylized/idealized argument, but I think it's a good point to consider.
Immediacy has value, so if you need something _now_ you will be willing to pay for that.
Also, you have to pay in time and money to go to the store, so you _may_ be willing to pay more to have the book delivered.
In both situations, the way the book gets to you changes the price you're willing to pay.
You aren’t likely to talk to a knowledgeable salesperson at a chain bookseller, as generally they are not big book fans. They just needed a job, and these chains will hire just about anyone who can competently work their POS systems.
I can understand certain independent bookshops having great additional value to customers because their proprietors and the other clerks were voracious readers. However, for Borders/Barnes & Noble/Waldenbooks, and various other US chains, their staff has been generally unable to talk in any depth on books since at least the 1990s when I first visited them.
As somebody who spends a ridiculous amount of time at my local Barnes & Noble store (I work from their cafe a lot, but also come here to buy books a lot), and who has gotten to know most of the staff here pretty well, I would say that this does not jibe with my (n=1) experience. It doesn't prove anything, but the people who work here (the New Hope Commons store, in Durham, NC) are quite often bibliophiles, and/or are very knowledgeable about books and/or quite a few other things. One of the baristas is a masters student in Data Science and always points out to me if some new techie book has shown up on the shelves that he thinks I might be interested in. Several of the employees are also authors in their own right, and I just finished one of their books which was, if not exactly great, definitely at least worth reading. Another lady ran one of the first ISP's somewhere in the midwest back in the day, and knows all sorts of interesting stuff. Amazingly she didn't know about the show Halt & Catch Fire until I mentioned it to her the other day.
Anyway, I digress... the point is just that at this one store, at least, there is a staff of people who are quite knowledgeable/interesting and make it worth coming in, in order to interact with them.
That really changed after a disappointing 2017 holiday season when they laid off close to 2000 mostly long term employees in February 2018. They basically dumped a lot of long-term employees and hired much less experienced basic retail workers if they hired anyone at all. There was actually a fair amount of angst about it at the time particularly among bibliophiles.
A trenchant but insightful review of events from the time: https://audreyii-fic.tumblr.com/post/170886347853/the-entire...
> I went in to purchase it, and the price in store was a couple bucks higher than the listed price online.
If you looked at in on the web and saw that it was in stock, it also had a “buy online and pick up at X store” button on the results page online, which is both more convenient and avoids the problem you relate (they've had that feature for years, and I just tested and it's still there now.)
The in store price is probably higher because people coming in, going through the stacks and de-merchandising books, asking questions, etc., cost more to service, and would be even more unsustainably unprofitable if online prices, which are for sales that don't have those costs associated were charged (meanwhile, online sales would be uncompetitive if in-store prices were charged.)
Make a decision as if you are betting all of your money on your choice. Don't take shortcuts based on your inborn biases and seek contrarian opinions and experienced counsel. Don't blame bad luck on bad outcomes; figure out how you could have made a better informed decision. Oh, and surprise, surprise, join groups with participants who have had similar experiences and expertise who can critique your choices and illuminate your blindspots. There you go.
Was he wrong?
It works out great (usually) for the impatient, but terribly for the patient that are aware of their options.
It's not like you're going to die if you don't get the book you want in 2 days, or even 3-7 business days. (Not that I buy physical books anymore typically, but it applies to other items)
People have just grown very impatient over time. I found myself getting annoyed that I wasn't receiving some items in 1 day (in Korea), until I reflected on what I actually was getting annoyed over.
Personally I find myself buying things on amazon or gmarket simply to avoid having to drive to the store.
Just the other week I went into Barnes & Noble to purchase a book and they had two different trim sizes of the same exact book right next to each other. Both paperback but one was large-and-thin while the other was small-and-thick. The former was about $4 more than the latter.
Taught me to never look at B&N for a book I wanted again. I only ever go in there now when I happen to pass one with time to kill and just want to browse.
It makes sese to me since i dont have to pay for shipping.