How Do They Survive?

september 11, 2006

I just bought a book from Amazon, Red Hat Linux Networking and System Administration. It was cheap at $37.80. The list price of the book is $60. How, I wonder do brick and mortar bookstores competing with this kind of cut throat pricing? I took Amazon up on their Free Shipping deal and I don't have to pay tax since the book ships out of Nevada (and Amazon is also out of state). So, the book cost me $37.80 flat. Barnes and Nobles sells the book for full list price and so does Borders. On top of that, I would end up paying tax, which would bring the total to about $64.95. The difference? I save $27.15 by ordering through Amazon, but have to wait for a couple of days for the book. Is instant gratification worth $27.15? Nope. I am quite guilty of browsing some similar books at the local Barnes and Noble. I also browsed some similar books at Borders and Fry's. I actually browsed the book I ordered on Amazon through their Search Inside program, which is not as good as browsing in a store, but still affords me the chance to look through the book first. Browse in store, buy online. Is that how you shop?