Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Book Stores Online

When looking for books I often find myself at Amazon online or Borders where my family hangs out for coffee, smoothies or a mocha. Borders is my favorite brick and mortar books store.

While doing research for this article, I quickly discovered that my favorite brick and mortar store had given up there website fight to Amazon. Now Amazon handles all of Borders Books online book purchases. I was completely shocked! So I am comparing Amazon with Barnes & Noble.

While doing the price comparison there was a sharp difference in pricing that I could not believe. I really do not do price shopping as I have a borders business card and get huge discounts at the store.

I found Barnes & Nobel to have their pricing as list price and you must become a member to get a discount that was not always disclosed. I was very sadness by the great difference in price. Also Amazon offers used books and both hardback and paper back pricing on the same page.

Here is the price comparison of some of the books I own and some that I do not own. I see that I could have saved a lot of money buying directly from Amazon.

1. Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Unleashed by Rand Morimoto
Amazon: $41.99 Barnes & Nobel: $59.99

2. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Unleashed by Rand Morimoto
Amazon: $41.99 Barnes & Nobel: $59.99

3. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Insider Solutions by Rand Morimoto
Amazon: $27.99 Barnes & Nobel: $39.99

4. Biztalk Unleashed by Susie Adams
Amazon: $35.50 Barnes & Nobel: $49.99

5. Microsoft Exchange 2000, Conferencing Server, and SharePoint Portal Server 2001 by Rand Morimoto
Amazon: $33.99 Barnes & Nobel: $49.99

6. Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Administrator's Companion by Bill English, Walter J. Glenn
Amazon: $37.79 Barnes & Nobel: $49.99

7. Windows 2000 Design & Migration by Rand H Morimoto
Amazon: $29.69 Barnes & Nobel: $49.99

8. Maximum Windows 2000 Security by Anonymous
Amazon: $33.99 Barnes & Nobel: $49.99

9. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Administrator's Companion by Sharon Crawford, Charlie Russel, Jason Gerend
Amazon: $47.59 Barnes & Nobel: $69.99

10. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 TCP/IP Protocols and Services Technical Reference by Joseph Davies, Thomas Lee
Amazon: $32.99 Barnes & Nobel: $49.99

I do not patron Barnes & Nobel and now I see why with the price robbery. Barnes & Nobel also charges for shipping. Amazon does not charge for shipping.

Amazon was for the most part the first book store online. Barnes & Nobel has copied the look and feel of Amazon to even include the color schema. Both sites were easy to navigate.

Amazon offered more about the book to include sample chapters, index and table of contents. Amazon offers reader reviews both good and bad. Amazon offers the ability to search inside the book.

Amazon also offers the ability for recommending other books that users purchased along with the one you are looking at. They offer editorial reviews, what other books the book cites, other books that cite this book, recommendations of similar books, other books customers viewed while looking at this book, auctions that contain this book, other books by the author, similar categories, similar subjects, recently viewed history, easy shopping cart, easy buying experience, the ability to rate the product, and an inside look at the front and back covers.

Barnes & Noble had little to offer as a comparison.

Jeff Bezos, one of the founders of Amazon, doesn’t consider Amazon as a front runner for selling popular books. I found this surprising, as they beat Barnes & Noble in most all categories hands down in my opinion. He states that they cater to the hard to find books. While that may be true, I found Amazon's website extremely appealing for popular books in the mainstream.

By offering an inside look and searching inside the book, it gives you a pretty good idea of what the book is about. I find this very important as when you are at the book store you can quickly scan through a bunch of books at one time and determine if that is the book that you are looking for and desire. You can not do that at Barnes & Nobel.

In conclusion I found that Barnes & Nobel offered the same titles at a much higher price on average about $10.00 to $25.00 higher, no old book, a knock off Amazon website, with none of the extra features or ability to look inside a book. So why even bother shopping at Barnes and Nobel online.

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