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Subject: People buying from Borders. Why??? rss

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Michael Tagge
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This may be more chit-chat, but I don't hang out there (the folks in RSP are much cooler). I was passing by a Borders yesterday on the way to Costco and decided to look in to see if there were any good deals on their boardgame stock since they are going out of business. No luck on the boardgames (all 10% off MSRP), but I did see that most things were 10% off. There was a huge line of folks buying books that were 10% off MSRP.

Can one of those book lovers explain to me why anyone would buy a book at 10% off MSRP at a store that is going out of business? The 30% more one would pay over Amazon's price does nothing but give the creditors more money since their purchase doesn't fund the continued operation of the store. Now if you wanted a magazine at 40% off I could see that, but 10% off of books?

Edit: I was corrected in that the creditors would get any of the proceeds, not the shareholders.
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Brian
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Some don't like buying online.
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Tom Johnson
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serdudds wrote:
Some don't like buying online.


Actually a lot of people I work with are still very paranoid of anything online involving a credit card. Of course most of these people are >50.

But I am still surprised when the topic of buying something online comes up and someone will mention how they have never done it and never will because of the threat of identity theft.

Don't all credit cards now include fraud protection?
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Kelsey Rinella
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teejay wrote:
serdudds wrote:
Some don't like buying online.


Actually a lot of people I work with are still very paranoid of anything online involving a credit card. Of course most of these people are >50.

But I am still surprised when the topic of buying something online comes up and someone will mention how they have never done it and never will because of the threat of identity theft.

Don't all credit cards now include fraud protection?


And aren't most of those people perfectly willing to share their credit card numbers with complete strangers over the phone, at physical cash registers, and to allow those numbers to exist in giant databases which are among the most appealing targets of hackers-for-profit?

That's the part I don't understand.
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Josh
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Wow, my wife and I had this exact conversation about two hours ago. We'd heard about this great closeout sale at Borders, and I knew they had some games, so we went to check it out. We were very underwhelmed. Most things are 10% off, including games. The base price of most merchandise there was surprisingly expensive. At least for games, music, and DVDs, after the "savings" were applied it would still be appreciably cheaper to order online even after shipping was applied. I walked out with the idea that Borders had priced themselves out of business, not that the Internet had murdered them.
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Brian
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JoshBot wrote:
Wow, my wife and I had this exact conversation about two hours ago. We'd heard about this great closeout sale at Borders, and I knew they had some games, so we went to check it out. We were very underwhelmed. Most things are 10% off, including games. The base price of most merchandise there was surprisingly expensive. At least for games, music, and DVDs, after the "savings" were applied it would still be appreciably cheaper to order online even after shipping was applied. I walked out with the idea that Borders had priced themselves out of business, not that the Internet had murdered them.


I noticed Media play did something similar when they were going out of business. They had a 10% off everything sale, and gosh darn if I didn't go in there and find everything marked up 10%, making their sale a complete rip off.
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Brian
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teejay wrote:
serdudds wrote:
Some don't like buying online.


Actually a lot of people I work with are still very paranoid of anything online involving a credit card. Of course most of these people are >50.

But I am still surprised when the topic of buying something online comes up and someone will mention how they have never done it and never will because of the threat of identity theft.

Don't all credit cards now include fraud protection?


Also, some people don't like waiting for shipping. The instant gratification of an impulse buy fails on the internet.
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Michael Tagge
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JoshBot wrote:
Wow, my wife and I had this exact conversation about two hours ago. We'd heard about this great closeout sale at Borders, and I knew they had some games, so we went to check it out. We were very underwhelmed. Most things are 10% off, including games. The base price of most merchandise there was surprisingly expensive. At least for games, music, and DVDs, after the "savings" were applied it would still be appreciably cheaper to order online even after shipping was applied. I walked out with the idea that Borders had priced themselves out of business, not that the Internet had murdered them.
Same sentiment. I looked once or twice and online if you bargain shopped you could get Amazon like prices, but why not stick with Amazon at that point.
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Michael Tagge
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teejay wrote:
Actually a lot of people I work with are still very paranoid of anything online involving a credit card. Of course most of these people are >50.

But I am still surprised when the topic of buying something online comes up and someone will mention how they have never done it and never will because of the threat of identity theft.

Don't all credit cards now include fraud protection?
We've had to cancel a credit card number after buying something from a third party seller. It actually wasn't that big a deal, and probably a good thing to change every once in a while anyway. Now if we need something from a Amazon partner we buy an Amazon gift card and use that with the merchant.
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This is pretty much typical liquidation behavior: 10% off to start; increase by 5% or 10% every few weeks. In theory, this gives you the highest return for any item in the store. In practice....
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Donald
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I don't understand why people are rushing in to buy at 10% off when they could have gotten the free member card and gotten 10% off everyday.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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I got A Dance With Dragons for 40% off and it was the last copy, so I feel pretty good about it.
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Matt Sommer
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ejmowrer wrote:
I got A Dance With Dragons for 40% off and it was the last copy, so I feel pretty good about it.


I don't post this to make you feel bad, but you can get it for 46% off through Amazon. 45% off through B&N.

40% off isn't a BAD price by any means, but it's definitely not something unusual. I think that's why people here are so baffled with these others snapping up all the "deals" at the liquidation "sale."

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Brian Morris
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My wife and I were actually planning on going to Borders here but finally made the decision to buy ourselves his and hers Kindles (covered in an earlier thread on chit chat) so we decided not to bring any new dead trees into the house.

I've actually heard similar thoughts though expressed on a space history forum I frequent. People were very disappointed at the prices. Mind you as time goes on the discounts will get more and more although the selection will get lower and lower.

If you really want to go cheaper a Kindle really is the way to go. Kindle editions can be so much cheaper. As an example the first Kindle book I will be buying is The Rashness of That Hour: Politics, Gettysburg, and the Downfall of Confederate Brigadier General Alfred Iverson. That book retails for $32, is $21.75 through Amazon but the Amazon Kindle edition is $9.99. At that rate it won't take long for my Kindle to pay for itself.
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serdudds wrote:


Also, some people don't like waiting for shipping. The instant gratification of an impulse buy fails on the internet.


THIS exactly. Until Amazon can get it there in 1-hour, I'll still buy quite a bit of things directly from the store.
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For a lot of people, there's value in other things than just the final price of an item.
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Stephen Harkleroad
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We were just there yesterday. While most of the store was 10%, large sections were more: romance was 30%, Politics and current events was also 30%, and a few others were 20% (Literature, I think.) So there were still plenty of good deals there if you wanted those genres.

The only thing that bothered me was they still had their table of "Buy One, Get One 50% Off," but just slapped a 10% off sign up, so that was actually worse than before. There were all kinds of new, good books there. Oh well.

For me, it's not worth it until at least 20%, and probably not until 30% off. Once it hits that, the instant gratification/browse level makes them a good deal to me. (Plus at this point they are probably equal to or better than Amazon.) Of course, everything is picked over at that point, though the last wave of Borders closings I picked up some reasonably obscure history books, so I will probably pick at the carcass again.

Also don't forget that many of these people may be casual book purchasers. To them--who won't bother getting an Amazon account and only go to the store around Christmas--10% off (plus the press given to the bankruptcy sale) probably drives a lot of people there.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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SommerMatt wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
I got A Dance With Dragons for 40% off and it was the last copy, so I feel pretty good about it.


I don't post this to make you feel bad, but you can get it for 46% off through Amazon. 45% off through B&N.

40% off isn't a BAD price by any means, but it's definitely not something unusual. I think that's why people here are so baffled with these others snapping up all the "deals" at the liquidation "sale."



I do not qualify for free shipping at Amazon. I have no desire to buy multiple books to do that. This ended up being a few bucks cheaper than Amazon after shipping.

I don't think the good deals have started at Borders by any means, but this was a fair price and I was happy to pay it. Somebody asked why people were shopping there. I answered. Had I waited for the 90% off version of A Dance With Dragons, it would be non existent. I got it at exactly the right time.

I passed on the 10% off games that were still 5-10 bucks more than online plus shipping. However, you can bet your bottom dollar I'll be back in 4 weeks when they're 50% off. I assume they'll drop the prices periodically until it's gone.
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Dave Lartigue
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Not just at Borders, but anywhere: 10% is not a sale. It's, I don't know. A thanks? There isn't anything in the world that I'm gonna run over to get over a measly 10% off. At 20% you start to have my attention, but I'm still not biting unless it's something I was already planning on getting anyway.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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Unfortunately, the majority of average consumers have no brains. I've seen the same phenomenon at every "going out of business sale" that I've come across.

The % off is many times more than their sale prices. By the time they increase the % to where it would actually be a good savings, the store is messy, practically empty, and destroyed and is impossible to shop at.

Remember, many people cannot do simple math and do not understand what constitutes a good value.
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EgorjLileli wrote:
Remember, many people cannot do simple math and do not understand what constitutes a good value.


Or it could be that many people do not have the researching skills or technical savvy to do online comparison shopping, and are willing to accept getting someing (that they may not know where else to get other than at Borders) at a fair price rather than take their chances that it'll still be there when it becomes a good, great, or incredible price.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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I think you guys are being excessively harsh on the average intelligence of Border's shoppers. First of all, dumb-ass illiterates don't read books and therefore don't shop at Borders at all, sale or no sale. Second of all, there are other motivations for buying there than price. Some people like to browse before buying. Some people like that so much so that they will not support Amazon in snuffing out the FLBS. Third, I consider my families on both sides fairly representative of the average American family and they know how to do comparison shopping and calculate %off in their head while sleeping. They live for the deal. The only mistake I've ever seen any of them make is to not factor in the cost in gas money driving to a deal in the middle of nowhere.

In short,the kind of people that are going to buy a book from Borders, sale or no sale, deal or no deal, are more likely to be making fair, rational decisions than the people many of you are describing. As with any store, the stuff that is reasonably priced will move off the shelves and the crap will remain until the price drops. Just because 10% off isn't a deal at Borders, doesn't mean there were no deals at Borders this week. They had several things at 20% or 30% or 40% off already.
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ejmowrer wrote:
I think you guys are being excessively harsh on the average intelligence of Border's shoppers. First of all, dumb-ass illiterates don't read books and therefore don't shop at Borders at all, sale or no sale. Second of all, there are other motivations for buying there than price. Some people like to browse before buying. Some people like that so much so that they will not support Amazon in snuffing out the FLBS. Third, I consider my families on both sides fairly representative of the average American family and they know how to do comparison shopping and calculate %off in their head while sleeping. They live for the deal. The only mistake I've ever seen any of them make is to not factor in the cost in gas money driving to a deal in the middle of nowhere.

In short,the kind of people that are going to buy a book from Borders, sale or no sale, deal or no deal, are more likely to be making fair, rational decisions than the people many of you are describing. As with any store, the stuff that is reasonably priced will move off the shelves and the crap will remain until the price drops. Just because 10% off isn't a deal at Borders, doesn't mean there were no deals at Borders this week. They had several things at 20% or 30% or 40% off already.


I bought one book at the borders sale in my town. They carry different books than the main bookstore in town. I went in because I like to browse in bookstores. I love to read but don't in general like to buy books I have not physically looked at.

I thought the borders sale would be larger but it wasn't but while I was there I found a book that my aunt would like (My lovely aunt whose husband just died) so I waited in line to buy it for 10% off. I could then send it off that day with a note to her.

In general, I buy my new books at the independent bookstore in town because I like browsing there. Many people in my town do. We have one of the highest rated independent bookstores in the state in our town.
It's great.

When I want cheap used books I buy them ay the goodwill outlet for $5 a grocery bag.

Explain to me what is stupid about my buying decisions...
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mtagge wrote:
There was a huge line of folks buying books that were 10% off MSRP.


Imagine how long the lines would be if the deals were better. I imagine a little of their liquidation strategy involves crowd control.
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