Tour’s Books Blog

August 20, 2013

Another Entry in Book Wars – Part IV

Filed under: Editorial,Observations and Comments,opinion — toursbooks @ 3:39 pm
Tags: ,

I just read about non-book price advantages at Bed, Bath, and Beyond over Amazon, then Tom Gara of the Wall Street Journal added,

“It’s not just physical retailers putting Amazon in their sights — online competitors also seem focused on matching the company’s low prices. Today online retailer Overstock announced it would match all Amazon prices on books, in a move coming just a month after the company said it would undercut Amazon by 10% in the book market — a discount Amazon quickly matched.

“Last month we started a book pricing war with Amazon,” said Patrick Byrne, Overstock.’s chairman, in a statement announcing the price matching. “We’re hoping to continue that battle, in a way that lessens any harm to the mom-and-pop booksellers we consider our comrades in arms.””

Price wars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And we, the consumer, might win – at least in the short term.  Companies can lose money forever and stay in business, but like airline price wars, get it while it’s hot!

I do order from Overstock, just not usually books, just household items.  I think I’ve bought 6 sheet sets, an end table, comforter set, and a number of other things, all at very good prices.  Like Amazon, Overstock is strictly mail order.  But Bed, Bath, and Beyond is NOT.  It’s a brick and mortar store that seems to be ubiquitous throughout the country.  Ranks up there with Pier 1.  I never bought much of anything from them, so I have no comment on their goods.  I’ve been in a few stores, but they rarely seem to have what I want.

So I did some checking:

  • The English Girl (HC  Aug 6th) –  Overstock – $15.81 +15% on Club O Dollars     Amazon, $19.28
  • Never Go Back (Jack Reacher) HC (Sept 3)  –  Overstock – $16.80 + 15% in Club O Dollar    Amazon  –  $16.80
  • World War Z (Trade size Oct 2007) –   Overstock  –  $7.86 + 15% on Club O dollars     Amazon  –  $7.86
  • Eylsian Fields (HC Aug 13) –   Ocerstock  –  $17.93 + 15% Club O dollars     Amazon  –  $17.93

Translation:  Like Amazon Prime, Overstock offers an annual membership for $19.95 (Amazon is $80 but includes lots of other perks) that includes free shipping on all orders AND at LEAST 5% on Club O dollars that can be used toward future purchases.  So even where Amazon has matched the price, and obviously they have, they lose in that Overstock members would get an ADDITIONAL $8.75 in discounts on future purchases.

Now Overstock does not have the range or the long pre-order capability of Amazon, and I had much better pricing on Elysian Fields on pre-order at BAM even with the 15% O dollars calculated in.  But taken over all, I’d have to say on recent releases, and soon to be released titles, you’d do better at Overstock.

Who knew?  I always think of them for bed, bath and household stuff, not books or movies.  It’s worth a look and if you’re planning household purchased, you’ll find those O-dollars adding up fast.  Not bad for $20/year.

By the way, I got The English Girl the cheapest way possible, through Paperback Swap, for free.   Pardon me while I gloat.

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