There are few things as lovely as a day in a book shop with a cup of coffee.
But the other day, I was in Barnes and Noble wondering why the prices were so high compared to other retailers online. So I looked into it and this is what I found…
Why Is Barnes & Noble So Expensive?
Barnes & Noble provide bricks and mortar stores so that shoppers can enjoy a real time non-virtual experience of shopping for books. This kind of experience costs more to provide than the online warehouse select and buy process.
This article takes a look at the Barnes & Noble bookstore experience: why it’s expensive, why it’s different, and how it is valuable.
Does Barnes & Noble Have Good Prices?
Whether Barnes & Noble offer decent prices depends on what you’re looking for, when you need it, and where you live.
For example, B&N charge reasonable prices for new books. But when Amazon or other online giants discount those same books, Barnes & Noble don’t respond with a price war. This is because they can’t afford to.
Besides maintaining real stores and warehouses, B&N are also paying staff to manage and work in them. Besides selling books (and coffee), they must also look after and respond to staff needs and issues.
In turn, store staff are expected stay tuned to customer needs and to cater for their immediate and long term reading interests.
Certain books are more expensive than others. This is unique to the publishing industry and not something that a bookstore chain can influence. Therefore, if the book you want an expensive publication, hot off the press and/or rare and hard to find, it will cost more.
Other books are unique to Barnes & Noble publishing, such as the B&N Leatherbound Classics series. These are very reasonably priced for what they are. However, if you’re keen to have one of these quite unique decorative volumes and you don’t live in the United States, you’ll be paying a fortune for the book and the international shipping that goes with it.
Does Barnes & Noble Price Match?
Barnes & Noble believe that they consistently offer very competitive pricing on their items, many of which are unique to their brand and stores.
This means that Barnes & Noble are already offering the best value for customers. Therefore, they do not meet requests to match the prices of competitor sellers (such as Amazon) for individual products.
Barnes & Noble state this Price Matching Policy on their website.
Will Barnes & Noble Give Discounts?
Barnes & Noble offer regular and seasonal discounts to online shoppers regardless of where they live. And if you’re have a B&N membership, you’ll have access to more discounts. If you only shop instore, the discounts offered there differ from store to store.
However, customers have noted that, quite often, B&N online prices for a certain book will be less than their store prices. One shopper said that the store will not offer to match this price, and this is because they probably don’t know about it.
Barnes & Noble stores are now managed individually rather than centrally. They are encourage to stock and sell at their own discretion.
So, this same shopper pointed out the discrepancy between online and instore pricing, and the staff member checked it out and immediately matched the online price for him.
What Does Barnes & Noble Membership Give?
Barnes & Noble offer two types of membership: the standard B&N membership and a B&N Kids’ Club.
The standard membership (for $25 per year) will get you:
- Member-only offers throughout the year, valid online and in store.
- Free shipping on all orders with no minimum purchase
- 40% off hardcover bestsellers
- 10% off everything instore including magazines and all café items
- First access to special sale prices and sign up for events—before everyone else
- A special gift (via email) on your birthday
- 10% off the regular price of all NOOK devices and accessories
The B&N Kids’ club (free membership) offers:
- 30% off any one kid’s book or toy
- $5 reward for every $100 you spend on kids’ stuff online and in stores
- A birthday cupcake
How Do I Get Barnes & Noble Membership?
Joining up to the B&N membership club is easy. Simply go to their website and find the membership page. This page lists all of the membership rewards and includes on the side bar, links to terms and conditions and the FAQs.
If you scroll down, you’ll see the “Join Now” button, and you’ll have to accept the terms and conditions. Note that there are exclusions that apply to some membership features.
If you click to join up, you’ll have to create an account or sign in if you’ve already got one. From there, you simply follow the prompts to complete your membership.
Want to learn more about Barnes and Noble? Check out our related posts:
Shopping at Barnes & Noble is not a bargain basement experience. You won’t come away with a bagful of books for a small amount of money.
B&N is a company now focusing hard on investing in providing a highly satisfying and memorable book buying experience for the customer.
This experience won’t be cheap, but hopefully it’ll be worth it!