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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Amazon's "Price Check" sucker-punches stores within their own walls

Want to make sure you're not paying more than you need for a book?

In the old days, in Singapore and other traditional Chinese shopping heavens, all the stores that sold a certain item (such as gold) were lined up alongside each other, in a quaint custom that benefited the price-comparing customer.  This, presumably, worked because the level of service and the goods offered were the same in every shop.

That, most surely, does not apply to bookstores, where a devoted customer is happy to pay a little extra because of the range available, and the wise and interested assistance from the staff.

Now, Amazon has a plan to sabotage that happy situation.  According to Rachelle Dragani on E-Commerce Times, Amazon has a plan to pluck customers right out of retail stores using Price Check.

It's an app on a smartphone that allows users to scan a book in an actual bricks and mortar store -- maybe the neighborhood store where the staff might be friends -- and compare the price on to that on the sticker in front of your eyes.  For a limited time, if you buy the book from Amazon instead, they will give you a discount.


Buck said...

I still frequent my local bookshop, and I don't mean the big chain stores. I don't mind paying a bit extra to be able to pick up a book and look at it. I also enjoy recommendations made by someone I know and trust.

Joan Druett said...

I agree, Buck. After all, you don't mind paying extra at a restaurant where the staff know you and give you a big welcome. Bookstore staff who can make informed recommendations are certainly worth that little more in cost.