Do Barnes and Noble prices match? (No, but…)
Thanks to its extensive book selection and top-notch customer service, Barnes and Noble is now one of the most popular bookstores in the United States. However, even household names are not immune to the free market as Amazon looks to upend the bookstore and retail world.
For example, Amazon and other major retailers price-match, i.e. offer the same low prices as their competitors. As a result, smaller competitors and brick-and-mortar bookstores cannot keep up with this aggressive pricing strategy.
Do Barnes and Noble prices match? If not, what is their pricing strategy? What is the future of Barnes & Noble? Read on to find out!
Do Barnes and Noble prices match?
Barnes and Noble does not participate in price matching. Barnes and Noble offers higher prices than its competitors to cover operating expenses such as rent and wages. Also, Barnes and Noble’s prices are higher because they focus on creating a delightful customer in-store experience rather than being a price leader.
In other words, you can expect to pay more when shopping at Barnes and Noble because you are paying for a higher quality service.
Do Barnes And Noble’s online store prices match their brick-and-mortar stores?
Barnes and Noble as a whole does not perform price matching. This includes their online and brick-and-mortar stores. Additionally, the factors that affect Barnes and Noble’s online store pricing are different than those that affect Barnes and Noble, Inc.’s pricing and bottom line.
barnesandnoble.com is a subsidiary of Barnes and Noble, Inc., making them separate entities with different operating and pricing policies. In addition, Barnes and Noble’s brick-and-mortar stores have autonomy over how books are displayed and how inventory is ordered. Therefore, even between different stores, the prices of books may vary slightly.
Overall, Barnes and Noble’s online store prices don’t match their brick-and-mortar store prices, as this can lead to cannibalization of sales.
Do Barnes and Noble College prices match?
If you are a student, you may notice the Barnes and Noble Bookstore on campus. These bookstores are called Barnes and Noble College and are a subsidiary of Barnes and Noble, Inc.
Barnes and Noble College’s prices do match their competitors, unlike their in-store and online counterparts. This applies to new, used and rented textbooks.
In addition to that, Barnes and Noble College is offering 10% off new and used textbooks. This discount applies to all Barnes and Noble College managed stores.
If you’re new to price matching, this means you’re eligible for a refund if you find the price is lower after purchasing a textbook. That said, there are some criteria for price matching with Barnes and Noble College:
- Textbooks must be in stock and available
- Advertised price must be for the same book and exact matching accessories
- Must present original receipt for textbook, whether rented or sold
- Price matching only applies to items of the same condition (used, new, new, etc.)
- Digital titles and special orders are excluded from price matching
Does the Barnes And Noble price match Amazon?
Barnes and Noble’s prices don’t match any online retailer. In fact, brick-and-mortar bookstores often do not, or at all, price match with online retailers (i.e. Amazon).
The main reason is that Amazon’s books are priced extremely low and often at a loss. Amazon has the ability to sell at a loss because its distribution strategy and dozens of other product lines make up for that loss. For example, Amazon’s smart home assistants, e-books, and furniture.
As a result, brick-and-mortar bookstores, especially smaller ones, cannot price match Amazon without risking bankruptcy. Retailers that match Amazon’s prices are home improvement stores or supermarkets such as Target, JCPenney and Best Buy – retail giants with established market presence.
Does Barnes and Noble charge for pre-orders?
As mentioned, Barnes and Noble makes up for the lack of price matching with exceptional customer service.One of these features includes the ability to pre-order and pre-order books ahead of the publication date
Barnes and Noble charges customers for pre-orders only on launch date. Therefore, if you ordered your book before the publication date, your account will not be charged.
That said, Barnes and Noble will not offer any refunds if you cancel your pre-order before the release date. This gives you the flexibility to change your order if you change your mind or find a more interesting title.
Why are Barnes and Noble so expensive?
Over the years, Barnes and Noble has lost popularity due to its relatively high prices, leading many to question why. Generally, this can be summed up in Barnes & Noble’s strategy of creating an impeccable customer experience rather than being a price leader.
First, Barnes and Noble bookstores are often strategically located with large storefronts. This takes up a lot of rental space and generates relatively high rents. As a result, they had to hire more staff to manage these large spaces.
In addition, Barnes and Noble has prioritized paying employees fair wages, which has resulted in increased labor costs and the number of workers.
Second, Barnes and Noble needed larger warehouses to store their inventory. For example, Barnes and Nobles sells over 5,500 magazines, over 1,000,000 books and approximately 1,500 newspaper publications. They also offer a variety of merchandise such as gift cards, stationery, and periodicals.
Finally, Barnes and Noble emphasizes their in-store customer experience. Much of this is reflected in the Staff Picks selection, where staff recommend curated books.
In addition to this, the Barnes and Noble branch also has a café where you can enjoy the delightful experience of indulging in coffee while reading a new book. Overall, customers aren’t just paying for books, they’re also paying for experiences.
Barnes and Noble is considered a traditional bookstore focused on creating a unique customer experience through a café, a soothing atmosphere and exceptional customer service. That means they don’t price match like other retailers like Walmart and Costco.
However, with the advent of e-commerce and e-books, brick-and-mortar bookstores are becoming obsolete. If Barnes and Noble wants to remain relevant, it must rethink its business strategy and find its place in the changing retail landscape.