By J. Andrews
Some people stick to one online bookstore, but they're not
making the most economic choice when they do so. I primarily use
Barnes and Noble, but am not above using
Amazon if I can get my order
I'm a book junkie, but my taste in books, while varied, is
almost inevitably difficult to satisfy. Where I'm currently living, there's
no non-used bookstore or book superstore where I can find books that
interest me. But when I did live within easy reach of such stores, it
was still cheaper for me to buy books online. If I didn't have such a
bad book habit, I'd never step into a real bookstore again. When will
I learn to stay away?!
Barnes and Noble is usually my online bookstore of choice,
simply because Dealcatcher
and other coupon sites always have several good coupons I can use.
It's worth paying the tax at BN that comes with living in New York
State, because the coupons I can find offset that cost and then some.
Borders is probably the one I use second most often. I
think their selection is a little better. Their general price is better, for
me, because I don't have to pay tax. The main benefit to using
Borders is that I can order through my
Igain account and get 5% of my order back in a rebate.
Amazon I've used rarely. Just today, though, I used it
to buy 3 books. Why? Because I had a coupon. It was a very good
coupon (they called it a gift certificate), 10$ off of a 20$ order. This is
a better deal than most Barnes and Noble coupons, plus I didn't have
to pay tax. I loved this site for it's non-secure ordering option (secure
often crashes my browser), but then disliked it when I had to hunt up
my credit card number. I have to say I also like it's little suggestions
feature, where it suggests some books you might like based on your
previous orders. Except that all it currently suggests for me is a bunch
of English-language manga, because that's all I'd ordered from them.
Shopping around at online bookstores for the best deal
usually does not involve checking the individual price of books. These
three major stores vary very little in their prices. I do recommend that
if you're buying a hardcover bestseller, you find which site has it for
50% off first. (They probably all will have it that price eventually.) The
way to get the best deal each time you order, is to check the coupon
sites for a good coupon, and remember any rebate programs you may
be in at various sites. And of course, if you're an affiliate of any of these
stores, you have to keep in mind that if you order from your own site,
you'll eventually get a percentage back.
I've never had any serious problems with any of these stores.
They all do seem to suffer from the 'not in stock' syndrome. Their page
may list a book in stock, and you'll find out that's not the case. Maybe
that's just my experience because I tend to order weird stuff. Now, if
any of these bookstores would start selling Japanese manga, I'd
instantly become their miko.