Buy Where You Shop
Subject:   Price matters, sometimes
Date:   2003-06-19 15:00:04
From:   anonymous2
Being blind the whole issue of browsing through bookstores doesn't apply (but I 100% agree with the article). However, I do use a bookstore when I want to pay by cash, or if I want the book immediately (I guess you could consider these services of the store).

Yesterday I went to the local Waterstones to buy an O'Reilly CD bookshelf - I wanted it before I went on holiday. But in this case the store was selling the book for 30 more than Amazon. For the first time in my life I said "no thanks" and bought it on Amazon.

This set me off thinking that the price difference depends on how expensive the book is. For most computer science books (costing about 30-40) you're only paying about 5 for the convenience of shopping in a store. This, I am willing to pay. For non-technical books you only pay 2 or 3 more than Amazon, so I don't even think twice about buying in a store.

So, while I agree with the article, there's a bit of a moral dilemma when the amount you save is substancial.

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  • Tim O'Reilly photo Price matters, sometimes
    2003-07-04 09:07:55  Tim O'Reilly | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    I don't disagree that sometimes there's "a bit of a moral dilemma" although I think it's less of a moral dilemma and more of a practical one. The question you have to ask yourself is if you'd miss the brick and mortar retailer more than you'd miss the extra dollars. And of course, you can weigh how much of a difference you think your dollars will make, and how big the spread is, and make different decisions at different times based on that calculus.