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Amazon versus brick or mortar store debate - August 2nd 2017, 11:21 PM

So, within the book community there is a group of people who pretty much shame people for making the choice to buy books at amazon.

They use the argument that authors lose out on money due to the discounted prices.
They use the argument that amazon is causing brick and mortar stores to go out of business
They also tell people that if you can't afford to buy a book at retail price you should utilize the library.

I am curious about other people's opinion.

My opinion is that if brick and mortar stores were a tad bit cheaper I would shop there a lot more than amazon. Barnes and Noble doesn't even match their own online prices so you have to shop on their website to get a discount and I have done that but got burned by shipping/customer service a few too many times and won't buy online from them.

Also, I utilize the library quite a bit. I admit I go through periods where I don't use them as much but in general that period only lasts a few months. However, I have run into the problem of not being able to find certain books or certain books are so well requested that there is a huge waiting list and once or twice I've gotten a book that I waited for and wasn't in the mood to read it so ended up buying it. I have pointed certain issues with the library and been met with resistance. Some people saying they have never had an issue finding a book at their library and some people saying that 3 weeks is plenty of time for them to read a book.

In regards to this argument, I am also someone that likes to buy books. I like to own them. It's partially a hobby and it's partially due to the fact that I am a huge mood reader and I can check out a book at the library intending to read it and it will sit on my shelf. If I own the book I will get to it at some point even if it takes a while. Due to being a mood reader the library can sometimes be an inconvenience.

I do believe in supporting both the authors and the brick and mortar stores which is why I will shop at Barnes and Noble once every couple of months.


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Re: Amazon versus brick or mortar store debate - August 3rd 2017, 11:10 AM

I pretty much agree with you. Brick and mortar stores do tend to be more expensive than the online counterpart. Although, I must admit, I never thought about how the discounted prices means the authors miss out. That's given me something to think about!

I think it was a weak argument about Amazon contributing to the closure of stores. I can see it being a factor, but I think, in particular for books, the fact that we now have digital books seems like a stronger factor that would contribute more to the closure of stores.

Libraries are good, but they have their limitations. My local library is quite small, which can make it harder trying to find certain books. I used Amazon for all my academic books for university, because they were cheaper than the store version, my local library didn't have them, and my university library only had a limited amount...I think 20 copies of a book, when there were roughly 200 students studying the same thing.

I'm totally with you being a mood reader as well!


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Re: Amazon versus brick or mortar store debate - August 3rd 2017, 12:49 PM

I've thought a lot about the discounted prices impacting the authors income but I'm still of the mindset that the discounted prices don't hurt the authors as much as people like to make you think.

The reason is because, if I had to pay full price for a book every single time I buy it I'd be way more selective about buying books in general. Debut novels/New authors wouldn't be purchased as often and I won't always go to the effort of checking them out at the library if I'm only vaguely interested in. When I can get the books discounted I'll be more open and less selective so overall more authors will get my business.

The other reason I feel it doesn't impact them as much is because of the fact that if I set aside a $50-$60 budget each month and have to pay full price I'm not going to be able to buy as many books. Depending on a number of factors $50-$60 can go quite far on amazon. At Barnes and Noble not so much. So when I'm able to buy from Amazon I'm able to buy at least one extra book with my budget. So while authors might end up getting more money if I buy at Barnes and Noble at least one author isn't going to get anything because I won't be able to buy the book that month and the following month I might have found something I want to read more and never end up purchasing it. So even if an author only gets $0.75 per book sold on amazon and they'd get $1.75 per book at Barnes and Noble, they will still be getting something instead of absolutely nothing and then missing out on a sale completely. And, in the past when I bought in store and had to choose between a book to fit my budget, the book I didn't choose would often times never get purchased.

I do realize that some people don't always buy an extra book if the prices are discounted but I think the majority of people who can get an extra item while staying within their budget will choose to purchase that item.

I just know that for me personally being able to purchase discounted books has led to me buying more books overall. If I had to spend $16 for a softcover and $28 for a hardback all the time I'd end up buying less books overall and more authors would miss out on those sales.

That being said, my boyfriend and I will still shop at Barnes and Noble when we have the extra cash. Recently he was able to sell some of his old gaming systems and he got a decent amount we ended up spending some money to get books. Had we shopped on amazon we would have save about $50 but occasionally splurging like that is fun.

Personally, I just don't think people should police how you choose to spend your money or police how/where you buy your books.

Believe it or not people don't think you should buy used books because the author doesn't see any of that money even though in most cases the author received money for the original purchase. (I have a friend whose published a book and does not agree with this consensus though).

Edit: if that was long and confusing...essentially buying a book at full price doesn't always guarantee an author will benefit. In a lot of cases it means a few authors will benefit and a few will miss out on the benefits.


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Re: Amazon versus brick or mortar store debate - August 3rd 2017, 01:38 PM

I don't buy a lot of books, and this is because when I am in a reading mood I read kind of quickly and I can't see spending x amount for a new book. I think it is because I do a lot of thrift shopping and I am used to those prices vs new prices. I am a little too frugal that way. When I do buy a new book (a few times a year) I go through Amazon or a local discount outlet that carries books. it's like a warehouse.

Like Holly said, I actually bought all my textbooks used on Amazon in good condition and I saved a few hundred dollars that way. I got a book from my library about abuse and got too upset to read it, but still wanted to read it so I bought it on Amazon because the book had a lot of holds on it at the library.

I do use my library when I can and this works well because my state is small so all state libraries are interlinked and they ship books to your preferred location. I generally have a good selection of books that way. Sometimes, though, I am not in the mood to read (like now) and I end up with library books that sit in my room until they need to be returned.

If I had more space I would probably buy more books. That, and I have other hobbies that take away some of my budgeted spending money with maintenance costs. My shelf has some sentimental ones and my TBRs are stacked under my bed. Since I don't normally read a book twice I usually donate them after reading them.

When it comes to other objects I will often buy on Amazon because they have more of a selection.

I completely agree in that people shouldn't lecture others on how to spend their money.


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Re: Amazon versus brick or mortar store debate - August 3rd 2017, 04:00 PM

Personally. I rarely use amazon for anything and we don't have Barnes and Noble. I will buy most of my books from Indigo or a few local, smaller book stores. Plus, most of the time amazon.ca is only a few dollars difference and it's not worth it and that way I can have the books right away. We do have a lot of books but my mum designed one of the rooms in our house to be similar to a library with shelves so we have a place to put the books and I don't mind rereading them if I enjoyed them the first time around.

I do use the library as well because I like to make sure that I like an author and I don't have any issues and never have. Plus, I read really fast so it's easier for me to test read if I like an author/series before I buy it and make sure I will actually enjoy it. I can reserve whichever book/movie that I want and it will be sent to my local branch. We can suggest a book for them to purchase as well and most of the time they will.

The only time we will shop at used bookstores is if we're going on vacation (plane/boat/etc) because we will buy a lot of books and either leave them to be donated, or throw them out after we're done reading them so that we have a spare suitcase for things that we've bought. For most of the time other than that? We will shop at bookstores.
   
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Re: Amazon versus brick or mortar store debate - August 3rd 2017, 06:39 PM

I prefer independent bookstores over Amazon and Amazon over big chains like Barnes and noble. I used to buy all the books I read and I've gotten a ton from goodwill when I couldn't afford new books, but nowadays I mostly use my library. It's the most convienient because I can just rent ebooks from my phone or computer. If they don't have an ebook, I'll reserve physical books that are available at other libraries within my county and pick them up locally. I only buy books I know I'll reread now.



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Re: Amazon versus brick or mortar store debate - August 4th 2017, 01:27 AM

I buy tons of books. I have like...four bookshelves. But honestly, I shop around. I use all of these options. I work in the InterLibraryLoan department of my college library so I can have a wide selection and access to lots of books that I just want to read, but not really own. I love going to Barnes and Noble, as it's just something about a real bookstore you know? But prices are expensive so that doesn't happen very often. I also utilize a lot of used bookstores, and of course Amazon for my books as an English major. It's cheapest, and even then, I usually buy the used options.

I think it's good to have this wide variety of options and places where I can buy, and honestly my preferences change all the time. I love buying used and saving money, but I also love the feel of new books and new releases.


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Re: Amazon versus brick or mortar store debate - August 5th 2017, 02:57 AM

This is an actual argument people are having, and not just a theoretical question for discussion on here? Wow. Anyway...

It doesn't really matter to me, since I pretty much only buy books from established authors, and even then, not very often. Frankly, I'm inclined to buy an extra book on Amazon next time just to spite these people.


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Re: Amazon versus brick or mortar store debate - August 6th 2017, 04:51 AM

IDK where this idea that "Authors get cheated out of money" on Amazon comes about. Amazon is just like any other book retailer. The author or publisher sells Amazon a bunch of books, and then Amazon sells them to the people at a higher price. The difference here, is that Amazon has a lesser margin of profit than bookstores. Amazon themselves make less per-book than brick and mortar stores, but the authors make the same all around.

And Amazon sales do not cut the amount the author gets. When Amazon puts items on discount, they are cutting their profits, not the provider's.

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This is an actual argument people are having, and not just a theoretical question for discussion on here? Wow. Anyway...
Ikr. I like my debates to be something of substance. Politics, culture, religion, and history for example. Not included in that, is made-up facts about shopping choices.


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Re: Amazon versus brick or mortar store debate - August 6th 2017, 05:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaHam View Post
IDK where this idea that "Authors get cheated out of money" on Amazon comes about. Amazon is just like any other book retailer. The author or publisher sells Amazon a bunch of books, and then Amazon sells them to the people at a higher price. The difference here, is that Amazon has a lesser margin of profit than bookstores. Amazon themselves make less per-book than brick and mortar stores, but the authors make the same all around.

And Amazon sales do not cut the amount the author gets. When Amazon puts items on discount, they are cutting their profits, not the provider's.


Ikr. I like my debates to be something of substance. Politics, culture, religion, and history for example. Not included in that, is made-up facts about shopping choices.
I researched it and came up with the same information and my boyfriend has said the same thing. It seems like people are basically getting upset over a non-existent issue.

The only thing I could find is that Amazon is hurting the self publishing industry and I think that's because they have their own self publishing etc.


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