Archive for January 17, 2012

Buying Books: Barnes and Noble vs Amazon

Recently I realized there is a brand new Barnes and Noble. Barnes and Noble did not redecorated their local stores, nor did they have a new website. But Barnes and Noble is becoming more and more attractive to me and thousand of others. In my impression, it only sells books and CDs at their original prices. It is more like a library to me than a bookstore, since I never bought any book from Barnes and Noble ever since online bookstore are becoming popular.

Things got changed after I recevied a 40% printable coupon in my email in the past holiday season. I thought it could be good to buy a gift for the Christmas. I went to a Barnes and Noble located in a shopping mall. I haven’t been for years. The first thing shocked me is that they have lots of good toys, which I had never seen in Toys R Us or Walmart. Most of them are educational toys. New books are still priced as MSRP. But there are a few rows of bargain books to choose from, and many kids books are marked at discounted prices. And the best news is that the 40% off coupon is accepted. The next day, I printed another 40% coupon!

Let’s compare the price at Amazon and B&N. I randomly picked two best sellers of 2011.
1. The Psychology of Wealth: Understand Your Relationship with Money and Achieve Prosperity [Hardcover]

List Price: $26
Amazon: $15.60. Amazon never offers coupon for books.
BN: $17.33, If you are a member of Barnes & Noble and buy it in store, you will get 10% off, which brings the prices down to $15.60. If you buy it onlne, be sure to use online coupons. You can find plenty of 15% off Barnes & Noble coupons. After applying 15% off coupon code (eg., R9V9D8K), it is $14.73!


2. Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) [Hardcover]

List Price: $17.99
Amazon: $8.99. No coupons ever.
BN: $9.98. After 10% off member discount, it is $8.98, – price when you buy in store. If you buy it online, after 15% off coupon, it is $ $8.48!



You see, prices at Barnes and Noble are actually cheaper! But wait, you need to pay tax at Barnes & Noble. And what about shipping? Let’s do the math again. If you are BN member, shipping is free. Even if you are not a member, shipping is free if your order is ovre $25. So we can ignore shipping when you online at And remember shipping at Amazon ain’t always free. The two books above happens qualify for free shipping if order is over $25. Depending on the tax rate of your state and after applying the 15% off coupon, the final prices at are slightly cheaper than that of Amazon.

Conclusion: I have been used to ordering books from Amazon. I assume that the prices at online only book starts are cheaper. I am wrong, you see. Let’s go back to Barnes and Noble!

Editor’s Words: the 40% off Barnes and Noble in the holiday season is for Black Friday weekend only. The most common printable coupons you will receive from emails are 15% off. But they also send 20% or 25% off coupons from time to time. These coupons are valid both online and in store. When you receive them you knnow you should not waste your chance.