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Friday, 30th October 2009

Book War Continues: It's Time to Ration Titles

Remember the book war that broke out two weeks ago between Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, and Target and continues today? All three stores continue to sell the same 10 books (preorders) from major authors or personalities. Each book is selling for $9 (Amazon), $8.99 (Target) and $8.98 (Wal-Mart) and only available (for Wal-Mart and Target) online.

Now things are changing, the books are being rationed.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

The limits will stop other booksellers from scooping up cheap copies in large quantities and reselling them.

[Snip]

The retailers are losing money on each copy sold because publishers charge them about 50% of a book's hardcover price. The prices for the 10 books involved in the promotion are also lower than the wholesale price independent booksellers pay for the merchandise.

Arsen Kashkashian, head buyer at the Boulder Book Store, in Boulder, Colo., said he had intended to buy as many as 70 copies of Barbara Kingsolver's "The Lacuna" from Walmart.com, Target.com or Amazon, because their prices are "more than $5 cheaper than what we can get it for from the publisher, Harper.

[Snip]

On Walmart.com, customers can preorder two copies of Mr. Koontz's "Breathless," while they can buy three copies on Amazon, and five on Target.com. A spokesman for Walmart.com said the retailer has "always limited the number of preorder book titles to two units per title." An Amazon spokesman declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Target.com said the retailer "always reserves the right to limit the number of items that are purchased."

Source: Wall Street Journal

Access the Complete Wall Street Journal Article

See Also: American Booksellers Association Sends Letter to Feds Re: Book Price Wars from Wal-Mart, Amazon and Target


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