February 25, 2009

Barnes and Not-So-Noble

Yesterday I received my much-anticipated copy of Adobe Lightroom 2, a professional-level post-processing software application for use on digital photos. I installed it yesterday and was overwhelmed by the interface. I had seen it in action, sure, but there was just so much to do that I didn't know where to start. After re-touching a few photos to remove blemishes and marks from faces (like magic!), I decided I needed to get a little more direction if I was going to do this right.

So today I did a little research and found a well-reviewed book called The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter) by Scott Kelby. I figured that I had a few errands to run today, so I'd swing by the nearby Barnes and Noble to pickup a copy. I looked online and found the price (around $35) and then called to verify that they had it in stock.

Silly me for not asking for a price check.

I drove to the nearby town of Woodinville to grab my copy, went to the cashier, and was all ready to pay when the lady said "That will be $49..."-something-something. I don't remember the exact amount. Now, I'm not that great at math, but I know enough to figure out that $35 + tax ≠ $49. I leaned over to double-check that it was the correct book, and indeed it was. I asked her to confirm the price and she told me it was $44. Hmmm. She asked if I saw the book online, and I responded in the positive. She then informed me that their online prices were different than in-store. Hmmmmmmm.

So, if I went online, ordered the book on there (even selecting the "Pickup at Store" option), the price would be almost $10 less? How does that make sense at all? It's deceptive, and bad business-practice, and I believe it's similar to what got Best Buy in trouble a little while back. The cashier even looked up the price online and saw it was lower. But when I asked if I could get that reduced pricing, she shook her head. No deal.

I had to think about it for a moment. Normally, I'd just shrug it off and buy it. But money is tight, and those extra bucks are really worth something to me now. So I informed her that I was sorry for the inconvenience, but I was going to pass on the purchase. Fueled by anger, I went to my car and pulled up the Amazon app on my iPhone and found the book. It was listed at $29, or SIX DOLLARS LESS than the online B&N price, and a whopping $15 less than their insulting "in-store" price. Added to cart. Ordered. All told (tax & shipping), I got it for less than B&N's online price.


posted by julie at February 25, 2009 01:26 PM


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