So I have two Frequent Reader e-mails waiting for me this afternoon offering me 40% off the new John Grisham book. With a $24 cover price, I can get it for $14.40 at both Barnes & Noble and Borders. And I get free shipping from B&N (since I’m a member) and 20% off my next Borders purchase (if I make it within a couple of weeks). Oh, happy days.
Except for one thing. It’s already sitting in front of me and I got it for $8.99 through Walmart.com. With free shipping.
Now to be fair, Walmart is selling it for $11.99 online today (so is Amazon). I pre-ordered my copy during the Walmart-Amazon price war a few weeks back. But still…it’s a better deal today. So B&N and Borders decided to compete on price when theirs is not the lowest price. Smart.
So here’s my question…Do they think I’m a moron? That I don’t read the papers (or cruise around the Internet)? Guys, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to highlight bad deals on your one weekly e-mail to loyal readers unless you’re going to add something of actual value.
Forget that many of us probably jumped at the Walmart offer a few weeks ago. Try promoting some other book that Walmart and Amazon aren’t selling at rock-bottom rates. Give me some bonus points that don’t expire before I get my confirmation e-mail. Beat the other two at their own game and offer a deep discount on a book with some early holiday purchases…or something you have that they don’t.
The problem is staring B&N and Borders in the face over at walmart.com: America’s Reading List — 50% or more off the top 200 books.
Today’s e-mails were not the way to keep customers and beat the competition. This is the Bulldog Simplicity Dumb Move of the Week. It was lazy and short-sighted, and their marketing people deserve to go stand in the corner.