I read a lot of books. And I buy a lot of books. One of my greatest personal pleasures is to browse through a bookstore. Lately, though, I have begun to realize that buying books at a bookstore makes no sense. Better to identify a set of books through browsing at a store and then buy them online.
To get free shipping you need to buy about $40 of product. Here are two books that I purchased recently.
Book #1: Landscape and Nature Photography with Photoshop CS2
Store price after discount and after tax: 43.32
Online price after discount and after tax: 30.63
Book #2: The Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers
Store price after discount and after tax: 53.92
Online price after discount and after tax: 38.12
The difference? $28.49. Almost the price of another book.
I purchased these books at a Canadian bookstore and I paid $97.24 in total after discount and taxes. If I wandered into a Barnes and Noble in the United States, purchased the same books using a member discount card, paid 6% sales tax and converted the total into Canadian funds, I would pay $79.84.
So, buying two books in a bookstore in Canada will cost me about $17 more than buying the same two books in a bookstore in the United States. The U.S. online prices are even cheaper.
So many prices. Same books. Gotta be careful how much I pay. Such madness that the same product can carry a 30% or more price differential.