Nook Touch, Nook Color on Sale Today – CHEAP

Barnes & Noble has been having sales on their ereaders for well over a year now, and today they outdid themselves.

Got $150? Then head over to Ebay. B&N is selling these 2 ereaders, as a pair, for a mere $150 (refurbished).

I've seen some good sale offers from B&N, but damn.

Is it time to start worrying about B&N? Given how they are slowly working their way towards simply giving their ereaders away, I'd say so. They've been in the ebook market for over 2 years now, and they've been discounting their refurbs for well over a year now.

But in all that time, B&N has never gotten more than a 25% of the ebook market (estimated). I'm beginning to wonder if this is the best they can do. What if Amazon's domination of the ebook market really cannot be stopped?

Ebay

12 thoughts on “Nook Touch, Nook Color on Sale Today – CHEAP

  1. Separately:

    >>>But in all that time, B&N has never gotten more than a 25% of the ebook market (estimated). I’m beginning to wonder if this is the best they can do.

    Wit their mutant DRM, probably yes. Drop the damn mutant DRM and watch it explode. People should NOT need to have a goddammed CREDIT CARD to read.

  2. It looks like: Buy a Nook Color, get a Nook Touch for free.
    Yes, I’d worry; they seem to have a ton of unsold STRs and once you get past giving them away the next step is usually the landfill.

    Now, I don’t doubt that competitors have their share of refurbs and overstocks but they also have better corporate finances and can sit on the refurbs and excess inventory. B&N’s ever-deeper sales suggests they need the cashflow *now*.

    Does not bode well.

    1. >>>Now, I don’t doubt that competitors have their share of refurbs and overstocks but they also have better corporate finances and can sit on the refurbs and excess inventory.

      Don’t kid yourself. Amazon’s investors have to be screaming about how much money is being eaten each quarter. And Kobo has to answer to Rakuten. And Sony has not been in good shape ever since Stringer came on board.

      Despite how it looks to outsiders, who think it’s an act of desperation, B&N is at least expanding their market with these sales.

      1. Actually, Stringer came on board precisely because Sony was in trouble.
        But although they’ve been bleeding by the billion, they still have several billions of cash to work with. B&N can’t say that.
        Its a matter of scale; companies like Sony take a long time to die–companies like B&N (and Borders) can vanish practically overnight.
        And I’ve been hearing the Amazon investors’ tale of woe for ages–problem is, Amazon has always been a growth play. The complait goes back to the last century.
        Investors with no stomach for that have long since moved on.
        I still think that of all the “major” ebook reader players out there, B&N has the least margin of safety and the smallest growth potential.

        1. >>>Actually, Stringer came on board precisely because Sony was in trouble.
          But although they’ve been bleeding by the billion, they still have several billions of cash to work with. B&N can’t say that.

          Stringer just made it worse.

          >>>Its a matter of scale; companies like Sony take a long time to die–companies like B&N (and Borders) can vanish practically overnight.

          Irrelevancy precedes death. Sony has become irrelevant. This is not the Morita Sony. Hell, it’s not even the Ohga Sony. At least he saw the wisdom of doing PlayStation!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norio_Ohga

          1. I’m not defending Sony, okay?
            That is one seriously screwed up company.
            I’m just saying their finances are not as bad as B&N’s.
            Sony may be bleeding to death but they can sustain those losses for years to come, whereas B&N is one bad quarter from chapter 11.
            They have no room left for mistakes.
            They aren’t looking to sell off chunks of the company because their finances are in great shape, are they?
            I’m not exactly looking forward to a B&N implosion, but it is hardly impossible at this point.

  3. As to ebook market shake: for the past year B&N seems to have been merely growing with the market so if the US market plateaus, as is looking likely, they’ll be more vulnerable than their competitors, all of which have at least a toehold outside the US.
    B&N needed to go international last year.

  4. B&N may also be worried about the end of Agency pricing. Given that they cannot compete with Amazon on price or service they may try to flood the market with their devices. Capture some customers while they can.

    Also, Sony and Kobo have slashed their prices recently.

  5. Inventory management for Barnes and Noble is going to look a lot different than inventory management for other manufacturers. They are also acting as the retailer – they have to manage inventory levels at both the central warehouse and at each individual store.

    When large brick-and-mortar electronics retailers like Best Buy have too much of a certain product in stock at ones of their stores, they dispose of the excess inventory (that, in electronics, typically can’t be returned to the manufacturer) at fire sale prices, too. Only they do it on the wholesale market by auctioning off entire pallets. Here is Best Buy’s auction website:

    http://techliquidators.com/index.cfm

    Yes, you can buy discounted Ipads this way- but you have to buy a whole pallet of them.

    Barnes and Noble doesn’t hold liquidation auctions that I know of- which means they are disposing of store level overstock some other way.

    That probably explains the seemingly large number of refurb units that always seem to be available for direct sale, even when they aren’t cutting the list price.

    When the Barnes and Noble warehouse has too much inventory- they announce an across-the-board price cut. When the warehouse is at an optimal level but one of the stores has excess inventory, they sell it at a discount on ebay or overstock.

    This strategy doesn’t make sense for any other manufacturer.

    1. I don’t know who you think you are, Peter, but I resent your implication that B&N knows how to run their business. That kind of thinking simply doesn’t fly for “uncool” companies.

      And Mike Cane is right. B&N should drop their customer-friendly DRM because their customer-hostile competitors refuse to jump on board.

      And B&N shouldn’t attempt to grow market share by cutting the price of items, dropping margins while maintaining perceived value. Amazon has the one true model: low margins and perceived value!

      And thus ends a brief experiment with sarcasm on the Internet…

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