Barnes & Noble Stores are (Finally) Price-Matching Their Website

For the longest time now B&N has been annoying their few remaining loyal customers by charging a higher price in store than on their website. This negated most of the value in buying a book in a bookstore (hence the ever declining same-store sales ).

B&N has not removed that policy, but they have revised it. A source told me, and I have confirmed with the B&N store in Manassas, that starting today B&N is matching the prices on its website for purchases made in store.

This is not an advertised sale, so there won’t be any signs or emails. But I was told that it is only available to B&N club members when they request it, and that this special will only run through the tenth of December.

So if you are one of the hundreds of remaining B&N club members (membership costs $25 a year), now is a good time to go shopping.

Coincidentally, Amazon has a very similar policy in its bookstores; Prime members get to pay the online price when shopping in an Amazon Books, while everyone else pays list.

Amazon is using this to promote its $99 membership program, but it’s not clear what motivates B&N. If Barnes & Noble were really interested in boosting sales then they would have done this ten years ago.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

13 Comments

  1. Barnes & Noble Stores are (Finally) Price-Matching Their Website | The Passive Voice | A Lawyer's Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing6 December, 2017

    […] Link to the rest at The Digital Reader […]

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  2. Tony6 December, 2017

    I assumed it was well-known that many stores with both online and brick-and-mortar stores often have higher prices in the physical ones. This is certainly the case for Chapters-Indigo here in Canada and they even try to justify it in their online help section (https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/dialog/help/Why_are_prices_different_in-store/).

    Taking shipping into account, it may occasionally be cheaper to purchase items at the local store. Unfortunately, there is no way to find this out unless you actually go there, since brick-and-mortar prices aren’t posted online. 🙁

    Reply
  3. Dustin Hollis6 December, 2017

    I just cannot see how anyone can justify buying a $119 B&N membership over Amazon Prime. There is almost zero value proposition.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder6 December, 2017

      B&N’s plan costs only $25 a year.

      Reply
  4. Widdershins6 December, 2017

    Did no-one at B&N understand the irony inherent this ‘deal’?… or did they do it to themselves intentionally?

    Reply
  5. Luis7 December, 2017

    B&N memberships give you frequent 20% discounts throughout the year (at least one every month, usually around holidays) that make it significantly cheaper than Amazon’s. It also gives you free “express” shipping, which even though not as fast as Amazon’s 2-day shipping, it is very reasonable (I live in the suburbs of a major city and I usually get my orders on the 3rd day).

    Reply
  6. […] done something that catches my eye, I save it for Mad Genius Club. However, I came across an article this morning that simply begged for me to write about it today. I found it almost immediately after […]

    Reply
  7. […] Barnes & Noble’s in-store prices will now match their online prices.  […]

    Reply
  8. GDS15 April, 2018

    Today 35 dollars for book in store with no discount at in store B and N. 22 dollars on line at B N similar to Amazon. Don’t mind paying a few extra for in store experience but this price difference crazy. So they are not even A close call since I was going to buy two books. They will show up at my door tomorrow.

    Reply
  9. Lisa13 August, 2018

    I was buying books at a store and the price came up way more than I was willing to pay. I told the cashier that I wanted to take a few books off and she voluntarily told me that she would go ahead and price match to make sure that I was getting the best price on everything I was buying. Every single item she price match she was able to give me a more affordable price. I was shocked I didn’t know this was something that Barnes and Nobles did. I should mention I’m also a member.

    Reply
  10. Michele2 October, 2018

    This is actually false. If they used to do it, they don’t anymore. I just got off the phone with their online customer service and their 5th Ave store.

    Reply
  11. Brian Hix7 October, 2019

    B&N membership even with 20% off is not cheaper/better deals than amazon prime. Even stacked up with the standard 10%. Believe me, I had it. A book in store that costs $24 discounted at 30% is still more expensive than amazon. I will admit that this is not every single time but I would say amazon is cheaper abou 90% of the time. Now when I go to B&N, I will now take a picture of the books that interest me and buy them online. Also, you can track amazon’s price adjustment averages, so even when a book is higher, more often than not, if you wait it out, it will get cheaper. Camelcamelcamel.com If B&N would at least pricematch their own website, I totally would be willing to give them my business but they don’t and will feel no loss when they die.

    Reply
  12. Luis7 October, 2019

    I was referring about ordering online from bn.com Their prices at physical stores are indeed higher (usually MSRP), but their website has similar prices than Amazon’s, particularly for recent releases (however prices for older releases sometime increase slowly over time and might get back to near MSRP levels). For new releases, combined with their usual discounts, bn.com has been invariably cheaper for me. If you are anyway going to order online, why complain that B&N stores won’t price match their own website?

    Reply

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