Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wal-Mart and Amazon Start Book War

You know, I really miss those gas wars that were so common when I was a teenager and young adult. Remember those? They would generally break out between competing gasoline stations sitting across the street from each other on the same corner. Before you knew it, the price of gasoline might drop by forty or fifty percent and stay that way until both stations realized they could not afford to keep the pumps open at those prices. As consumers, we made out like bandits.

Well, here's a bit of good news. Looks like Wal-Mart and Amazon are about to start a book war. According to the Wall Street Journal, it will happen just in time for our Christmas shopping (of course, all good book buyers will continue to buy locally from indie sellers...right?). Too, you have to be willing to shop exclusively from the best seller list to take advantage of all of this.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. launched a brash price war against Inc. on Thursday, saying it would sell 10 hotly anticipated new books for just $10 apiece through its online site,

That was just the beginning.

Hours later, Amazon matched the $10 price, squaring off in a battle for low-price and e-commerce leadership heading into the crucial holiday shopping season. Wal-Mart soon fired back with a promise to drop its prices to $9 by Friday morning.
This could get interesting.


  1. Both sites had Stephen King's new book for $9 (74% off). Amazing. I won't buy that one, but I did notice the price. You're right... this might be fun for us book junkies!

  2. I used to find the best prices for new hardbacks at WalMart but... only their choices. Now, I get the best prices at Amazon for my Kindle.

  3. I usually tend to avoid the bestseller list except for a few exceptions, but this is interesting.

  4. I think competition can be so wonderful for the consumer. As of this morning Wal-Mart is $8.99 for Stephen King's upcoming new book with free shipping. Amazon is $9 (usually free shipping with $25 order). Keep on competing!

  5. 3M, looks like it will be limited to only ten books and the odds are that most of us will not even be tempted by more than one or two of them because they will be "big" books...usually, to me, that means "bad" books.

  6. Gaston, have you switched over to only e-books at this point? I've been reading one on my cell phone (a Palm Pre) and finding that to be fairly easy to do. It surprised me because of the tiny screen a phone has.

  7. Take a look at Part II of the Book War story, Christine. I'm starting to doubt that this is a good thing...for publishers or for avid readers.


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