Saturday, May 7, 2011


I discovered today why Borders had to go into administration.

Forget about the fact that it is a massive bricks-and-mortar book chain in the age of Amazon.
Forget about the fact that Borders in Australia doesn't own the right to the Borders-branded online store.
Forget about the fact that they sell the ridiculously terrible Kobo eBook reader when there are so many ways of reading eBooks without having to smash things.

Borders is broke because they treat their customers like idiots.

I have always thought of RRP as being the price that suckers pay. It's what you pay if you go to Harvey Norman or Myer and don't try to haggle. It's 10% above what you'll pay at JB Hifi, before you haggle. It's 20% above what you'll pay at MSY if you're buying computer equipment. I don't know that these values are correct, but what I do know is that if I peel the $54.99 sticker off the back of a Clive Cussler book at Borders, I don't expect to see "RRP A$44.95" printed on the book. Just as I don't expect to see £7.99 on a Dune book beneath a $22 sticker.

I asked a staff member if it was normal for them to sell books well above RRP, to which the staff member replied "yes", with a smile.

Borders, good riddance.

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