september 22, 2006

I ordered A Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux by Mark Sobell on Sunday (I cancelled the earlier order for a different RHEL book).  The price from the Milpitas Borders was $49.99 plus tax (total would have been $54.11).  The price on Amazon was $29.99 with free shipping and no tax.  Total savings over buying from a brick and mortar place:  $24.12 (44.5% savings).  I still wonder how brick and mortar stores can compete. But, then I started thinking, how can Amazon survive these price cuts and free shipping? I ordered Sunday, if I wanted regular shipping it would have cost me $3.99 and that would have gotten the book to me just about the same time that free shipping did.  Does Amazon eat the $4 for free shipping?  Or is it rolled into the price of the item?  I'm very curious. One last thing.  Amazon tries to make the regular shipping more attractive by delaying the shipment of items marked for free shipping.  I think this works against Amazon as it gives the buyer a chance to think about the money they are spending.  That's why I ended up cancelling my first order and finding this cheaper and better book.

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