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The Insanity of the Rush To Buy Books At Borders' Going Out Of Business "Sale"

BordersWhy in the world are people buying these huge stacks of books at Borders right now? Where are the "deals" that are supposed to be there?

I asked myself these questions when, like carrion drawn to roadkill, we naturally had to visit our local Borders here in Keene, NH, over the weekend.

The signs, of course, broadcast out "10-40% Off", but closer examination showed naturally that almost everything was at "10% off" except for a few categories.

So let's do some math… there was a book my daughter wanted that cost:


Take of the 10% and you get:


What a deal, right? But consider that here is the cost for the exact same book on


In doing some quick spot-checking (gotta love a smartphone with a browser), it seemed pretty much the case that most all the books were priced about 40% higher than you could buy them online.

So here's the math quiz for anyone thinking about going to Borders' "sale" right now:

If the book prices are 40% higher than online, and you subtract 10%, you are still paying ____ more than you would pay online.

Umm… how many ways can you spell "F - A - I - L"?

Even if you don't have Amazon Prime and still need to pay for shipping, odds are that your shipping costs probably will still make it cheaper to buy online.

Sure, this is standard liquidator practice… pump up the promotion, get people coming in thinking there are great deals, and hope they stumble upon a few things to buy. (And in fact, I did buy a book that had a list price of $16 and was on a discount rack for $3.99.) Try to milk every last $ you can...

But it did astound me to see the long lines of people with big stacks of books…

As for me, now that I've seen the lines and the shelves, I'll tune out the news for a couple of weeks… when the deals actually start to get real, maybe I'll make another visit… :-)

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