How competitive are their prices?
June 11, 2010 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Does Borders Bookstore offer better prices on anything compared to Barnes and Noble or

I have a $10 gift card for Borders, and I can't figure out what to use it on. Every time I think of a book or CD I want to get, I find it cheaper at B&N or Amazon. (By a few dollars, not just pennies...) I know, a gift card makes it cheaper, since it's not money out of my pocket, but if I could get a deal on something and use the gift card, then I'll feel better about using it. (Because of the price difference it feels like paying the regular price, even though I have a gift card, which is not okay.)

I am a B&N member, so I get deals there, but even without a membership, their prices are usually better for the items I'm looking at.

Is there really a benefit to buying any specific product at Borders price-wise or should I just suck it up and buy something already?
posted by Kimothy to Shopping (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
maybe not a direct answer - but maybe swap it for a card you'll use?
posted by nadawi at 5:12 PM on June 11, 2010

When I've got money I can only spend at Borders, I usually hit the magazine rack, bargain books, calendars/games, and the CD/DVD sale racks. The prices on those items are most competitive with Amazon/BN.
There are also nice stationery items that are no more overpriced at Borders than anywhere else. Moleskines, if you're a fan, are only a little cheaper at Amazon than Borders.

But really, I usually end up with a magazine or two.
posted by katemonster at 5:21 PM on June 11, 2010

If you sign up for Borders Rewards (it's free), they are pretty generous with email coupons - currently running a 25% off "almost anything."
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:22 PM on June 11, 2010

If you sign up for the Borders email list, you'll get a 20-40% off coupon every week.
posted by belladonna at 5:23 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Borders almost always has a decent coupon available, even printable ones for in-store. Right now it seems like 25% off is easy to find on retailmenot.

Failing that, most Borders stores have a cafe, maybe you could get a few cups of coffee there, or a bag of coffee beans, instead of a book? (That's if you have one locally, of course.)
posted by cabingirl at 5:24 PM on June 11, 2010

The Borders coupons are flowing free and easy (pretty much every day but Monday has a coupon 95% of the time). When I was on the B&N coupon list, once in a great while they'd send me a 10% off, plus you have to pay for their membership. Amazon has shipping to factor in. Usually I find that it's cheaper at Borders.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:31 PM on June 11, 2010

nthing I always have a valid 25-40% off coupon to Borders sitting in my inbox. Free to sign up. I've stopped going to BN altogether (which occasionally offers 10%).
posted by ista at 6:31 PM on June 11, 2010

But even with the discounts, I find that you do better at Amazon.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:32 PM on June 11, 2010

Borders sells Moleskine products. $10 should get you a 3-pack of the cahiers or a pocket-sized calendar.
posted by vkxmai at 7:05 PM on June 11, 2010

I often wonder when would ever walk into Border's without a coupon. Amazon may a buck or two cheaper, but sometimes you don't want to wait a week for the book to arrive.
posted by COD at 7:34 PM on June 11, 2010

Definitely nthing signing up for the coupon email list. I've gotten some fantastic deals there.. I get the weekly coupons, and I also have the free Borders rewards card, which often gets you even MORE in the way of special deals and discounts. In fact, I'm kind of in your boat.. I have a significant Amazon gift certificate right now, and, of course, their prices are often much better (plus item selection is a little more guaranteed). But I did find myself in Borders today with a 25% off coupon (25% off each individual item). Check out all the discount merchandise and sale merchandise in all the little kiosks that clutter up the store. I bought one book and two items in the overly plentiful discount racks. I got 25% off everything (including the two discount items). Amazon would not have been able to match that. Personally, I find Border's discount racks to have a better selection and better prices than BN. If all else fails, make a list of DVDs, CDs, and books you want and, before you head over to Borders (or, compare prices on Amazon. That's how I knew which items I was interested in were better left to Amazon today.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:28 PM on June 11, 2010

I find The Book Depository to be the best value for money for buying books. (I have no connection with them.)

Cheaper prices than Amazon, plus free shipping on everything, no matter how small the purchase.

I wish I'd started buying all my books there years ago, rather than wasting money shopping at Amazon and Fishpond.

Oh, and Borders have the worst value for money of all. $25 or $30 for a paperback that is $9 or $10 through Book Depository. (!)
posted by Year of meteors at 8:37 PM on June 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

I like cabingirl's idea. When I get a gift certificate to Borders I use it in their café to buy myself a few fancy coffee drinks I'd normally feel guilty for indulging in. Their drinks are cheaper than most other coffee chains, in my experience. And buying something non-durable lets me enjoy the gift without doing mental calculations about how much I could be saving elsewhere on the same exact item.

Of course, I live a few blocks away from a Borders, so it's easy for me to stop by a few times to use up the credit. If this is not the case for you, then yeah, coupons like everyone else has said above.
posted by pluckemin at 8:53 PM on June 11, 2010

Oh, and I don't know if this is true of other Borders (Borderses?), but the one near me sells non-book items like fancy hand lotion, Burt's Bees stuff, and candy. You can usually use the coupons on these things too.
posted by pluckemin at 8:55 PM on June 11, 2010

If you're willing to use the gift card as merely part of a larger payment, Borders always has tables of "buy two get one free" trade paperbacks; imo, this is where they shine on prices. If you find three books you actually want, it's pretty awesome.

Nowadays two trade paperbacks are usually $30ish total, so you'd get three paperbacks for $20 after your card. Not bad at all.
posted by Nattie at 10:08 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Borders always has better coupons than B&N, and if you go to the store then you don't have to pay shipping like Amazon. You don't have to sign up for their email list if you don't want to - just Google "borders coupons" or "borders coupon codes" and you'll find 'em!
posted by radioamy at 9:18 AM on June 12, 2010

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