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My $210 education on B&N (Read 2244 times)
Ex Member

My $210 education on B&N
Apr 9th, 2014 at 3:26pm
It's been a long time since I've posted anything on the forums, but I thought this was important enough to share, because I just had a very expensive education.

We listed a CD Box set in early February for $89.95. Soon after that, lower priced competition sold their few copies and we raised our price to $299.99 - the current going rate. This is an out-of-print import and there are very, very few copies listed.

We did not have any special pricing rules for any other venue. $299.99 was the price for everyone. Or so we thought.

Yesterday I received an order for the set from Barnes & Noble for $89.95. I knew our price was $299.99 in AOB, and also knew it was listed at that price on Amazon and eBay. I had also done an inventory upload on March 13 that included that item, with the price at $299.99. So how could it POSSIBLY be showing $89.95 on B&N?

Turns out B&N had gotten the March 13 upload (and likely earlier ones, like the initial price increase), but it error-ed out because B&N has this restriction on their uploads: If an item is currently priced above $50, the price cannot increase more than 3 times its current price. Their explanation is that is prevents pricing errors, which I understand. It probably also keeps some of those wild autorepricers in check. I got the upload confirmation from B&N, which showed the error, but quite honestly, I've quit looking at upload errors there because they are almost always due to an item not appearing in their catalog. I was certainly never aware that there was a cap on pricing increases.

So if I had raised my price to $259.99, I would have been fine. But $299.99 was just a little too high.

To make matters worse, immediately after placing the order, the customer did a web search to find our phone number and called me to thank me for listing the set at a reasonable price. Said he had been looking for it for two years, but couldn't possibly afford the $300 it was listed for elsewhere. He was so excited. At the time, I hadn't even gotten the e-mail from B&N saying the set had sold, so I just thanked him for the order and told him we were glad we could send it to him.

Bottom line - B&N won't do anything to make me more "whole" financially - not even waive the commission - and I'm not interested in turning this happy customer into a thoroughly disappointed if not angry one. So I'm sending out a $300 set for $90. While a $90 order is nothing to sneeze at, $300 would have been a lot nicer.

I'm sharing this so others know about the price increase restriction. I'll be refreshing my inventory on B&N today and then checking the errors to see if there are any other "surprises" I've been missing.  Sad
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Re: My $210 education on B&N
Reply #1 - May 2nd, 2014 at 9:53am
Thanks for sharing Stacks. Good to read to read your helpful posts. That B&N sale sure hurt.
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Re: My $210 education on B&N
Reply #2 - Jun 29th, 2014 at 1:22pm
I spoke with BNN yesterday about this and they verify what Stack reported. The suggestion I received is to delete and realist the item that you want to raise the price of by more than 3X the current price.

You wouldn't have to delete it entirely from AOB .. just mark it as 'do no list on' BNN and update the listing. Then check on your BNN account to insure the item has been deleted. I was told you can expect it to take 24 hours though it might be longer.

Once it has been deleted on BNN you can use the venue pricing on the single list page to price it as you choose, uncheck the 'do not list on' BNN and click update listing.

Then check on BNN (again it might take 24 hours for the listing to show there) to insure the price is what you want it to be.

BTW .. the same applies to reducing prices. I was told they have this 3X the price limitation in place to prevent pricing errors.

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