@billwesterman That’s one of the main reasons I shop a Borders.com, free member rewards card

For me Barnes & Noble and Borders are pretty interchangeable experiences. The one thing that distinguishes them is the way they handle their membership cards. At Borders, its free. I have one and I keep the card on file in my phone. Whenever I buy something in the store or online, I give them my number or let them scan my phone. At the end of the year I get a little email with a gift certificate showing me my savings.

Whenever I go to B&N they ask me if I want to get an annual membership which costs $25 but would allow me to save 40%, 20%, or 10% off the list price of books they carry. That sounds like a good deal but I never seem to have the desire to plop down another $25 today. It seems like a deal for the mathematically challenged. First of all, what does list price mean? Is that the cover price that no one actually pays? Secondly how much would I need to spend at this brand to break even before I started seeing any real savings? Am I going to spend that much this year and every year?

  Purchases Discount Savings
Bestsellers $62.50 40% $25
Hardcovers $125.00 20% $25
Almost Everything else $250.00 10% $25

When I go into a bookstore like that I’m usually not in a position to wait or I would just order it from Amazon.com. The most common case is for a gift. The bookstore gives me the opportunity to browse the store and get the immediate satisfaction of walking out with the dead-tree version of a published work. Border’s free membership removes the barrier of entry and I willing participate in their program.

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