My Experience with Borders and Kinokuniya

Last weekend I was at The Curve and I decided to drop by Borders to check out a couple of books. Mr. Shaolintiger mentioned to me that Borders told him that they might have stock for this particular book I was looking for. Also, Kee Sitt did mention to me about Vincent Versace’s book on post processing called “Welcome to Oz: A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop“. Initiatlly I tried searching for these two books at MPH and Times but there weren’t available and a special order or request needed to be completed.

Upon entering Borders, I headed straight to the “Arts” section and began searching for these two books. After a quick scan through two shelves, I just gave up and went to the information counter to ask for some assistance. A very friendly salesgirl was there, ready to serve customers, and she gave a warm smile asking me if she could assist me in anything. I gave her the name of the books which she was rather confused (I don’t blame her as the name of the books are long!).

Instead I decided to ask her search by Authors. Vincent Versace was not found in their database of Authors but they had one hit for Joe McNally. It was the book I was looking for, “The Moment It Clicks: Photography secrets from one of the world’s top shooters“. Happily, I went back to the shelves and found the only copy in the entire store and lo and behold, there was a huge tear at the back cover of the book. The tear was rather significant, one that if continued, would have taken the entire back cover off!The price of the book, RM200+.

I took the book and brought it back to the Information counter asking if there was a newer one as I showed the salesgirl the large torn section. She took the book, headed over to her manager and returned saying that since the book is new, there wasn’t any other stock and that the price would not change.  I was of course surprised and also not that entire shocked as it was a new book. I then politely declined saying that I wouldn’t want to buy a book that is already torn at a price which is way more than that you can find at Amazon.

After 10 minutes of browsing other books, the helpful salesgirl ran up to me saying that she had negotiated with her manager again and the manager had agreed to a whopping 5% discount. Yes, 5% discount! Wow, I must be rather stupid to pass an offer like that. Not! 5% for a book which is already overpriced and not in good condition? No way am I that stupid. This time I politely declined saying that I would rather ship the book from the US than to pay so much and get a torn version. End of story.

On Wednesday, I was at KLCC for lunch and decided to head over to Kinokuniya to try my luck on these two books. In less than 10 minutes, I found two whole piles of these two books in the Art section. Not only did they have ample stock, “The Moment It Clicks” was priced at RM186+ (compared to Borders’ RM200+) which was way cheaper. And to my other surprise, if I purchased Vincent Versace’s book (RM131+) at the same time, I get a 20% discount off “The Moment It Clicks“. Yes, that means I paid only RM150+ for “The Moment It Clicks” which is RM50 cheaper compared to what Borders was charging and it was in pristine condition.

Final score: Kinokuniya 1- Borders 0

Note: This has nothing to do with the staff or the service any of these bookstores offered but just a good comparison of their prices and their pricing policy for damaged books.