This afternoon I visited the Elliott Bay Book Company to grab a new baby gift for a friend. Upstairs I found this stapled on a shelf:


Yes, it piqued my attention. I took a photo, then scanned the code. I was curious. We know Amazon and online sales (with the accompanying show-rooming) are hurting bookstores. I wanted to see how this store was fighting back.

It linked me here:

Seattle Times on Show-Rooming

A recent Seattle Times article on the impact of show-rooming.

I love how this was done. No whining that online is killing them, or berating the show-roomers. Just a subtle guilt-trip and some education.

My little guilt-trip addition to this (yes, personal rant here), when you’re buying from an independent bookstore, you’re not just buying the book. You’re buying personal recommendations from the staff, book clubs, reading events for adults and kids, and book signings.

Rant over; back to reviewing this communication, congratulations to the Elliott Bay Book Company on a job well done.

2 thoughts on “Are you show-rooming? A local bookstore fights back with class.

  1. Love this. It is very hard to resist the temptation to showroom — I know that there are times I have went to Elliott Bay Book Company and looked at books and balked at the price and have been tempted to see what Amazon sells them for, but not being a huge fan of Amazon to begin with, I usually will just remember to check the library for the books unless it is a gift or something I really know I want to own. I do love to buy other items from Elliott Bay like greeting cards or coffee table books, however.

    Question is, should stores — especially independent bookstores — take steps to ban showrooming? If customers are seen explicitly doing it should they be asked to leave? Or is that a can of worms?

  2. Thanks, Tyler.

    I admit that I do it, but it depends on the type of book/item. I’ll also go the other way and use Amazon reviews then buy in store.

    How could you ban show-rooming? Sales people can’t check everyone’s phone to see what they’re doing. Plus, it would cause more of a stir than Lost Lake and 5 Point banning Google Glass. We do need to keep educating, attending and promoting the other services bookstores offer. The events and personalized advice can’t be replicated online.

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