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Great piece by Mark Barrett on a recent visit he made to a Best Buy where, to his great surprise, he found books. Real live books for sale. But that’s not really what the article is about. It’s about the hard sell at the point of sale, a trip he made to Borders, and questions about what it is that Borders, Barnes and Noble and their ilk are really selling. Must every bookstore purchase end in a negotiation for more of my hard earned cash? “Sir, are you a super duper rewards member? Did you know that super duper rewards members can save 20% and more on their purchases? …”

It’s customary at this point to admit that the bean counters in any business are better positioned to know what works and what doesn’t, but having spent ten minutes in line I think the Borders bean counters don’t have a clue what they’re doing.

I wanted to buy books at Borders. Borders’ response was to make me wonder why I hadn’t just ordered what I wanted online, so I didn’t have to stand in line and wait my turn to be offered a rewards program I didn’t want.

Indeed. I wanted what I came for. If I wanted something else I would have asked. I DIDN’T want to build a moat around my purchase and prepare to do battle with the cash register clerk. (And I don’t think bean counters or HR people have a frigging clue.)

Please, just leave me alone.