Shopping Discussion

Chapters-Indigo tried to rip me off

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  • Oct 18th, 2007 1:56 am
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Jun 12, 2006
113 posts

Chapters-Indigo tried to rip me off

Well, I wanted to get the new book by Stephen Colbert, and I noticed in store their price was $29.99. It seemed a little steep to me, considering the amazon.ca price was $19. I checked their website, and they listed it as $19.79, which I figured was a fair price, and that they had made a mistake in store.

Today I went to the Indigo Eaton Centre location, and asked them if I could purchase it for $20 (as their site had specified). They told me that they were apparently separate entities, and that they had "different levels of overhead" according to a worker there. I said that it didn't make much sense because they are the same company, and according to her they were just under the same name but operated independently. The funniest line came from the person at the cash: "Well, it's different because the site has a lot of rare and out-of-print books". I'd like to know what that has to do with different pricing.

This is a big scam, and they are price gouging in store. If they advertise a price on their website, they should honour it in-store as well; if they are in fact the same company. This can't even be compared to the FS-BB dilemma, as the store and site have the same name!

I actually just found the book at Costco for around $17, so it's their loss, my gain. :lol:
19 replies
Deal Guru
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Mar 1, 2006
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I think this applies to Staples as well.

Their in-store pricing and online pricing varies.
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Oct 20, 2005
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While I personally think it's absolutely stupid, that's how it is at Indigo.

The reason being is that their site competes with Amazon (and several others) and are forced to reduce prices in the name of competition. Their stores however, are able to charge the higher price because they pretty much own the retail book market in Canada. Basically, it's to target different markets.

On top of that, they actually are two separate entities and have their own separate management. Promotions are separate as well, as many instore promotions will not be honored online and vice versa.

Finally, you have to account for the overhead costs that the retail stores have to consider. Whenever you walk into a Chapters, did you noticed how a good chunk of the people are doing nothing but just reading? There are chairs, etc just for these people to sit back and read..

Buying online means you'll have to wait for your book to arrive, whereas buying it instore means you have it in your hand, right away.

If you can wait - buy it from their site and save a few bucks.. if not - don't complain about the "premium" for getting it faster.
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Mar 25, 2005
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Dosent everyone know this by now? Maybe they need big flashing signs saying they are two different entities operating under the same name.
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Mar 21, 2002
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ds_chris88 wrote: This is a big scam, and they are price gouging in store. If they advertise a price on their website, they should honour it in-store as well; if they are in fact the same company. This can't even be compared to the FS-BB dilemma, as the store and site have the same name!
Where did you get this nonsense that because the B&M and online stores have the same name they have to charge the same prices? There is no legal requirement whatsoever. They have a very good business argument for charging higher prices in their B&M stores because of the much higher operating costs than their online no frills warehouse operation. You pay for the convenience of a local store. You want cheap then order online and forget the convenience.

In fact they are free to charge whatever they want and are perfectly free to charge different prices for the same item in different stores if they want. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that.

(Different situation, but I was in a seminar once where a Sales Manager for a very large retail chain described how they charged higher prices for goods at an upscale mall in my city and lower prices for the same items in their then downtown store where shoppers were less affluent. Gas stations belonging to the same company charge different prices at different locations. And so does McDonalds. etc.)
Newbie
Mar 5, 2007
7 posts
Same thing happened to me when I bought the Harry Potter book, 23.99 on the site, in store 38.99! I ended up buying it.
Sr. Member
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Jun 19, 2005
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i dont understand ppl who waste their time going through all this trouble just so they can save $10?
if I had a book i wanted to pick up from an author i liked I would just go in the store and cop the book not mission from chapters to indigo and to costco just so i can save $10.
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Apr 17, 2005
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they always had it this way, i discovered the hard way too but i understand their reasoning. its much more cost efficient to run a virtual store than a real one. they probably one a small handful of employees running the online store who probably serve more customers than a bunch of brick and mortar stores combined and that is probably running out of their existing warehouse so they dont have to lease a hugely expensive retail location. if you wanted it at the online price, you should have just bought it online.
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Jul 7, 2003
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I dont see how Chapters tried to rip you off. They didnt mislead you in any way. You just assumed the price online and in store would be the same. Its not like they advertised it for one price and then charged you another price intentionally.
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Oct 17, 2005
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with the newest harry potter book i did the following:
pre-ordered it online for the cheap price
bought a copy in store at midnight when it came out, saved the receipt
when the book was shipped, i brought that copy back to the store with the in-store receipt and got refunded the higher price
so i got the book at midnight for the cheaper price...got around shipping fees because they screwed something up with my order, unrelated to this.
a worker in an indigo location told me to do this and said it works all the time
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People seem to forget that these are PRIVATE businesses and can have whatever policies they want and enforce them how they please. If they don't want to do business with you that is their right.

It's your choice whether or not to shop their in the future.
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Jul 29, 2002
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scottyboy2k5 wrote: with the newest harry potter book i did the following:
pre-ordered it online for the cheap price
bought a copy in store at midnight when it came out, saved the receipt
when the book was shipped, i brought that copy back to the store with the in-store receipt and got refunded the higher price
so i got the book at midnight for the cheaper price...got around shipping fees because they screwed something up with my order, unrelated to this.
a worker in an indigo location told me to do this and said it works all the time
I used to do that for computer reference books as well. A lot of times the saving was about $20, definitely worth the extra effort.

If they choose to charge me like this (cover price vs web discounted price), I'll fully utilize their policy...
Member
Aug 19, 2005
231 posts
woof wrote: Where did you get this nonsense that because the B&M and online stores have the same name they have to charge the same prices? There is no legal requirement whatsoever. They have a very good business argument for charging higher prices in their B&M stores because of the much higher operating costs than their online no frills warehouse operation. You pay for the convenience of a local store. You want cheap then order online and forget the convenience.

In fact they are free to charge whatever they want and are perfectly free to charge different prices for the same item in different stores if they want. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that.

(Different situation, but I was in a seminar once where a Sales Manager for a very large retail chain described how they charged higher prices for goods at an upscale mall in my city and lower prices for the same items in their then downtown store where shoppers were less affluent. Gas stations belonging to the same company charge different prices at different locations. And so does McDonalds. etc.)
If that is the case, then it should be mandatory for retailers to at least let the customer know that it is cheaper on "their" website. They are price gouging right under most consumers' unknowing noses, plain and simple. This happened to me a couple months ago at the Yonge/Eglinton location: I was looking for a book to get as a gift, and checked the online pricing and almost did a double take when I heard the actual price in-store was 30% more than the online price. Of course, since it was a gift emergency, I just had to bite the bullet and buy it at the in-store price. But to think that the person who I was getting this book for would walk into a Chapters/Indigo and buy it at the in-store price without realizing that she could've had it cheaper really got to me. Remember, not everyone knows how to find the greatest deal like we do on RFD.

"It costs more to sell the book at a retail location," fine. "You get it immediately (at a very high premium)," fine. But to pretend like they're not doing anything wrong by not letting customers know it's cheaper to buy it from "them" online is just plain deceiving. Even the employees there sympathized with me: people within the company themselves know it is wrong.

This definitely calls for some action towards this. Better Business Bureau, anyone?

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