Purchasing Books Online: Amazon vs Barnes and Noble

barnes noble amazon

Searching two websites to compare prices for books was an interesting task. Initially, I chose Amazon.com and Borders.com. After discovering that Amazon and Borders have joined teams, and therefore the prices would be the same, I chose Barnes and Noble as my second site for comparison.


  1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown Hardcover $16.47
    2. Belinda by Ann Rice Paperback $7.19
    3. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty Anne Rice $10.50
    4. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory Paperback $10.88
    5. The Queens Fool by Philippa Gregory $10.20
    6. Out of the Shadows by Kay Hooper $7.50
    7. Sense of Evil by Kay Hooper $7.50
    8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J, K. Rowling $15.63
    9. The Broker (Hardcover) by John Grisham $18.45
    10. The Last Juror (Paperback) by John Grisham $7.99



(books above and below are the same, author, edition and same hardcover or paperback version)

  1. The Da Vinci Code (List $24.95 B N; $14.97 Member $13.47)
    2. Belinda by Ann Rice (B N; $7.99 Member $7.19)
    3. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (List $14.00 B N; $12.60 Member $11.34)
    4. The Other Boleyn Girl (List 6.00 B N; :$11.20 Member $10.08)
    5. The Queens Fool (List $15.00 B N; $13.50 Member :$12.15)
    6. Out of the Shadows ( B N; $7.50 Member $6.75 )
    7. Sense of Evil (B N; Price $7.50 Member $6.75)
    8. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (List $22.99 B N; $16.09 Member $14.48)
    9. The Broker (List $27.95 B N; $19.56 Member $17.60)
    10. The Last Juror (B N; $7.99 Member $7.19)


Both sites offer free shipping with purchases exceeding $25.00
Shipping rates for totals under $25.00 are about the same
Estimated delivery time is the same


Shipping rates and FAQ were easier to navigate on the Barnes and Noble site
Barnes and Noble listed the List Price, B N; Price and Member Price

Both sites were easy enough to navigate but it took me longer to Amazon to figure out where some of the buttons were at. Even though everything was relatively in the same place on both sites the Barnes and Noble site seems to be easier on the eyes. Plus there’s the added feeling of being to just pick up and call the store with questions which lessen any shopping anxiety. The rates varied per book on each site, sometimes it was cheaper to buy it from one site than the other and at other times prices were the same. There were instances when Amazon’s prices were cheaper than Barnes and Nobles member prices.

With Barnes and Noble you have to become a member to be eligible for their “Member Price” it’s a one time sign up and there is $25.00 annual fee. You can get free shipping if you place an order of $25.00 or more and choose standard delivery; items are delivered within 3 business days. To purchase the Da Vinci Code with standard delivery the shipping price was $3.99

Amazon did not tell me my shipping charge upon checkout prior to asking me to enter my credit card number. Shipping was $3.99, however, I had to navigate several pages to find this information prior to purchase. It was not as quick to view as on the Barnes and Noble webpage. Amazon did have a good option of “1 Click Shopping”. If you have signed into the website you can hit the “1 click” and your items are immediately purchased and shipped. The only problem is that if you make a mistake you have to wait for delivery to return the order. Items go from purchased to shipped almost immediately and there is no way to cancel using the 1-click. I know this from personal experience.

Overall both interfaces are easy to navigate and the search functions work well. Spelling errors were corrected and searches redirected to possibly relevant items. Items suggested to add to your shopping cart complimented the items and both sites have a FAQ area, but I could only locate a telephone number on Barnes and Noble.com. I searched Amazon for several minutes and finally gave up. If I were to choose between the two I would likely purchase from Barnes and Noble simply because I can call someone up if I have questions.