Wednesday, June 21, 2006

An Unexpected Deal

When you think "airport bookstore," what is the first phrase that comes to mind? I doubt it has anything to do with good prices, or novel marketing.

But, when Shira told me about her latest experience at the airport, those were exactly the thoughts that came to mind.

The book she had brought along for her last trip wasn't holding her attention, and she had some time, so wandered into the nearest bookstore.

There she found a paperback that interested her, it was $6.00 [1]. Not bad (cheaper than a movie ticket) but not great (it's probably $0.99 on

But here's the cool part - the store has a policy, you can return the book any time for a refund of 50%. And being an airport store, you can return it to the same type of store in other airports.

In other words, you can rent the book for $3.00. Use it for a flight or two and return it. Unlike most returns, you know you'll be near the bookstore anytime you travel.

I just thought this was so clever. You know the bookstore is going to do just fine, because most people won't return the books. And those that do will be their happiest customers and will no doubt "buy" again.

This just seems like a great example of a business that sees what it has, rather than what it hasn't. No, it's not going to beat Borders, or take on Amazon.

But, they can make a huge impact by providing a useful service to people who want it, all in a unqiue and affordable way.

[1] - The book is about a group of women to avenge men who have made it a habit of hurting women. This choice of books no doubt deserves a blog post of its own.


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