I saw an article today on Shelf Awareness discussing how book sellers can discourage people who whip out their electronic devices and scan bar codes of books in the store when they are obviously doing so to search it online and buy it for cheaper. Honestly, I shop in a lot of different places for books and I don't recall ever seeing anyone do this. In fact I had a Barnes & Noble employee come up to me one day after seeing me carrying around my list and tell me it would be much easier if I had one of those portable scanners so I could just scan the bar code and make my list that way and it would be much easier to organize. Maybe I'm just in my own little world when book shopping and this does happen but I don't notice it.
My second thought after reading the article was "I wonder if employees of those places think I am one of those people?". When I shop I usually take a blank piece of paper and a pen with me. I have a mental list of what is on my WL and as I'm browsing I write titles on my list that they have available on one side and new titles of interest on the other side. After I've done the whole store I'll sit down and decide which ones I'm going to buy for that particular trip. I've never had any bookstore employee approach me to ask what I'm doing but now I think I might be a tad paranoid about it. I do know if someone came up to me and accused me of making that list with the intent of buying online, it would probably ruffle my feathers a bit and I would probably be reluctant to return for awhile. I am also the crazy lady that compulsively straightens all the books that were carelessly put back so they should be happy for my visit anyway.
My first question is does this happen often in places you shop and if so are book sellers doing anything to discourage it? On the one hand I think bookstores should discourage this because they can't stay in business if people are looking there but choosing to buy from Amazon. On the other hand they risk offending customers who may not return.
I really feel for the Indie bookstores. I try to shop my Indies as much as I can because I don't want them to go away but I am also guilty of shopping at Barnes & Noble because they are closest to my house (and I get discounts with the card) and every once in awhile placing orders at Bookcloseouts. So my second question is: which matters more-the price or helping the underdog out? I'd like to say my choice is the latter but I have limited disposable income so that isn't entirely true. As usual I'm