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bmasters9

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And if you’re a customer looking to buy discs, and you have the choice between ordering online from someplace that definitely has what you’re looking for, or trying your luck at a store that might not have what you want (and would probably charge more than what it costs online due to real estate and staffing costs), you’re probably just going to order online.

Which is why the majority of my purchases have been through Amazon-- granted, you can't judge the condition before you receive it, except when customer images are posted (and you're rolling the dice when you purchase), but at least it's in stock most of the time, and you don't have to go store-hopping to every store in your area hoping to find the particular release you want.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I used to love browsing Borders but I also remember them charging MSRP on pretty much anything, which was like the kiss of death to my then-teenage dreams. The same CD they’d sell for $18.99 could be gotten for $11.99 at Best Buy, or maybe even $9.99 on Amazon plus shipping (back in the days before Prime). Likewise with DVDs - a lot of $29.99 selections there that would be $19.99 or less anywhere else. I remember the almost crushing disappointment as a teen if I’d get a $20 gift card to Borders - it wouldn’t even cover one purchase.

I’ve been doing a lot of my shopping for physical media online since the late 90s, between Amazon and now defunct stores like CDnow.com and Reel.com. Even with shipping charges it was cheaper than shopping locally. And I kinda hated that but I also felt I didn’t have much of a choice. Spending nearly twice as much to be able to shop local was a luxury I couldn’t often afford.
 

David Deeb

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... (Borders, IIRC, always sold at MSRP, and no lower);

You're exactly right. Like many of you, I'd also browse Borders, Tower Records, FYE, Best Buy, local record and video stores and other places.

I bought tons of discs & music from all of them. Except Borders.

Everyone of their DVDs was at MSRP. On top of that, almost all of their good product was in a case under lock and key. It was punishment to shop there. Borders was the first casualty of diminishing media stores, but their demise came before streaming took over. They died because they were the most expensive place in town!
 

Josh Steinberg

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I recall other retailers like FYE and Suncoast being just as bad. Those were also places I loved browsing but felt priced out of. I remember when my FYE started carrying used items and they were only a dollar or two less than the new one, which seemed insane to me.

Tower also had very high prices on a lot of items but I remember them at least having more frequent or more widespread discounts.
 

bmasters9

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Everyone of their DVDs was at MSRP. On top of that, almost all of their good product was in a case under lock and key. It was punishment to shop there. Borders was the first casualty of diminishing media stores, but their demise came before streaming took over. They died because they were the most expensive place in town!

Why would Borders' M.O. when it came to media prices be to sell only at MSRP and no lower?
 

TravisR

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I recall other retailers like FYE and Suncoast being just as bad. Those were also places I loved browsing but felt priced out of.
I remember working summers in high school and unironically thinking "Man, one more paycheck and I'll be able to buy a laserdisc!"
 
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The Drifter

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I was more of a browser rather than a shopper at Border's Books. They had a good selection of books, graphic novels, and physical media (CD's/DVD's) - but I considered them way overpriced -even though they were MSRP. And, they almost never had sales. I remember CD's there being about $17-18 each back in the early 200X's.

IIRC they closed shop back in 2010. I guess they couldn't compete with Amazon & other stores - especially given their high prices.

The only thing I enjoyed buying at Border's was their coffee/smoothies. In fact, Border's was the first place I had a frozen coffee frappuchino - circa 1995/1996.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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Why would Borders' M.O. when it came to media prices be to sell only at MSRP and no lower?

Probably two reasons - because they could - and those higher prices may have also made it possible to have the large real estate footprints needed to house such wide selections.
 

bmasters9

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Probably two reasons - because they could - and those higher prices may have also made it possible to have the large real estate footprints needed to house such wide selections.

In that case, I don't blame 'em-- if they didn't have the MSRP M.O. they did, they wouldn't be able to pay the rent to have that space where they were.
 

Josh Steinberg

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In that case, I don't blame 'em-- if they didn't have the MSRP M.O. they did, they wouldn't be able to pay the rent to have that space where they were.

It’s really a tough catch-22. They probably needed prices at that level to make the whole thing work. At the same time, we as customers all have budgets and other considerations, so if something else comes along that can offer the same item at a better price and with additional convenience, that will probably win out. And that’s why so much of the retail sector is in trouble. It’s hard to compete against warehouses that can store every possible variation of a product, located in areas with low cost, aided by huge volume breaks on shipping costs. I don’t know what the ideal solution is.
 

Terry Hickey

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Seems like there is less titles to buy in brick and mortar stores these days. I was told that you will just have to order online now. I'm not crazy about that.
 

SeanSKA

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I used to love browsing Borders but I also remember them charging MSRP on pretty much anything, which was like the kiss of death to my then-teenage dreams. The same CD they’d sell for $18.99 could be gotten for $11.99 at Best Buy, or maybe even $9.99 on Amazon plus shipping (back in the days before Prime). Likewise with DVDs - a lot of $29.99 selections there that would be $19.99 or less anywhere else. I remember the almost crushing disappointment as a teen if I’d get a $20 gift card to Borders - it wouldn’t even cover one purchase.

I’ve been doing a lot of my shopping for physical media online since the late 90s, between Amazon and now defunct stores like CDnow.com and Reel.com. Even with shipping charges it was cheaper than shopping locally. And I kinda hated that but I also felt I didn’t have much of a choice. Spending nearly twice as much to be able to shop local was a luxury I couldn’t often afford.

One thing I do remember about Borders was that in the pre-Internet era, they often carried import CDs that were very hard to find elsewhere.
 

Billy Batson

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One thing I do remember about Borders was that in the pre-Internet era, they often carried import CDs that were very hard to find elsewhere.

Yeah, that's what I loved about the huge flagship Tower Records store in London's Piccadilly Circus, all those US & Japanese imports. I could spend hours in there, & rarely came out empty handed. I mean it's so easy these days, just a click of a mouse, but it's so much more fun getting out of the house & mooching around. I'm reminded of a few words in a pop song, "It begins with a blessing, but it ends with a curse, making life easy, but making it worse".
 
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Jeffrey D

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My fondest memories are of Ken Crane's Laserdisc (later renamed "DVD Planet"). I would be there every Tuesday after work browsing and buying new releases. And Tower Records was my destination when I wanted to browse the CD stacks.
I ordered a ton of stuff from Ken Crane’s when laserdiscs were still the best home video option. I bought a couple of wood
storage crates to house the discs, which I still use to display a few dozen titles as part of my film collection.
 

JoshZ

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I was more of a browser rather than a shopper at Border's Books. They had a good selection of books, graphic novels, and physical media (CD's/DVD's) - but I considered them way overpriced -even though they were MSRP. And, they almost never had sales.

The thing with Borders is that if you paid for a membership, they'd send you frequent coupons that made shopping there more worthwhile. If you were a heavy purchaser, the coupon discounts eventually paid for the price of the membership. Without that, however, their MSRP prices were way out of line with what you could pay elsewhere.

I do, however, have many fond memories of wasting my lunch hour at Borders browsing the racks and flipping through magazines.

Edit to add: I had a brief career as a magazine writer around 2008-2010, and it was pretty cool to walk into a Borders and find my work on the rack. :)
 
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TJPC

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At the time I was a heavy shopper there, the Canadian dollar was at par. This coupled with having a membership made the store bargoon city. My wife would drop me off at the CD/DVD section and browse the rest of the store.
 

Jeff F.

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Back in the day, I used to shop at Laser Blaser in West Los Angeles and spend a big chunk of my lunch hour there about twice a month. They had a huge selection of titles, and the staff was very nice and helpful. The advent of DVD pretty much finished them off, since even supermarkets were carrying them for sale, and I miss that personal service and being able flip through the rows and rows of laserdiscs. Definitely now a relic from the past.
 

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