In a move that has independent bookstore owners seeing red, Amazon encouraged shoppers to use their new Price Check app this weekend to scan products at brick-and-mortar locations and then order those products online. The "price check" promotion?which gave consumers a 5% discount of up to $5 on up to three qualifying items?ran for only one day and didn't include books, but it was enough for the American Booksellers Association to get involved and fire off a letter to Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos:
"[This is] the latest in a series of steps to expand your market at the expense of cities and towns nationwide, stripping them of their unique character and the financial wherewithal to pay for essential needs like schools, fire and police departments and libraries."More often, mom-and-pop stores are feeling like they've become showrooms to display Amazon's merchandise. "It's a little bit skeevy,"says Bookhampton co-owner Charline Spektor ,"to come into our stores [for] the knowledge, advice, kindness of our booksellers and then turn around and shop somewhere else." Fortunately, most of the East End clientele don't seem to use bookstores as a starting point to hunt for better deals online. According Maryann Calendrille, co-owner Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor, "Our customer base generally understands that we're only here at 280 Main Street if people shop here and support us and bring their purchasing power to the bookshop."
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