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It looks like Sony made a great deal with Target Stores.  I was shopping yesterday and saw quite a display of Sony e-readers, book lights, a deal where you get a bunch of free books for your Sony.  That display alone will prompt many holiday sales for the Sony e-reader. 

It's too bad Amazon doesn't catch on to that marketing strategy.  Online stores are great but you cant ignore the power of the bricks and mortar stores.  If people could see and touch the Kindle, I'm sure sales would increase.  Which for us would mean cheaper Kindles, better features, more books!

I was very hesitant about ordering my Kindle without having seen one.  I like Amazon, I like Target.  I think Amazon should open itself to new possibilities. 

What do you think?  Don't you think Amazon could do a better job of marketing (ok, Oprah is an exception to this)?  Wouldn't you like to be able to see these in a store?
 

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Considering how well Kindles have done, with very little marketing, I do think they might benefit by some, but I do not really agree that they missed out here. I think the most compelling tool is the overwhelming amount of satisfied customers. After I saw it on Oprah, I checked the customer reviews on Amazon and that really sold me. If I was Amazon, I would make sure to give some out to Ellen's audience, when she does her Christmas give away shows... and to any other media stars with big mouths, the View would be good and also the new Bonnie Hunt show, which I love.

I also think the Sony at Target will be a good thing for Kindle as well. The more awareness about e readers in general is good for all e readers and savvy consumers will want to do more research and quickly may discover there is an even better one on the market;)!
 

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I think Amazon has more bite off more then it can chew right now in regards to the kindle, the wait list is now 11 week+.
Right now the can't keep it instock.

Jodi
 

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I know of some people who have been turned off the Sony because the display in the store wasn't working, so.... Also, if amazon sell the devices via Target (or some other B&M affiliate), you have to give them their cut, so the price is going to go up by doing that, at least in the short term, and I don't know if amazon can afford that right now. I agree with Jodi, too, if they can't meet production demand now, there is no reason to try to increase it until they ramp up manufacturing.

(BTW, the "free books" for the Sony are classics in the public domain that anyone can download for the Kindle as well, or even to read on a computer.)
 

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There was a James Patterson version of the Sony Reader for a while.  Came with a special cover and several of his books pre-loaded.  Cost a little more than the standard version I think.

Ann
 

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A company changes marketing strategy in order to increase sales. Amazon cannot keep up with the demand as it is. I can't see why they would want to be more aggressive in their marketing if the end result is just a longer waiting list.

Eventually, I can see that they might want to market outside of Amazon (and I bet that they ultimately will), but not until the demand slows down.

JMO.
 

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I don't think that Amazon missed the boat, I think they jumped on the best bandwagin around.
 

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Word of mouth has got to count for something! Speaking of which - I need to get over to amazon and get my product review entered.
 
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I agree with the fact that until Amazon can keep up with the current demand, they should just stick to what they are doing. 

People may want a Kindle but they are not going to want to wait almost 3 months to get it.  This will cost them some sales but not enough to matter in the long run I guess.
 

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Borders has a Sony display as well.  In fact, shortly after I got my Kindle I was in Borders.  I got to talking with the Sony rep and he was way impressed with my Kindle.  He even told a customer that buying the Kindle would be better.  Kindle has so much more to offer than the Sony.  Better marketing through Target, but no better quality.
 

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They have not missed the boat - they got on the Ferry that goes the long route but gives you a much better and more enjoyable ride.

I think Amazon has started out slow on purpose in order to perfect the product before making it widely available.  We Kindle Owners are willing Testers and so far the product is making us very happy. Our suggestions are probably being listened to for making it an even better product so that when Amazon is happy with the basic Kindle, Kindle Services, ebook distribution Worldwide and nothing carries the experimental label they will drop it into the market in a big way.

I am not sure what the Oprah thing was about.  They know about the Oprah effect as it has boosted their sales many times.  I do not understand why they appear not to have been ready for the demand that would be generated.  Maybe they are ready to unveil an updated product very soon and wanted to be sure to have sold off the older version before they roll it out.  Maybe Oprah insisted on doing the show and Amazon thought it unwise to deny her.

In store displays catch people who prefer to shop in a physical store and each store has its own limited customer base. 

Amazon has a virtual store and a VERY VERY large Worldwide customer base.  When Amazon is ready they have all the mechanisms in place to do a marketing blitz on their customers with very little effort or cost.  Hopefully they will be fully prepared by having enough product to keep up with the demand at that time.

IMHO Amazon is just not ready yet.
 

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The B&M displays will catch the impulsive buyers, like my husband.  He bought a Sony at Boarders last March.  But then after going home and doing some research he bought me a Kindle. Yes!  He still claims the the Sony is the one for him.  All the "gadgets" on the Kindle are perfect for me, but he says he likes the simplicity of the Sony.  Silly man.
 

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there's no way that ANY bricks & mortar store would touch marketing the Kindle.  Amazon sells just about everything you can think of, so any B&M store would be a competitor.  Besides, Amazon is selling so many that people are having to wait nearly three months for one as it is, plus they've been able to more than double the amount of ebooks available.  That's a success in my book.
 

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hazeldazel said:
plus they've been able to more than double the amount of ebooks available. That's a success in my book.
Good point. If it wasn't for Amazon and Kindle there wouldn't be anywhere near the amount of e-books available as there are now.

I don't buy anything in a B&M store unless I check for the same item (or a better one) on Amazon. I've even bought groceries from Amazon.
 

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I really would have liked to try out the Kindle before I bought one, and I likely would have bought one much earlier had I been able to touch it. That said, I bought our first one a month or so after they were finally in stock. This is my husband's Kindle, which he uses mainly for reading the newspaper. When the Oprah discount appeared, I went ahead and got one for myself as well.

Considering how difficult it seems to be for Amazon to manufacture enough of them, I think they've been doing fine keeping them in their online store only.

As for Target, they're not doing to well right now themselves.

pacific.bizjournals.com said:
Poor performance in its credit-card business and a slowdown in consumer spending pushed Target Corp.'s earnings down nearly 24 percent in the third quarter.

The Minneapolis company on Monday reported third-quarter earnings of $369 million, or 49 cents per share, down almost 24 percent from a profit of $483 million, or 56 cents per share, during the year-ago period.
 

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I would argue that selling the Kindle in a B&M would have very little effect on its success. Unlike most other electronic gadgets, Kindles aren't geared for the casual, impulse buyer. Everybody knows why they want a DVD player, or an iPod, a cell phone, or even a non-stick frying pan; but Kindles are different. A customer reading bullet points on a fact tag, or even dinking around with a display, is more likely than not to be turned off by the whole book-alternativeness. A Kindle needs word-of-mouth and one-on-one demonstrations, and by limiting sales to the Amazon site, that's basically all it has. It has legions of fans eager to praise and demonstrate its abilities to family, friends, and complete strangers. You cannot buy that kind of publicity.

People who want to purchase Kindles are pretty savvy. They've already seen one in the wild, read everything about it on the internet, watched all the author videos, and been convinced that $360 is a relative bargain.

All a presence in a B&M would garner would be immediacy for the already converted. And when you consider the infrastructure challenges Amazon would have to conquer to sell the Kindle in, say, a Target, I believe it would be a losing proposition: Registering customers for an Amazon account, keeping units in stock, returns, retail training, kiosk POS, how to demo Whispernet, etc.

Maybe someday, but, currently, it's such a weird and wonderful little gadget that Amazon is selling it the only way it can be sold.
 

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Dori said:
Holey Toledo, don't tell me I can get my bananas by one clicking.
Kind of: there's such a thing as Peapod. Affiliated with various food stores around the country. Go online, order your groceries and they'll be delivered to your door.

Ann
 

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I saw the Sony at Target a while back, and that was actually how I learned about e books.  I don't really remeber how I heard about the kindle though.  I'm glad I bought the kindle, I do wish I could have seen one before I bought it because I wouldn't have waited the month or two I did before I ordered mine.
 
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