Think Aloud explores book-related discussions encompassing reading, writing, blogging, and perhaps newsworthy content. The focus is to push the boundaries, stretch the mind, and encourage dialogue within this community. Let’s all think out loud.
5 Tips To Book Outlet Like A Boss
Learn how to optimize your shopping habits on Book Outlet.
Disclaimer: This post is not endorsed by Book Outlet and I’m not responsible or liable for you accidentally checking out your cart with an exorbitant amount of goodies if you do test some of these tips.
At first, I wanted to call these “hacks” but they’re really simple things I’ve come across that you can use to optimize your shopping habits on the discount store. I should preface this post to tell you that these tips work as of now (March 2016) and continuous improvements may change things in time.
I’ve essentially turned discount book shopping into a science.
Except not really.
1. Knowing The Schedule
Ever thought: “damn, I wish I saw that book on sale”?
As a self-proclaimed valued customer of Book Outlet (meaning: I basically check the site very day), I’m here to inform you with 99% certainty that products are re-stocked–and appears on the site–at or around 12:45 a.m. EST. Why this arbitrary time? Couldn’t tell you. Just take my word for it.
Note: this doesn’t mean there aren’t inventory changes made throughout the day (re push promotion). It’s just that the standard batch release is reflected on their “New Arrivals” during this time.
2. The Special Days in the Schedule
While I mentioned above that items can be seen every morning, the exception is Monday, which I’ve typically only seen non-fiction, compact-CD, and miscellaneous releases.
Tuesdays are typically the start of the “50/50” sales; 50 listed titles at [a possible additional] 50% discount (e.g. currently “Biography/Autobiography”) at 10 a.m. — I could be wrong with the timing on this though but my e-mails don’t seem to lie to me.
3. Checking The True Inventory Quantity
(“Faux Checkout” Approach)
Are you unsure if you want to buy your item now or later? Worried about the true quantities left?
When you add an item to your cart, the quantities displayed “x in stock” represents the total stock of inventory available — note: this value doesn’t reflect other customers putting the same item in their cart.
For quantities displaying “100+ in stock“, it doesn’t really provide a good indicator as to how much is truly available. And if the price isn’t right, you might be wondering if you could wait on it to see if the price drops to wait to purchase it. Because really, a large quantity left unsold beckons the need to lower the price, right?
It’s all a mind game, really.
The Faux Checkout Approach. (Click to open larger image) Step 1: Add item with "100+ in stock" quantity to chart. Step 2: Click on "Checkout" >> "Proceed to Checkout" Step 2.1: Input information then click "Proceed to Order Verification" (note: you are not charged if you click on this) Step 3: Verify quantity left in stock (note: do not click checkout until you're ready to check out)
4. Checking The True Inventory Quantity
(“Previous Buyer” Approach)
If someone you know has recently bought an item, they go to their “Past Orders” page (located at the bottom of the site) and click on their order number which they purchased said product. It will display the total quantities remaining of that product.
Note: the item purchased is unique in that “Scratch and Dent” and “[Default] Bargain Books” are identified as different items (e.g. if your friend bought a S&D, the amount in stock reflected will only display the same S&D items).
Bonus: books can be restocked and may not yet be reflected until the next day rolls over and can be checked using this method. You just need a friend who has bought it previously.
5. Verifying The Cheapest Shipping Rate
I’m not sure what it looks like on the US/.com side (frankly because I’m too lazy to create a .com account) but on the Canadian checkout, know that the default is “Canada Post Regular Parcel” which may not reflect the cheapest option.
I’ve noticed in various iterations that the break-even is 7 books before the Xpresspost costs less than the default. Otherwise the Regular Parcel, I found, is usually cheaper.
So tell me:
1) How has your experience been with Book Outlet, if you’ve bought from them before in-store or online?
2) If you’re an avid shopper on Book Outlet, do you have some tips and tricks to share?
As always, think aloud.
I’m on team Hoard All The Books because I’ve spent
thousands hundreds on Book Outlet and have probably only read ~20% of what I bought. Either way, I hope this post helps you spend more money.
I’m such an enabler.
Also waiting to be endorsed by Book Outlet.