Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Borders Beta Site Is Launched

Borders has lauched a beta of its new online store. The romance page has a top section of featured books and then book covers of upcoming and currently on sale romances (and some that may be loosely described as romances).

I like it and find it more attractive than Amazon. How easy it will to buy books and whether it will be a viable alternative to Amazon remains to be seen.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

13 Comments

  1. Wendy
    Sep 17, 2007 @ 14:27:34

    I hope it turns out to be a “viable alternative” because I have to say I’ve been seriously cheesed off with Amazon’s slow-ass shipping of late (is it just me?). I also wonder if I’ll be able to use the gift certificates I receive from my Borders Visa card online. I really, truly hope so.

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  2. Jill Myles
    Sep 17, 2007 @ 14:39:40

    Interesting! More stats for authors to check. :) I have to say overall that I like Borders better than B&N…the romance section in the stores is always more robust.

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  3. Sarah McCarty
    Sep 17, 2007 @ 15:00:28

    I really like it. Especially the cover or list option and the ease of checking store availability.

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  4. Emily
    Sep 17, 2007 @ 15:01:10

    I am also hoping for an altermative to amazon after 9 emails and a phone call couldn’t resolve a simple problem with their service. I will give them a go, for sure.

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  5. Dee Cee
    Sep 17, 2007 @ 17:11:07

    I’m hoping for a good alternative too. I have found Amazon to be a pain in the a**. I can order books from Amazon UK and get them in 4 days, but order something from my own Amazon, and it takes 3 weeks.

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  6. DS
    Sep 17, 2007 @ 20:32:24

    I think that it is still connected to Amazon. I just logged in with my Amazon user name and password and my name popped right up.

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  7. Angela
    Sep 18, 2007 @ 07:59:54

    It would be great if this was hooked up to the computers in store. That way, if you forget your wish list, you can print it out when you get there.

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  8. Emily
    Sep 18, 2007 @ 12:40:04

    I logged in with my Borders rewards name and it also csme right up. Maybe it is transitional?

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  9. Mark from Borders
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 09:30:50

    Hi folks. I wanted to say thanks from the Borders website team for your comments. We’re very excited about our new beta site, and even more excited about the version of the site we’ll launch early next year that adds purchase and shipping functionality and a lot more. In the meantime I hope you’ll create an account on our new site, start a wishlist, write some reviews, watch our author interviews and book club videos and enjoy all the rest of the site.
    Angela, you absolutely will be able to access the site from the store and print out your wishlist, as well as access recommendations and read customer and staff reviews. DS, our Borders.com site is still connected with Amazon, but this new site, beta.bordersstores.com, is unconnected. It is, however, integrated with our Borders Rewards program, so your Borders Rewards account is accessible. If you have any other questions, leave them here and I’ll be happy to respond. Thanks!

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  10. RfP
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 13:03:11

    Mark, a few thoughts.

    I like that the books are organized by category – it’s one more way to find things (a way that’s complementary to Search). I also like that books are cross-referenced into multiple categories.

    I love that the website is integrated with in-store inventories. I tend to browse online, make a list, then go to the store and browse more. It’s really useful seeing what’s in stock in different stores nearby.

    BTW, the “Check availability for store pickup” is much, much easier to use than the old site. How certain is “Likely In Stock”? Does it vary by store? (I’ve had very good luck with the inventory search on your old site, http://www.bordersstores.com – if it says “Availability: Yes”, it really is in stock.)

    Will the Borders/Sony eBook Store be integrated so I can buy either e-book or paper editions from the book’s main page?

    I know this isn’t your area, but the Borders Rewards program used to be awesome–and now it’s confusing and (as far as I can tell) worth a lot less. The “$5 the month after the purchase, expiring that month” thing is a real pain. Somebody rethink that, please! It’s still marginally better than the Barnes & Noble card, because it’s free. But seriously, I won’t be doing as much Christmas shopping at Borders under the new deal.

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  11. Vlad
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 14:48:11

    It looks like the site is integrated with the Borders Rewards program, but when I try to register, the registration process keeps telling me that “The email address does not match with the Borders Rewards card number.” The funny thing is I’ve been getting Borders Rewards emails at this address for the last two years or more. And I am sure I got the right Borders Rewards number (it is even printed in some of those old email messages)… What’s the advice here?

    The other question: Does it really makes a lot of sense to split Borders online store from Amazon? Didn’t Borders try once before to run its own online bookstore (I was a customer then, still have the borders mug Borders.com sent me at the end of the year.) Amazon has accumulated a lot of user input on the stuff they sell, mainly user reviews, which Borders doesn’t have any more. Even B&N doesn’t have nearly as big a database of user reviews, and their online shop has been in business ever since. Is the expectation that the customers will find the book and read reviews elsewhere, then come to Borders to buy the book? Is Borders going to compete on price, like no-name booksellers do?

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  12. RfP
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 15:44:26

    when I try to register, the registration process keeps telling me that “The email address does not match with the Borders Rewards card number.”

    I think that’s the error message I got, too. I found it worked if I used the 2nd or 3rd option on the page (card # alone, instead of email and card #).

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  13. Mark from Borders
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 16:38:39

    RfP-thanks for the comments. Glad you enjoy the store inventory integration. “Likely in stock” means our inventory systems show the title in stock at that store as of the last update, but we say “likely” because it may have sold since that last update. Don’t forget you can also reserve the title online, which will get you a confirmation back from the store that it is indeed on hold for you before you get in the car. I’ll pass your Borders Rewards feedback on as well, thanks for that.

    Vlad, call Customer Care at 800-443-7359, they’ll take care of your mismatch issue and get you set up on the new site. Your question about splitting from Amazon is a complicated one, but we believe it’s absolutely the right thing to do–this gives us the opportunity to provide lots more services that cross website and store along the lines of the one RfP enjoys. There’s much more to come like that. I hope you all will help us beef up our customer reviews! You’ll be able to access all customer reviews on our new site (and your wish list!) from PCs in the store in the future, another store/web site feature we’re excited about. Thanks for the comments.

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