Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Amazon and Moleskine Books have a Clearance Sale - or do they?

It's not often you see a Moleskine for less than the normal retail price - so to see prices really slashed causes jaw dropping on a grand scale!

Check out the clearance prices on amazon.com site for sketchbooks. I'm looking at the price for a large sketchbook which is suggesting a 40% reduction from the normal retail rate. They're quoting $24.99 as the normal retail price (and $19.95 as the normal Amazon rate) and then $14.95 as the clearance sale price - making a saving of just over $10 on the normal retail price.

Now when my jaw drops I start looking at why something is such a good bargain. In this instance the supplier is not Amazon - goods ship from and are sold by Moleskine Books - so watch out for shipping rates in case the reduction is not as good in reality as it seems. It appears that the base rate is $5.99 per shipment plus $0.99 per item. Which seems to me takes the cost to the customer of a single Moleskine back up to $21.93 - which is not looking so cheap to me. Buy a large quantity with friends and maybe you've got a good deal? Bottom line - make sure you do the calculations and are happy with the TOTAL cost before placing any order.

Potential buyers should note this extract about shipping costs from the 'about us' section of the moleskine.cc website.

From time to time, Moleskine Books has chosen to make a range of items available to our customers at very low prices. In most cases, these listings represent a fraction of the original cost of the item to us. However, the total amount for these orders which our customers pay includes a reasonable shipping fee, as specified in our shipping policies. This amount does not vary for any of our items. Bargain-priced items incur the same shipping charges as our regularly-priced retail merchandise, and sometimes this is surprising for our customers. We cannot make adjustments to our shipping policies with regard to our bargain-priced listings.

Please see our FAQ pages for further information regarding our bargain-priced items.

I was looking for more information about the company as I couldn't work out who this company - "Moleskine Books" - was. Also bear in mind the lack of data about the background to this company on their website. There are a number of websites on the internet which 'appear' to be the company behind Moleskine notebooks - but they aren't - they just exist to try and sell them.

My large Moleskine sketchbook is one of the two brands of sketchbook which I use when travelling with a sketchbook. You can see how they work with pencil, pen and ink and coloured pencil in my sketches in Travels with a Sketchbook in....... and in particular in those threads associated with Travels with a Sketchbook in the USA.

I'm always interested in a bargain to do with buying Moleskines. If you think you've found a bargain do let me know!

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  1. I have been lucky to find Moleskines for sale at our Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Next time you travel to the US, check those stores. Saves the shipping. I think the one I used is about 5x8 and is just about $13. Plus sales tax. CA sales tax is 7 1/4%. Always a catch somewhere. I have passed that info on to a couple people in the states. Before that I ordered from ebay.

    Maybe some of your bookstores carry them.

  2. Jeanne - I can get the Moleskines over here but generally at not much less than full retail price. Adding in the postage means they have to be a very good reduction and cheap postage to make it worth my while to do an order

    Thanks for the tip though. I think I visited some Barnes and Noble stores when I was in the USA and was most impressed with them. Visited some nice little book stores as well! ;)

  3. In December Amazon had all Moleskines on sale at the amazing price of $1.99 each. Even with the exorbitant third party shipping (such as you describe) this was a bargain. Needless to say, I backed up the truck.


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