Amazon bookstores give Prime members discounts, everyone else pays more

Amazon's physical bookstores, which are thus far found only in select major cities, give Prime members discounts on books while everyone else (read: non-Prime members) pay the list price. The discount/no discount doesn't apply to Amazon devices, however, meaning everyone pays the same price for a Kindle or an Echo. While this may not be a big deal for occasional book buyers, it could add up substantially for those who frequently pick up the latest releases.

A Prime membership costs $99/year for regular subscribers, and for that price you get discounts on certain things, as well as services like access to some videos and music. Amazon's bookstores bring some of those discounts into the physical realm, pricing their books at the Prime price for those who have a Prime membership. Everyone else pays the publisher's regular list price, though.

Cashiers ask customers whether they have a Prime account when they go to checkout. Everyone who says no pays the sticker price. All things considered, it's not a bad arrangement: many stores give perks to loyalty card holders, and this Prime membership discount is more or less the same.

Because this pricing arrangement could be tricky if ordinary paper prices were used, the Amazon bookstores are equipped with price scanners that present the discounted and list prices to all customers. Seeing the discount on the screen — and then proceeding to pay the full sticker price — could prove an effective way to get some new Prime converts, particularly now that there's a monthly $10.99 option.

SOURCE: GeekWire