Last month, internet retailer Overstock.com started a promotion to sell all of its books at least 10 percent below Amazon’s prices. That promotion led Amazon to match Overstock’s prices, and resulted in unusually low prices on hardcover books for consumers.
Now, Overstock said, it will permanently match Amazon’s prices on print books. The Wall Street Journal quotes Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne: “We think with the rise in sales volume, we can extract better [wholesale] pricing from publishers. Publishers do want to see more competition for Amazon.” Overstock doesn’t sell ebooks.
In addition, Overstock will give members of its $19.95-per-year “Club O” perks program 15 percent rebates in Overstock credit on book purchases. The press release notes that “this effectively undercuts Amazon’s book prices for Overstock.com’s most loyal customers, without adding undue pricing pressure on independent bookstores.”
CEO Byrne also tells the WSJ that the July Amazon promotion cost Overstock $11,000 a day. Here’s my colleague Lauren Hockensen’s recent interview with Byrne.