Kobo’s Backwards Sales Tactics at Work Again


Kobo Aura Error

At times, Kobo is one of the most mind-boggling companies when it comes to selling their products. It’s make you wonder how they can keep up with the likes of Amazon at all.

Last week I noticed that the Kobo Aura, Kobo’s latest ebook reader that just started shipping a couple weeks ago, has disappeared from Kobo’s website. The general description page still exists, but there’s no way to purchase the device.

In typical Kobo fashion, there is no buy button, and the Kobo links in the “find a retailer” section direct to a 404 error page. The old product page and original url for the Kobo Aura also redirects to a 404 error page.

Of all the links in the retailer section for North America, the only one that turns up any sign of the Kobo Aura at all is Chapters.Indigo, a retailer based in Canada. They have them in stock, so why doesn’t Kobo?

On Kobo’s homepage there’s an advertisement for the Kobo Aura with a “Buy Now” button. Hitting the button, however, directs to the Kobo Aura description page, where you guessed it, there is no way to actually purchase the device.

If they are out of stock, why wouldn’t they just say so on the product page like when they were out of the Kobo Aura HD? Why remove the buy page all together and give potential customers no way purchase or pre-order or anything? Makes no sense.

It’s been that way for at least a week now. I thought maybe it was just another glitch with Kobo’s website and that the option to buy would reappear at some point, but a week goes by and nothing has changed.

Meanwhile all of Kobo’s other devices are available for purchase from Kobo.com with no problem, except the Kobo Mini, which is listed as out of stock.

The irony is there’s a big “Get it Now” badge on the description page for the Kobo Aura. It’s like they are deliberately trying to frustrate potential buyers that go to their website to make a purchase only to find there is no way to do so, with no explanation why. What a strange way to market a new device.

25 Responses to “Kobo’s Backwards Sales Tactics at Work Again”

  1. Funny, the Kobo mini was readily available at my local Costco store for $40 (with a case). Chapters Indigo usually has a higher price for the Kobos. Is the Aura available at Best Buy?

  2. Let’s not make too much of an obvious website programming error?

  3. Wow, Kobo has learned exactly nothing from last year’s debacle. The very same thing happened with the Kobo Glo: the error pages, the removed buy buttons, and a “Where to Buy?” link that leads to an error page or a list of random retailers that don’t have the device. This must be a real treat for those who actually want to buy a Kobo then and there. When retailer links finally went up, they led to pages filled with third-party cases and junk accessories; none linked to an actual device.

  4. No wonder Amazon is so far ahead of everyone else… Every time I read something about B&N or Kobo, I cringe at how many mistakes they seem to make.

  5. Something must be wrong with your browser because I see the “Buy now” button and can add Kobo Aura to the shopping cart.
    (Might be they already fixed the button if it was indeed missing.)

    • Really? Still doesn’t show up for me and I’ve tried multiple browsers, devices, and internet connections (I wanted to be thorough since that’s exactly what happened when the Aura HD disappeared). What is the link, the URL, to the page?

      • I’m using IE 9 and I still don’t see an option to buy it — but the “Get It Now” badge from yesterday, that didn’t do anything, is gone now too.

  6. I just used Safari to order and went all the way to the checkout page. Maybe it’s fixed?

  7. I gave up on Kobo after the Glo debacle. Mostly I read on a Kindle but the occasional digital library book is only available in e-pub. After a month of periodically checking for US availability, it occurred to me that I could read e-pubs using the Overdrive app on my iPad mini. Very nice app, by the way. I would have bought a Kobo Glo but have now lost interest in Kobo as a company.

  8. It’s bizarre. If you visit the page for any other of their readers, there is a “buy it now” button in the header of links. This leads you to expect the same for the aura.

    I did find the “buy now” button which seems to let me buy the aura or any other reader, but it was a fluke.

  9. Wow just checked kobo website and both colors are in stock for shipping.

  10. Nathan did you get yours yet ??

  11. no matter what I do I can’t get my order to go through. used 4 different browsers when i click on the submit order button it just hangs.. oh well not meant to get one.

  12. no I checked my credit card pending and there is nothing showing up thankfully. I will just wait for my paperwhite 2

  13. There is a problem with the Kobo website for some computers. I can buy books on it but I have been unable to order a Kobo Glo for about 6 weeks. I have a Kobo Touch which I purchased in July. However, I end up with multiple credit card orders pending, which somehow are not being read on the Kobo end. They say they are working on fixing the problem which seems odd since it is taking so long.