How Does Amazon Sell the Nook Color for Less Than B&N?

Nook Color Refurbs

I noticed this a while back and it continues to this day. The Nook Color typically sells for less from than it does from Barnes and Noble. How does that make any sense?

It’s not Amazon selling them directly, it’s through partners in their marketplace, so let’s get that bit of information out of the way before the conspiracy theories start.

Right now there are two Nook different Nook Colors being sold on One comes with a 1GB microSD card and the other does not. The Nook Color without a memory card costs $229 plus $5.49 for shipping. The one with the memory card costs $239 plus $5.49 for shipping.

The same Nook Color sells for $249 from Barnes and Noble with free shipping, plus tax. B&N doesn’t include a memory card when buying from them.

Do the math and that comes out to roughly $262 – $267 when purchased from Barnes and Noble, depending on local sales tax (the numbers above reflect about 5 and 8 percent). Compare that with $234.49 from Amazon. That’s certainly quite a big difference.

It just doesn’t seem right, does it? That Amazon can sell a competitor’s product for that much less.

This doesn’t hold true for the other Nooks sold on Amazon, however. They are priced about the same or slightly more than the base price at B&N. So why only the Nook Color?

I guess it doesn’t matter much anyway. A Nook Color 2 is likely just around the corner. And with refurbished Nook Colors down to $149, and the Kindle Fire and Kobo Vox at $199, a $235 Nook Color isn’t nearly intriguing as it once was.

2 Responses to “How Does Amazon Sell the Nook Color for Less Than B&N?”

  1. You pretty much explained it yourself. 🙂
    B&N sells Nooks to retailers at less than list.
    Normally, there is no incentive to discount (and B&N likely forbids it) but with the NC2 (allegedly) incoming it behooves retailers to clear out old stock. Hence the discounts (that Amazon is the transaction “broker” is just a sign of how broad Amazon’s hosting/retailing services are) and the ever-dropping prices of refurbished Nooks.
    No conspiracy and the only shock (to some) is the Amazon makes money even off competitors’ products. 🙂 Not uncommon, either; for ages, MS made more money off Macs than Apple and right now they probably make more direct revenue off android than google.

  2. If it gets to $125 for a refurb, I will probably buy.

    This article may be of interest: