Will You Buy eBooks From Walmart?


Two weeks ago Kobo and Walmart announced a new partnership that will make Walmart Kobo’s exclusive retail partner in the United States, so Kobo’s ereaders will finally be available from retail stores in the US once again.

Additionally, Walmart will start selling ebooks and audiobooks from Walmart.com and through co-branded apps with Kobo for Android, iOS, and desktop computers.

Right now it seems kind of strange to think about buying ebooks from Walmart, but that’s going to be an option soon.

Walmart is expected to offer nearly 6 million ebooks and audiobooks for sale.

Walmart will also sell digital book cards in stores, making it possible to carry a wider selection of books and it will make it easier to give ebooks as gifts.

Most people that already buy ebooks from Kobo will probably continue to do so, but once Walmart starts selling them it will be interesting to see how many people start using Walmart as a place to buy ebooks.

It’s nice that Kobo’s ereaders will be sold at Walmart because it will make it possible to purchase them locally and it will give people an opportunity to see them live in person before buying—also being able to do returns at Walmart is a huge plus compared to how things currently operate—but when it comes to selling ebooks and audiobooks that’s a completely different story.

So what do you think of the new partnership? Will you buy ebooks from Walmart?

25 Responses to “Will You Buy eBooks From Walmart?”

  1. I see no reason NOT to buy their ebooks, assuming the price is competitive. They are a commodity like bread or sneakers. I’m agnostic as to who the seller is, as long as I like the product.

  2. I will never ever buy anything from Walmart. Period.

  3. Cause, i don’t have a kobo. I have a KPW that limit all. And I’ll try on boyue. I hope they sold books in Spanish, and different to the classic literature books.

  4. A) The population of e-reader users is tiny & B) The percentage of American e-reader users who are not brand loyal to Amazon is very (very) small

    SO A) + B) = Wally’s World ain’t gonna advertise Kobo. If Kobo wants to encourage switching, they’re gonna have to promote it themselves. A lot. Which they won’t on account of them having an incompetent marketing department and all.

    AFA retail ebooks go? A) it’s a stupid idea because they could never do this as efficiently as an online store & B) The book isle is about a mile away from the electronics isles so unless they’re gonna change their store layouts, the two aren’t remotely complementary when Walmart is in the picture.

    Best Buy, indie bookstores, airport bookstores, Staples etc. all make way more sense than Walmart.

    • And, yep, I meant “isle” not aisle because, in a Walmart, those two areas might as well be separated by an immense body of water … never to be breached by customers

  5. I will definitely give it a try if ebooks on Walmart are competitive.

  6. Will Walmart sell Kobo’s current line of eReaders or will they have Kobo make specific models just for Walmart?

    I think that Kobo’s current line is a bit high in price for what I tend to see in Walmart.

    That’s something I would like to know.

    • It’s highly unlikely that they’d release a whole new line of ereaders just to sell at Walmart. Maybe one new model but they’ll probably be pushing the apps more than the ereaders either way.

      • Maybe Kobo may work with Walmart to develop another tablet with Kobo branding.

        I just don’t want Walmart to take the Kobo line and make it into an eReader with advertisements.

  7. All I would want to be able to do is pick up a Kobo device or Kobo gift cards from Walmart. I would not want to buy books thru Walmart.

  8. I think Wal-Mart is going after Amazon, so I am hopeful that Wal-Mart will actually advertise Kobo. As a Kobo owner, I will consider buying books from Wal-Mart if prices are competitive. I even wonder if US based Kobo owners will be automatically redirected to Wal-Mart for Kobo’s US site.

  9. Why not? There’s no particular reason for not purchasing at WM – unless you already avoid the store, but that’s different.

    It’s just another store.

  10. Walmart does have an online store. Selling ebooks on it is a natural move if they partner with Kobo. They also sell physical books and magazines in the store, which may lead to awareness of a title. My only concern is that Walmart’s demographics don’t strike me as the e-reader type, but a lot of time they are the only game in town.

    When I bought my first Kindle at Best Buy, there were literally no other e-readers for sale in town. Had I been able I would have at least looked at the Kobo at Walmart.

  11. It occurred to me while reading this article that because of the large number of Walmart stores they’ll be seen by a lot more people than Kindles, which are only in Best Buy and Target and maybe some other stores I’m not aware of.

    This might push Amazon to get Kindles into more stores.

    In any case I think competition in ebook readers is a good thing for everyone. Readers obviously win. Probably Walmart and Kobo win. And even Amazon is probably going to be better off for it.


  12. Yes, I have a Sony PRS-T1 (so can read Kobo e-books) and the basic Kindle (so I can read Kindle e-books).

    I am not brand loyal to Amazon at all, it’s just that they sometimes they have better prices than Kobo. I’m price loyal. 🙂 If Walmart is price competitive, yes, I will buy from them.

    I also support Indies. If I can get the book from an Indie for the same price that it is listed on Amazon — I will buy from the Indie instead, and lots of Indies have the advantage of having DRM free books.

    • Ditto to the price loyal comment! I’ll buy from whomever has the lower price on the same book so I always price check first.

      I own a Kobo ereader but buy ebooks directly from both the Kobo and Amazon websites. Remove the DRM on the Kindle ebooks and convert in Calibre so I can read on my Kobo.

  13. Nope. Not unless its 50% cheaper than amazon. i am already invested in Kindle and Nook and do not see the need unless the price is amazing

  14. I definitely would at least LOOK at eBooks at Walmart, especially online. I’m not much of Walmart fan, but I’m not crazy about Amazon either.

  15. I would like to see an entry level (non-front-lit) Kobo again. But I’m guessing that’s not going to happen.

  16. So, ebooks will not be compatible with Kindle? Why bother?