Why is Walmart Raising Prices of Kobo eReaders?

Kobo Clara HD Review

I don’t know what’s going on with the Walmart Kobo partnership but the whole thing hasn’t made a lot of sense from the beginning.

You would think that Walmart would carry Kobo’s ereaders in stores for people to try out before buying, but that hasn’t happened. For awhile a few stores stocked Kobo’s lower-end model, the Kobo Aura 2, but it appears that they aren’t even doing that anymore.

And now Walmart is selling some Kobo models for well above the usual retail price.

Right now they have the Kobo Clara HD priced at $169, which is $40 higher than it has ever sold for from Kobo.

They’re also selling the Kobo Aura 2 for $140, which is $20 higher than Kobo’s retail price, and $40 more than Walmart was selling it for regularly.

Both say they are being shipped and sold by Walmart so the listings aren’t for some 3rd party seller.

It was nice over the holiday shopping season when Walmart had Kobo’s ereaders on sale for less than Kobo was selling them for on the Kobo website, but now things have turned in the opposite direction.

Walmart is still selling the Kobo Forma and Kobo Aura H2O at the regular retail price, so why have they raised the prices of Kobo’s other ereaders? It doesn’t make any sense.

10 Responses to “Why is Walmart Raising Prices of Kobo eReaders?”

  1. While I was weighing getting the Kindle Oasis 2 against the Kobo Forma last week, Amazon won the sale because Best Buy had the Oasis in store and our Walmart had no Kobos at all for me to see. Sounds like Walmart isn’t holding up their end of the bargain and Kobo is losing out because of it.

  2. I think it has to do with trade policies. When Wal-Mart entered the deal with Rakuten, this was well before the trade policies, both between the US and Canada (messes with Kobo deal), and the US and Japan (messes with grocery deal) all changed. Great idea; bad timing. Hope the contract they have weathers the storm. Luckily I bought my Kobo on sale during the Christmas deals.

  3. It’s ridiculous. We’ve got 3 Walmarts within 20 minutes of us. Of the 3, 2 never even set-up the displays and the 3rd store has now removed it. Of course none of them ever had any physical units to look at.

  4. Looks like prices are back to normal now

  5. I was looking at a Clara HD at Walmart’s website this morning and I noticed there was another vendor selling them for $169. I wonder if they were just out of stock so that other vendor was the only one showing up.


  6. I got the kobo Clara HD when it was on sale. But the lock screen shows the Walmart branding. Does anyone know how to customise that?

    • I don’t know about customizing it but there is a way to change the affiliate so that it doesn’t show the Walmart logo. Unfortunately I can’t find the specific thread but it’s mentioned at MobileRead sometimes in the Kobo section.

  7. And you can’t get the 32 gig one at Wally World! I like the design with the kick-up on the what to me is the holding side-brilliant! The placement of the USB input needs to be higher as it makes it a real B-t-h to read while charging. My big question about the Forma is can the Kindle e-reader app be side loaded? What can Amazon do about reading their books on a non-Kindle machine?