Barnes and Noble continue to mess up their Nook shipments and upset their customers - They are further delaying some Nook orders and those will miss Christmas.
Meanwhile the Kindle is in stock and Amazon has added on free 2 day shipping.
It’s a disaster for B&N.
What’s that I hear about a $100 gift certificate?
Well, here’s what’s happened.
Customers who had an original ship date of December 11th, are being told that -
- They might already have their Nook.
- If their date to receive the Nook was by December 18th, it’s now changed to by December 24th.
- If their date to receive the Nook was by December 22nd, it’s now changed to by December 24th.
That’s not as bad as customers who had an original ship date of December 18th (from official Nook forum) -
- B&N say most of these customers will receive their Nook by December 24th.
- ‘Some Customers’ fall into the twilight zone of perhaps getting their Nook by Christmas and perhaps not getting their Nook by Christmas.
- Customers who miss out will be sent a $100 B&N gift certificate via email.
Some customers have already gotten an email talking about this $100 gift certificate (the forum thread above, and The Consumerist).
People with original December 18th shipping dates might not get their Nook?
Yes, that’s certainly what it seems like.
There were three waves of shipping dates -
- December 7th – These Nooks are already out.
- December 11th – These Nooks are either out or will reach by Christmas.
- December 18th – Some of these are going to miss Christmas.
If rumors are correct and there were 400,000 Nooks shipped out in the first week, what might have happened is -
- The first wave used up all the Nooks available – supposedly 400,000 of them.
- The second wave, perhaps 100,000 to 200,000, is almost handled by B&N’s supply of Nooks for first half of December (perhaps).
- The third wave, perhaps 100,000 to 200,000 again, will be met to some extent – but B&N will need their supply of Nooks from 2nd half of December to handle all orders.
It’s interesting that B&N have said that they’ll definitely get Nooks that miss Christmas into users’ hands by December 29th.
What effect does this have on Kindle Vs Nook?
It’s unlikely that a significant number of people will pass on a $100 gift certificate and cancel their Nook orders – so perhaps not that much.
- It does highlight that Amazon – thanks to 2 years of being sold out of Kindles for Christmas – were much better prepared and are probably laughing all the way to the bank.
- Let’s assume that 50,000 orders out of the 100,000 to 200,000 orders supposed to ship in the December 18th third wave (100,000 to 200,000 is another assumption) miss Christmas.
- B&N will be on the hook for $5 million in apology gift certificates.
- B&N are already losing money on Nook expenses (they cut their 2010 earnings estimates in their last earnings release citing Nook costs and other factors). This extra $5 million charge on top has to hurt.
It is, however, the right thing to do.
There would be a huge PR hit if they didn’t do this.
Even worse – all these people would almost certainly cancel their Nook orders and go buy the Kindle.
2-day free shipping for the Kindle means it arrives easily by Christmas.
B&N think it’s worth $100 to keep a Nook customer and not let them become a Kindle owner - They’re probably off by a couple hundred dollars.