ABA really answers “Where to Buy” the Kobo Glo

For some reason, Kobo is still not advertising that almost 450 independent booksellers across the United States are now stocking the Kobo Glo. Even with Black Friday coming up at the end of the week, Kobo is basically ignoring the U.S. market.

Kobo.com’s “Where to Buy” page still has the same seven links (listed under North America) that lead you nowhere. All of the retailers listed do not currently offer the Kobo Glo on their websites, and you can’t even place a pre-order.

Most importantly, there is still no Kobo.com link to Powell’s Books, the Portland-based independent bookseller that has had the Kobo Glo in stock and ready to ship for a couple of weeks now.

We are on the verge of the biggest dollar-per-minute shopping weekend of the year, and Kobo has completely failed to make their products readily available to U.S. consumers.

Independent booksellers even have all three of the named shopping days covered:

  1. Black Friday (independent booksellers have the Glo in stores and online)
  2. Small Business Saturday (independent booksellers are small businesses that get heavy traffic from supportive patrons on this day)
  3. Cyber Monday (most of these booksellers are selling the Glo from their websites as well as in their physical stores).

Despite this opportunity to move the Glo out into the U.S. market, Kobo.com isn’t doing anything to promote what should be its flagship eReader. I guess I just don’t understand why they would make it so difficult to acquire the Glo right before the holidays. Unless you frequent tech blogs or shop at independent bookstores, how are you even supposed to know that the Kobo Glo exists?

The members of the American Booksellers Association are supposed to be partners with Kobo now; why aren’t they at least given a web banner on Kobo.com that directs potential customers to indie stores?

The ABA has even compiled a list of links to all of the indie booksellers that are either carrying the Kobo Glo or selling Kobo eBooks (thanks to Nate Hoffelder for getting this news out). Why wouldn’t Kobo simply get the links of those stores that have the Glo in stock and add them to their “Where to Buy” page? In the days right before Black Friday? You got me.

Here is a link to the list of indie booksellers, most of which are selling the Kobo Glo:

http://www.indiebound.org/ebooks

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2 Responses to ABA really answers “Where to Buy” the Kobo Glo

  1. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who thinks Kobo’s marketing plan is nuts. It’s almost as if they want to hand the US market over to Amazon and B&N this season.

    Just for fun I Googled “buy Kobo Glo”. The results all came back as sites which didn’t have it yet as well as the Kobo website. If this doesn’t cost them marketshare in the US I’ll eat my hat.

    • Andrew says:

      I wrote this in a post the other day:

      “Consider this: Kindle customers have their new Paperwhites (at least those who placed pre-orders when the Paperwhite was announced); Sony users have had the PRS-T2 for some time now; and Nook HDs are flying off the shelves at Barnes & Noble. Every other major contender has their devices flooding into the market, and Amazon continues to rack up pre-orders for their out-of-stock Paperwhite. It has been over two months since the Kobo Glo was announced, and, despite this passage of time, Kobo.com has still given no clear indication as to when the Glo will be fully available in the United States. They also forgot to mention that they will no longer be selling their eReaders from their website.”

      Even though independent booksellers have the Kobo Glo in stock, there has been no official statement from Kobo.com that informs potential customers of this. How are people supposed to know where to buy one when all of the links lead to dead ends? I don’t think we are being overly critical here; shouldn’t a company’s website provide actual links to the retailers who are actually selling their products? I can see most people just giving up on the search and opting for a Nook Glowlight or Paperwhite pre-order. Confusion is never a good element in any business model.

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