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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Plug-In Lets Buyers Shop Amazon, Buy Local

An app developer created a Chrome extension that turns the tables on Amazon, at least in the United Kingdom. BookIndy allows users to browse Amazon.co.uk and buy at participating local bookstores.

The app pulls data from book listings on the Amazon website and checks local stores through Hive.co.uk, an online bookseller. If the participating local store has the book in stock, BookIndy lists the price, a link to Amazon, and the distance in miles to the store.

While the plug-in is available in the Chrome Web Store, it only works with amazon.co.uk. The plug-in does allow users to find the cheapest price available, as well as information on the quickest way to get the title and have it delivered, but the only other examples of similar apps are tied to Amazon in France and to the e-book subscription service Oyster, according to Nate Hoffelder in his blog post for Ink, Bits, & Pixels.

“If you want to support your local bookseller, this is a great idea,” Hoffelder wrote. “I don’t have any local indies within driving distance myself, but given how rare these extensions are, I don’t think the idea is proving as popular as some in book culture would like.”

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