Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

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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