Amazon Vs. Barnes & Noble (Which Is Cheaper, Shipping, Service, Returns + Customer Service)

Amazon and Barnes & Noble are two of the most famous book stores globally, but does one have an edge over the other?

Well, this article will compare Amazon and Barnes & Noble on pricing, selection, delivery options, return policies, and more, so keep reading!

Amazon Vs. Barnes & Noble In 2024

Amazon and Barnes & Noble are great places to buy books, e-books, magazines, reading materials, etc in 2024. They both offer a wide selection of products at competitive prices. Each also has membership-based programs that give members exclusive perks like free shipping. Although Amazon has a minor edge in service, both retailers have poor customer satisfaction.

If you are interested in learning more about how Amazon stacks up against Barnes & Noble, keep reading for more facts and tips!

What Does Barnes & Noble Offer that Amazon Doesn’t?

While both Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer a wide selection of books, e-books, magazines, and other reading materials, Barnes & Noble has many services not available on Amazon, like:

  • Free in-store pickup for online orders
  • Free shipping for orders over $35
  • A loyalty program that gives customers discounts and rewards
  • A more extensive magazine selection
  • Nook, electronic reading devices

What Does Amazon Offer That Barnes & Noble Doesn’t?

Likewise, certain services are unique to Amazon and not offered at Barnes & Noble, like:

  • A more comprehensive selection of books than Barnes & Noble
  • Amazon Prime members enjoy free two-day shipping on most items with additional options for same and next-day shipping on select items
  • A more lenient return policy

What’s the Difference Between Amazon Prime and the Barnes & Noble Membership Program?

Although both Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer membership-based programs, each has unique differences. Let’s examine these further:

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is a membership-based program that offers customers free two-day shipping, access to Amazon’s streaming video library, and other benefits like:

  • Free same-day delivery in select locations
  • Free release-date delivery for eligible preorders
  • Free no-rush shipping (members receive Amazon credits for future purchases with this option)
  • Ability to choose your own Amazon delivery day
  • Ad-free access to Amazon Prime content
  • Discounts on Amazon Music subscription plans
  • Access to Amazon Luna and Prime Gaming
  • Members-only pricing at Amazon Book and 4-star store locations
  • Free Amazon Fresh delivery in select locations
  • Prime Try Before You Buy for clothing items
  • Early access to Amazon Lightning Deals and other promotions
  • Borrow books with Prime Reading
  • Early access to new releases with Amazon First Reads
  • Membership fee of $99/yr.

Barnes & Noble Membership

Barnes & Noble Membership is a loyalty program that gives customers discounts and rewards. For example, members receive exclusive early access to promotions and sales.

Additionally, members can earn points for every purchase redeemed for discounts and other rewards.

Other benefits available with a Barnes & Noble membership are:

  • $25 annual membership fee
  • 10% off discount toward the purchase of Nook e-reader devices
  • Special birthday discounts
  • 10% off all items in-store (including BN café products)
  • 40% off all hardcover books in-store
  • Members-only events and promotions
  • Free shipping on everything with no minimum purchase

Which Store Is Cheaper: Amazon or Barnes & Noble?

Which Store Is Cheaper: Amazon or Barnes & Noble?

Generally speaking, Amazon is cheaper than Barnes & Noble. However, there are some exceptions.

For example, if you are looking for a magazine subscription, Barnes & Noble is often cheaper than Amazon.

Additionally, Amazon offers occasional discounts on certain items, while Barnes & Noble does not always have sales.

Why Are Barnes & Noble Books More Expensive Than Amazon?

Mainly Barnes & Noble books are more expensive because the company has more physical locations.

Aside from Amazon Books in a few select cities, Amazon does not have any physical locations, so it has the ability to offer lower prices.

Is Amazon Reliable for Ordering and Shipping Books?

Amazon is very reliable for ordering and shipping books. The company has an outstanding track record and is known for its exceptional customer service.

Furthermore, all orders can be easily tracked from the Amazon website and app.

Is Barnes & Noble Reliable for Ordering and Shipping Books?

Likewise, Barnes & Noble is also reliable for ordering and shipping books.

Once an order has been confirmed and released from the Barnes & Noble warehouse, shoppers can easily track its progress online from their accounts.

What Store Has a Better Return Policy: Amazon or Barnes & Noble?

Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have very lenient return policies. Let’s consider these further below:

Barnes & Noble Return Policy

At Barnes & Noble, only certain items are eligible for return. This includes:

  • Books
  • DVDs
  • CDs
  • Toys
  • Games

When shoppers return items purchased, they have a 30-day window. All returned items must be in the original packaging, and any shrink-wrapped products cannot be opened.

For Barnes & Noble returns, return shipping is at the customer’s expense. Once the return has been approved, the refund will be available on the original form of payment.

Amazon Return Policy

In most cases, products purchased from Amazon can be returned up to 30-days after delivery.

However, purchases made from Amazon Marketplace sellers are subject to Amazon’s return policy at the seller’s discretion.

In addition, for returns that shoppers cannot resolve solely by speaking with a third-party seller, Amazon offers support with the A to Z Guarantee.

With this policy, shoppers can file a claim, and Amazon will determine if a refund is appropriate.

What Store Has Better Customer Service: Amazon or Barnes & Noble?

Both Barnes & Noble and Amazon have poor customer satisfaction related to lousy customer service, according to the following TrustPilot ratings:

Barnes & Noble

According to TrustPilot, Barnes & Noble has a satisfaction rating of 1.7 out of five stars.

Around 89% of respondents reported negative reviews due to poorly printed products, shipping errors, and bad customer service.


Similarly, Amazon has a 1.8 TrustPilot rating. Overall, the majority of complaints Amazon shoppers made are related to bad customer service and shipping delays or errors.

To know more, you can also read our posts on Amazon vs. Costco, Amazon vs. eBay buying, and Amazon vs Home Depot.


In the end, Amazon has a slight edge in customer service. However, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have poor customer satisfaction ratings. Likewise, both companies have membership-based programs.

However, Amazon Prime gives customers access to quicker free two-day shipping, a streaming video library, and other valuable benefits that are not offered by Barnes & Noble.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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