Are Kindle Fire Sales Losing Their…Well, Fire?

By Joe Waynick

Kindle Fire sales shook the bookselling industry to its very core when the product was firs introduced by Internet selling juggernaut Amazon.com.

"Booksellers and bookselling will be crushed!" was the cry heard from around the world.

Okay, perhaps not the whole world, but the perception that Kindle books will eventually kill printed books is a common one.

But latest reports show that the latest threat to printed books may not be much of a threat at all as sales of the eReader slide.

Relief For The Independents?

This news comes as welcome relief to brick and mortar book store owners fearing the onslaught of digital media and the Kindle wireless reading device. And not a moment too soon.

Using "loss leaders" is common in brick-and-mortar retailing. Amazon has taken it to a whole new level.

Independent bookstores are closing at a rapid rate and some predict the disappearance of Indie booksellers altogether.

However, Digital Trends goes on to say that even though sales have slipped, the down slide has resulted in higher profits for Amazon!

How can that be?

It's pretty simple really. Speculation has it that Amazon sells the Kindle Fire below cost. Meaning, they take a loss on each sale.

Their hope is that they'll make up the difference when customers purchase digital content using the Amazon Kindle wireless fulfillment.

But when Kindle Fire sales declined, each fulfillment Amazon made took fewer losses, thereby increasing its bottom line. Isn't it nice to be an Internet giant who sells books worldwide?

Is The Playing Field Level?

Already there are strong opinions about Amazon and questions as to whether they compete fairly in the marketplace.

For example, Amazon once offered a $5 discount to the bookbuyer who browsed in physical bookstores and subsequently made purchases from the Amazon website using their Kindle wireless.

The Indies say Amazon is using its market dominance to crush competition and reduce consumer choices with the Kindle reader.

Amazon makes the opposite argument.

They say the sheer volume and breath of their product lines give consumers more choices than all the Indies combined.

Nevertheless, Kindle Fire sales are bound to fluctuate, thereby giving brick and mortar bookstore owners an opportunity to respond.

The question is will their response be enough to effectively compete against the largest internet retailer in the world?

Especially given the fact that it's just a matter of time before the next Kindle edition appears on the market.

Read and in-depth analysis on this topic in a recent article at Digital Trends "Is the Amazon Kindle in trouble?"

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