Dear Tesco, your books are expensive

Dear Tesco,

I do like you. Really. Your products are invariably cheaper than I can find at most other places. I am a methodical, crazy gadget freak, and I find your gadget pricing impressive. I don’t always find what I want, but you often have the items I finally pick as the best value for money, and at very low prices.

But.

Your books are expensive.

Of Amazon’s bestsellers, just 2 out of the 100 books are cheaper on your site. And this is apart from the fact that I’d get free delivery from Amazon on 37 of those books (over £5), while you’d give me free delivery on 5 (over £15).

On average, that book list costs £5.66 on Amazon. With you, it’s £7.20. I don’t fancy paying 27% more. (36% if I include delivery.)

I’m not making this up. You can check: the books in red are cheaper at Amazon.
(as of 6pm on a cold, rainy Tuesday the end of March.)

Book Amazon Tesco
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest 3.86 3.86
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 3.48 3.86
The Girl Who Played with Fire 3.79 3.86
Wolf Hall 3.86 3.86
61 Hours 9.49 9.49
Solar 8.90 13.00
One Day 3.79 3.86
Mums Know Best: The Hairy Bikers’ Family Cookbook 8.98 13.00
The Lovely Bones 2.98 2.98
Breaking Dawn (Twilight Saga) 7.49 14.99
Eclipse (Twilight Saga) 3.99 6.99
New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great 3.99 5.99
The Return: Nightfall (The Vampire Diaries) 3.49 6.99
New Moon (Twilight Saga) 2.98 6.99
Twilight (Twilight Saga) 3.44 6.99
The Struggle: Bks. 1 & 2 (The Vampire Diaries) 3.48 6.99
Brooklyn 3.86 3.86
Vampire Diaries: Bks. 3 & 4 (The Vampire Diaries) 3.49 5.99
Hamlyn All Colour 200 Slow Cooker Recipes (Hamlyn All Colour Cookbooks) 2.48 2.48
Shutter Island 3.98 3.59
101 One-pot Dishes: Tried-and-tested Recipes (Good Food 101) 1.97 1.97
The Secret Ingredient: Delicious, Easy Recipes Which Might Just Save Your Life 5.97 5.98
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters 3.48 6.99
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian 3.99 6.99
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 3.49 3.49
The Double Comfort Safari Club (No 1 Ladies Detective Agency) 7.99 12.00
The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook 8.49 8.49
The Gruffalo 2.96 5.99
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse 3.99  
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth 3.48  
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine 12.50 17.50
The Secret 4.55 4.55
The Time Traveler’s Wife 3.82 3.86
Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights 11.50 13.00
Ching’s Chinese Food in Minutes 9.98 9.98
The Little Stranger 3.86 3.86
ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever 5.50 7.69
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief 3.48 6.99
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest 9.49 9.49
Dead and Gone: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse Vampire 9) 5.20 5.20
The Forgotten Highlander: My Incredible Story of Survival During the War in the Far East 9.48 9.48
Room on the Broom 2.98 5.99
Lord Sunday (The Keys to the Kingdom) 3.49 3.49
The Official Highway Code 1.65 1.65
The Gruffalo’s Child 2.94 5.99
The Return: Shadow Souls (The Vampire Diaries) 3.50 5.24
Three Cups of Tea 4.98 4.98
The End of the Party 12.50 12.50
The Very Hungry Caterpillar [Board Book] 2.97 5.99
Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner 8.69 8.69
Bad Science 3.57 3.57
The Snail and the Whale 2.96 5.99
True Blood Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse Vampire) 19.95 19.95
Gone Tomorrow 3.86 3.86
The Italian Diet 6.98 6.98
The Snowman 6.48 9.09
Wedlock: How Georgian Britain’s Worst Husband Met His Match 3.86 3.86
Little Darlings 4.89 8.00
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything 3.98 3.98
101 Meals for Two: Tried-and-tested Recipes (Good Food 101) 1.97 1.97
The Immortals: Blue Moon 3.48 6.99
The Host 3.82 3.82
The Catcher in the Rye 4.48 4.48
The Final Fantasy XIII Complete Official Guide 11.24 14.24
The Book Thief 3.95 3.95
Mexican Food Made Simple 9.99 9.99
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built: The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency: The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Book 10 (No 1 Ladies Detective Agency10) 3.86 3.86
The Oxford Companion to Food (Oxford Companions) 20.00 28.00
Sacred Hearts 3.86 3.86
A Squash and a Squeeze 3.00 5.99
Pokemon HeartGold/ SoulSilver Official Guide 9.74
Cutting for Stone 3.86 3.86
Trespass 8.98 8.98
Wheels on the Bus (Pre School Songs) 2.44 4.76
Alone in Berlin (Penguin Modern Classics) 4.98 4.98
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (Myths) 7.50 10.00
Twenties Girl 3.85 3.86
The Last Straw (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) 3.48 6.99
Rodrick Rules: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 2) 3.48 6.99
The Natural Navigator 7.48 10.49
The White Queen 3.99 6.39
The Shack 3.95 3.95
Good Food, 101 Cakes and Bakes 1.97 3.45
Faces (Baby’s Very First Book) 2.48 4.99
Lustrum 6.38 6.38
Blacklands 3.86 3.86
The Lost Symbol 8.78 9.00
A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse Vampire Myst) 5.20 9.09
The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better 4.96 4.96
Jamie’s Ministry of Food: Anyone Can Learn to Cook in 24 Hours 15.00 15.00
Ottolenghi: The Cookbook 12.50 16.25
The Ice Cream Girls 5.89 9.00
The Best of Times 3.79 3.86
Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay 11.50 11.50
The Children’s Book 3.86 3.86
Twilight: v. 1: The Graphic Novel (Twilight the Graphic Novel 1) 6.49 12.99
Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street 7.48 7.49
Dark Days (Skulduggery Pleasant – book 4) 5.84 12.99
It’s Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive 6.00 5.98
The Smartest Giant in Town 3.00 5.99

I do like you. Really. (Despite trying to stop me scraping via user agent detection.) I don’t mind that you don’t have every book. I trust you to pick what I’d most likely want. You’re good at that.

Please make your books less expensive?

  1. […] was working on a project at Tesco, and was scraping bestsellers lists from most sites. (Here’s a blog post about it.) We were putting together a prototype to see how real-time competitive pricing could […]