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Fictionwise vs. eReader’s new Rewards Dollars

Of the two companies jointly owned under the Fictionwise banner, eReader has had the less confusing discount program up to this point. With eReader, it was always a straight 10% off any book they sold, as long as you had the coupon code from the weekly newsletter. This was not as big a savings as Fictionwise’s 15% discount club plus micropay rebates program, but on the other hand it was a lot less confusing.


Fictionwise and Micropay


Fictionwise’s program combines markdowns from list price, "Micropay rebates" (in which part of the money you spend is credited to a store credit account that you can use to buy more books), and its 15% off discount club. Since some of the percentages are rounded off but others are not, and they are progressive rather than additive, this means that one "15%" discount will actually save you 14.98%, and two of them combined will save you 27.72% on Old Man’s War, for instance.


And even the "cost after rebate" is not entirely straightforward, since the Micropay rebate amount is still taken out of your bank account when you pay. The book may only "cost" you $9.36 (if you belong to the club), but you still pay $11.01 out of your bank account (to get the book plus $1.65 store credit).


eReader’s "Rewards Dollars"


Today, eReader’s discount program takes a step in that direction. Instead of being a straight 10% discount taken at the checkout, it now becomes a 15% "Rewards Dollars" discount. As with Fictionwise’s Micropay, you now pay the full price of the book, but 15% of that amount goes into a store credit account for use against a future purchase. It is no longer necessary to enter a coupon code, just to be subscribed to the newsletter at all.


Ulike Micropay, you can use Rewards Dollars to pay part of the cost and pay the rest yourself. But on the other hand, even if you use up all your "Rewards Dollars" on a given purchase, the purchase itself will generate Rewards Dollars toward the next one. You can never "use up" your Rewards Dollars entirely.


We find it a little sad that eReader is moving from a straightfoward discount to a more confusing rebate system, but on the other hand it is still considerably less confusing than Fictionwise’s program. And eReader’s FAQ page claims that "the overwelming [sic] majority of our customers said they would prefer an automatic 15% Rewards system over a 10% coupon code."


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