How to Make a Kid Happy

Josie Leavitt -- October 22nd, 2012

Like many bookstores, we have a loyalty program. Our program is very simple: buy books under your name and when you’ve spent more than $100, your next purchase comes with $10 off. This program helps us get our customers’ contact info for things like our email lists and newsletter mailings.

Our program is free. I’ve never understood the point of charging someone to get a discount. It seems somewhat unfair and clearly skewed toward the bookstore making money off the customer until they’ve earned the money back and can actually start saving. We don’t even make people keep a punch card. All you have to do here is remember your last name and you’re all set.

The beauty of our program is sometimes people forget they’re in the Frequent Buyers Club, so when we tell them they’ve just saved $10, they’re practically leaping for joy. The happiest moments are when kids about eight or nine buy a book and it’s free. Yes, free. Saving $10 on an adult book purchase still means there’s a balance, but on a kids’ paperback often there’s actually part of the discount left.

Yesterday a  boy came in and picked up his special order. I told him it was free. “Free?! Dad, she said it was free!” The father was incredulous. The boy looked at me with wide eyes, beaming, and asked, “Are all the books free?” I smiled at him and explained that for every $100 his family spends they get $10 off.

“Dad, let’s just buy a lot of books here!” And that’s how a loyalty program works.