Barnes & Noble.com, Amazon in Free-Shipping War

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Seeking to ramp up order volumes, the Internet's leading booksellers are now battling over free-shipping.


Barnes & Noble.com Inc., New York, announced yesterday it would offer free shipping on consumer or corporate orders of two items or more. Rival Amazon.com introduced a similar enticement only a few days before.


The Barnes & Noble.com offer applies to products bought across all categories, including books, CDs, videos and DVDs, magazine and eBooks. Orders will be shipped through standard ground transportation to all 50 states.


In addition, the bookseller has reduced shipping rates for single-item orders. For instance, shipping costs via standard delivery for one book or video is $3.48 and for a CD, tape or DVD is $1.98.


Marie Toulantis, president of Barnes & Noble.com, said the offer was meant to simplify the order process for consumers confused by shipping charges.


Barnes & Noble.com's offer, Toulantis added, differed from Amazon's in that her company did not reduce discounts on certain products and then offer free shipping.


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