Amazon Lawsuit FAQ

We are proud to announce that Bookends & Beginnings LLC is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit filed on March 25 against Amazon and the Big Five Publishers. 

We're in the news! Check out these excellent stories: 

The Chicago Tribune - Evanston RoundTable - Chicago Sun-Times - The Daily Northwestern - Fox 32 Chicago / Fox 32 Chicago news story - Evanston Now

Here’s our FAQ:

Q. Why are you doing this?

A. Because: Unfair business practices. We don’t think we need to go into detail about that here, but if you’re interested, feel free to read the complaint.

Q. Why a class action suit?

A. Because our daily struggle to run a sustainable brick-and-mortar bookstore in the heart of your community is shared by every other independent bookstore in the country, and anywhere else in the world where Amazon does business. We know that individually, there’s really nothing we can do about it. It needs to be a collective action, led by exceptional legal firepower. So we encourage other bookstores to sign up to join the class.

Q. Are you trying to make people feel guilty about shopping at Amazon?

A. Haha, are you talking about a recent Onion article? To be clear, all we ask is that you be willing to pay the full price printed on a book jacket (which is determined by the publisher, not by us) in order to sustain all the extra value we add to your community by staying in business

Q: What value do you add to our community?

A: Most independent bookstores are deeply embedded in the communities they serve. They match readers up with books that enrich their lives, they help teach kids to love reading, they build communities around talking about books and ideas, they give gift cards to local fundraisers and reach out to populations where just owning a book might be a luxury. And they do it because they care, not because they’re trying to sell you a commodity or mine your personal data.

Additionally, we are an actual place. You can come visit our very cozy alley store on a rainy Sunday, or a stressful Wednesday, or your Thursday lunch hour, or in between errands with your kids on a busy Saturday morning, and lose yourself in the pleasure of browsing the shelves for books you probably wouldn’t have discovered online. And you can talk to our very friendly, very passionate and committed staffers about the books they love. 

Plus, 67 cents of every dollar spent at a local store stays in your community, and every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional 50 cents in local business activity as a result of employee spending and businesses purchasing local goods and services. This means that spending money at local businesses increases the prosperity of the whole community.

Q. Okay, we’re rooting for you! What can we do to support you?

A. You can show your love for us and for any other independent bookstore in any or all of these ways:

o   Pledge to buy ALL your books there. 

o   Do everything you can to spread the word, by talking to people or using your favorite social media.

o   Do a couple of these things simultaneously by buying a copy of bookstore owner Danny Caine’s illuminating $12.95 book How to Resist Amazon and Why: The Fight for Local Economics, Data Privacy, Fair Labor, Independent Bookstores, and a People-Powered Future! 

o   Or buy 10 copies and give them to all your friends!

o   Make sure your local bookstore is signed up as part of the class action. If not, send them here.