While Korean bookstores are worried about students photographing textbooks with camera phones, according to Alan Reiter, Dick's Sporting Goods is claiming to ban customers from using camera phones to stop them from comparison shopping. Why don't they just scream out that they're more expensive and to avoid them in the first place? While a store can decide which customers they want to serve, it seems particularly anti-customer to tell your customers they can't use a camera phone in your store. While I don't have a camera phone, I do often use my phone to look up more information about products I am looking at in a store, and it's helped convince me to buy a product quite a few times (though, the opposite is also true). Under the rules at Dick's Sporting Goods, apparently, they'd kick me out of the store for trying to be a more informed shopper. Companies can try to target just the dumb shoppers, but with the ease of information transfer these days, they're looking at a shrinking market. Update: Alan Reiter has updated the post, following a conversation with execs at Dick's Sporting Goods who claim they have no such policy in place. It's unclear if the reporter jumped to conclusions, though it is completely possible.
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