Thursday, 16 August 2012

Before you buy with Amazon...c​heck out these two sites

I think almost everyone would realise how much money they can save when buying books online rather than in store.  The price difference is really astounding (the discount is often well above 50%) and the books are rarely out of stock (compared to going into your traditional book stores which actually have to physically stock the book.  It is no surprise therefore that many book stores are going out of business.

When we think of an online book store most people automatically think of Amazon and why not?  It was the first on the scene, it's prices are consistently low and it's reputation for shipping things on time is unbeatable.  However, especially for people outside the US and UK (where the big amazon stores are based) there are other options which you should consider.  The big problem with Amazon is that the shipping charges for customers outside the US and UK are really quite high which makes their books much more than the sticker price that you see.  Here are two other options you may want to consider

1. Book Depository

Book Depository was originally started as a UK site and it's big selling point was that it charged no shipping for customers ANYWHERE in the world.  Even if the book was slightly more expensive on book depository you could save a lot of money on shipping.

In 2011 Book Depository was acquired by Amazon but they kept the free shipping angle.  This means that you get Amazon's great price, service and range but do not get charged shipping at all. 

For some reason the prices do differ between Amazon and Book Depository so it is always worth checking both sites (remembering to including the shipping charges on Amazon's site) to see which gives you the better deal.


Fishpond 1
Fishpond is a site dedicated to Australians and New Zealanders who often pay the highest shipping charges from Amazon.  Like Book Depository, Fishpond does not charge shipping fees to customers located in Australia or New Zealand.  It is not Amazon however which means it's processes are not as good.  Often I have found that their ordering system means that I've had to wait an extra 2 - 3 weeks for a book to arrive (but on the upside occasionally I'll get two books instead of just the one). 

One of best aspects of Fishpond which they do not advertise (but really should) is that if they have a book in their warehouse you can pay $0.50 extra and get it within 2 - 3 days.  For Australian and NZ buyers this is almost unheard off as Book Depository and Amazon typically take a few weeks to deliver anything to Australia.  They tend to keep a lot of popular titles in their warehouse and for a nominal amount more you can get it much quicker.  I LOVE this aspect of Fishpond which is why they are normally my preferred site.

Always check all three before you buy
I ALWAYS check the prices on all three sites before I buy.  The prices vary a surprising amount between sites and you can really save quite a bit of money if you are an avid reader by going to all three before you buy.

Do you know of any other good websites to buy books?  Are there other country specific sites which you would like to share with people?  Please post below if there are.

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