Amazon Australia Books Price Comparison

Where is Amazon Australia?

UPDATE: Amazon uk are currently offering free shipping to Australia on most books, cds etc. Click here for the full details of the free shipping offer

As Amazon Australia does not yet exist this article will tell you the cheapest alternatives to Amazon Australia. I have used and recommend all of these as far cheaper than Australian booksellers.

Unfortunately due to an Australian rule called Parallel Import Restrictions (PIR) companies such as Amazon are unable to operate in Australia. Books that are published in Australia within 30 days of their publication elsewhere in the world fall under the protection of the PIR scheme. This prevents booksellers from importing editions printed in the Uk or elsewhere in the world and keeps the price of books in Australia artificially high.

However, there are online alternatives which ship to Australia where you can buy books much cheaper than you can buy them in Australian shops.. The best of these that I have discovered are

I compare the prices of a random basket of goods below.

The best way to find the cheapest price for your purchase is to go online, fill your basket with your items at each store and then compare the final price. In my experience the price can vary between who has the cheapest depending on what you put in your basket.

Remember: If shipping to Australia from overseas you must include the shipping price before you compare the cost. Some companies offer much cheaper or free shipping whilst others have cheap book prices but expensive shipping.


Bookdepository is similar to Amazon in that it is an online bookstore, but differs in that rather than using a complex shipping policy, they ship to anywhere in the world for free.

Yes, you read that correctly. They ship to anywhere in the world FOR FREE. Sometimes the headline price of their books can seem a little expensive, but when you take into account that that price includes shipping it often works out cheaper than Amazon and is invariably cheaper than you could find the same product in Australia.

#1 Bestselling Book Oct '10

Although is well known throughout the world many people are not aware that they are happy to ship items internationally. Whilst shipping is not free it is generally sufficiently cheap that items are still cheaper to order from Amazon than to buy from Australian booksellers. Strangely prices do differ between the Uk and US Amazon sites so it is always worth checking both before purchasing. One thing to remember though is that although Amazon are happy to ship books, dvds, cds etc not every item that is available on Amazon is available to be shipped internationally. Particularly with electrical items shipping internationally may not be available.

Amazon Uk

Like the american site offers international shipping and is another place to obtain books far more cheaply than are available in Australia. One thing that is worth remembering is to check the shipping time of items. If you need them quickly ordering online may not be the best way to do it as some things can take a considerable time to ship. This is especially true around time sensitive parts of the year such as Christmas.

Poll For Australian Readers

Do You Buy Books Online And Ship Them To Australia?

  • Yes, I find it is a great way to save money.
  • No, I prefer to support Australian booksellers
  • No, but I intend to in the future.
See results without voting

Buying Books Online- A Comparison.

I am going to do a comparison here of buying a number of books online, comparing online international sellers with online Australian ones. For the purposes of this comparison I will choose three books to compare that I have bought recently.

  1. Time Out Dubai
  2. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest - Steig Larsson
  3. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

The prices that I give are as at 5th October 2010. Prices obviously change - I advise you to check the prices of the books you want to purchase. I did this using new prices purchasing direct from Amazon, rather than sellers that sell through Amazon. For the purpose of fairness I should point out that the price was not available for "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets nest" as it is not out there yet in paperback. Instead I put The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo In my basket.

All editions other than stated above were the same editions.

As is obvious from the table below came out by far the cheapest of the results. In fact Australian buyers could save themselves $35.07 by purchasing through Book Depository rather than through Borders Australia when buying these three randomly selected books.

Results of My Comparison

(click column header to sort results)
Basket Price(inc Shipping)  
Borders Australia
Amazon Uk
Amazon .com

Do You Know A Cheaper Way To Buy Books?

If you know of any other cheaper websites then please let me know as I would love to help other Australians to buy their books more cheaply. Many Australian parents I know would love to buy their children more books but are unable to because they are prohibitively expensive. Please leave a comment below if you know a great place to buy cheap books.

If you found this article useful please rate it at the top or bottom of this page. Thank you!

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