Book Depository Review
My Opinion About Book Depository
I have decided to write a BookDepository review since I've been buying books from them for a while, and I'm quite happy with their service and pricing. First of all, I'll tell you a little about myself and how I've come to choose BD over the other stores.
I live in Lithuania, which is a small country in Eastern Europe. I am a huge fan of fantasy novels - I read them in Lithuanian, Russian and English (original language whenever possible). Acquiring fantasy & sci-fi works in English is a bit of a problem over here - not many bookstores sell them in the first place, and even then they only offer a small selection. Thankfully, there's the internet!
I had been getting my reads from Amazon before. They offer a huge selection and reasonable prices, but their shipping costs were huge. I'm sure they're smaller in the UK or US, but the delivery to Lithuania had cost me as much as the books themselves (Amazon charges both per-package and per-item, basically doubling the cost). Besides, the package used to take more than two weeks to reach me.
This is where I started looking for an alternative, and Book Depository caught my eye due to their advertised "free worldwide delivery". After buying and receiving my first order from them, I said goodbye to Amazon and their overpriced international shipping.
Book Depository vs Amazon
Here's why I prefer Book Depository over Amazon:
- Free worldwide shipping: only pay for your book, no matter which country you live in. Forget overpriced delivery charges!
- Competitive prices: Amazon and Book Depository usually offer similar prices. That means buying from BD is cheaper, since Amazon will also charge additional money for shipping. Only in very rare cases where Amazon book price + shipping costs are less than BookDepository book price, I'd order from Amazon.
- Fast delivery: interestingly enough, Book Depository packages usually reach me in a few days, while Amazon parcels used to take 2 weeks - despite BD offering free shipping and Amazon charging unreasonable amounts for it! Go figure.
- PayPal support: this is a big one. Amazon only lets me pay with my credit card, while BD allows me to use PayPal, which is much more convenient and secure.
Of course, this is just my personal opinion - maybe you like Amazon just fine. However, switching to BD allowed me to save a lot of money and time, and that's why it's my preferred online book shop now.
Admittedly, BD has no alternative to Amazon's Kindle, which is extremely convenient and completely bypasses shipping charges. That being said, a paperback is often cheaper than the Kindle version, for whatever reason.
Some of the Books I Bought at BD
Free Shipping at Book Depository
I think I should say a few more words about the free shipping Book Depository offers in my review - after all, it's one of the best things about this bookstore.
First of all, the "worldwide" part includes a respectable list of about 100 countries. So yes, there's still a small chance that BD won't be able to deliver books to your location (make sure to check the list of countries linked above before you start ordering).
Second, Book Depository will send every book you purchase in a separate package. That means if you order, say, 5 publications, you will receive 5 packages as well. They might not even arrive at the same time! I'm a bit puzzled as to why they do it this way, but I guess it's cheaper and is one of the things that allows them to offer books with free shipping.
Finally, they use Royal Mail inside the UK, and Royal Mail Priority Airmail for international shipments. Your hardcover or paperback will be contained in a regular bubble envelope. You can find more information regarding delivery times, etc. on BD's help page.
Review of Book Depository Payment Options
Shopping at Book Depository is rather convenient. You can select your preferred currency and the prices on the website will switch automatically. It will also be the currency BookDepository will charge you in, so you can avoid conversion costs by selecting the same currency as your credit card uses.
BookDepository accepts all major credit cards and PayPal (yay!) as payment options. You can find more information about that on BD's payment help page.
Rate this Bookstore on the Scale of 1 to 5
The Book Depository Poll
July 2011: Amazon Buys Book Depository
Online retail giant Amazon acquired Gloucester-based Book Depository on July 4th, 2011. TBD was Amazon's largest rival in the UK - however, three quarters of its sales were generated by foreign customers (no doubt thanks to the free shipping offer). You can read more about this acquisition on Guardian.co.uk.
Thankfully, Amazon has not introduced shipping charges or made other unnecessary changes to this great online bookstore since then.