Ordering books online

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Paul Derouda
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Ordering books online

Post by Paul Derouda » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:36 pm

Where do you get your books (in Europe)? For over a decade, I have mostly ordered my new books from Amazon. For the last couple of years, however, their packaging quality has collapsed, and more often than not my books are bruised when they arrive. They do take returns, but it requires some effort, and they first try to refund you only part of the shipping for the return. They do refund everything when you keep insisting and providing them with all sorts of receipts, but I'm fed up for now. Until they start wrapping their books correctly, I'm over with them. So, any recommendations?

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wilberfloss
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Re: Ordering books online

Post by wilberfloss » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:12 pm

Hi, Paul.
Living in England, I've found that the Book Depository offer a decent service. They protect their books in stiff cardboard packaging, robust enough, at least in my experience, to prevent any damage in transit. Postage is free, of course, delivery is usually within three to five working days and they include a bookmark with every order. bookdepository.com is their web address.
Regards,
Richard.

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jeidsath
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Re: Ordering books online

Post by jeidsath » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:19 pm

Book Depository is Amazon too now. It's hard to get away from them.

Welcome to Textkit, Richard!
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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wilberfloss
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Re: Ordering books online

Post by wilberfloss » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:43 pm

Thanks, Joel. I'm happy to be here. Best wishes.

mwh
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Re: Ordering books online

Post by mwh » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:17 am

Amazon has taken over practically everything. The question now is How do we stop them?

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Re: Ordering books online

Post by ἑκηβόλος » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:08 am

Ordering from Europe, I have had very few problems with (Heffers and now) Blackwells. Even when the problems were not their "fault", they owned the problem, kept in regular contact and we came to workable solutions. Specifically, their packaging has never been a problem.

The location of a bookseller is not a clear indication of where the book will ship from. In the case when you can not choose tge currency for payment, your bank may be able to give you a multicurrency credit card, if payinging for things outsude your currency's zone is costly. Although it is (I see upon checking now owned by Amazon), Abe books is not a centralised warehouse / distribution centre. Individual retailers who list on Abe will, I guess, have their own packaging standards.

My own experience buying books from Amazon - Owen & Goodspeed - was positive.
τί δὲ ἀγαθὸν τῇ πομφόλυγι συνεστώσῃ ἢ κακὸν διαλυθείσῃ;

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Re: Ordering books online

Post by SamParkinson » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:43 pm

ἑκηβόλος wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:08 am
Ordering from Europe, I have had very few problems with (Heffers and now) Blackwells. Even when the problems were not their "fault", they owned the problem, kept in regular contact and we came to workable solutions. Specifically, their packaging has never been a problem.
Blackwell's are excellent, and have great stock of obscure/academic books. Foyle's are another good place to go for good mail-order service in the UK.

If you cross check these (and perhaps Waterstones) against Amazon prices, it's surprising how often they are the same, or even better.

And they have real people on the other end, who care about books and know their job. And unlike Amazon they aren't price-gouging publishers into the dirt.

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Paul Derouda
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Re: Ordering books online

Post by Paul Derouda » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:54 pm

Thanks. I think I'll try Blackwell next time.

I was a happy customer at Amazon for many years. Although they do seem to take over everything and I have read some reports that they are not treating their workers very well, it's not so much for "ideological" grounds that I'm trying to avoid them as for the rather egoistic reason that for the last couple of years the book packages I have received from them have been almost invariably damaged. I have experienced problems equally with both the French and the UK version of Amazon. I suspect that the reason is that they no longer consider themselves primarily a bookstore, but rather a generic online supermarket. Probably books sales nowadays don't represent a very important fraction of Amazon's sales.

Ordering from small independent sellers on Abebooks (which is affiliated with Amazon) or from independent sellers on Amazon is altogether different. I have never had any problems with these.

I'm a friend of French comics ("graphic novel", if you prefer), and since it's a visual form of art, it's all the more infuriating to receive damaged books. Since Amazon offers the best search function, wish lists, reviews and such, I guess I'll still be using their site to find what I want, but instead of pressing their order button I'll copy the contents of my shopping basket to whichever other place seems convenient and order from there. (For French comics, I've had good experiences with momie.fr).

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Re: Ordering books online

Post by Sohtnirybal » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:49 pm

Once I order the canonic grammar for english readers "Greek Grammar" of Smyth, I bought it on Amazon,
I´m not the kind of person who buy on internet, I´m old fashioned in this sense, although what happened me was that I fall in love of this grammar when I first saw it in a nearby library, the edition of Harvard was so beautiful, elegant and the book smells quite good, I really wanted it , I wanted to have for my own, that's why I decided to buy it on amazon. I wait a month, because I live in argentina, to get the book, what I got was, to be very polite, a fiasco. The book was totally diferent of what I expected and I think is not fair with this elegant Harvard edition to be maltreat for those amazon sellers and printers. That's the only stuff I can say of buying books on amazon

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