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The Book Depository: Cheap Books, Free Worldwide Shipping! September 19, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Websites.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I was at a wedding a few weeks ago and an old colleague told me about The Book Depository, a UK-based website that provides cheap books and free worldwide shipping.

“Get there quick before they go bust,” this friend tells me, because he doesn’t think this business model is going to last.

I was sceptical at first and decided to check it out.  And you know what?  It was exactly as advertised.  I can’t believe I had never heard of the website before.

Even though I already had about 10 books waiting in line to be read, I couldn’t help myself.  I started trawling through the very well organised website and I was amazed by the prices of the books.  Except for the latest releases, everything was dirt cheap.  Actually, even the new releases were significantly cheaper than what you would find in stores.

For instance, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest was just AU$9.46.  The same book at Borders?  AU$22.99.  Nam Le’s The Boat was just AU$11.35.  The cheapest version of the book at Dymocks?  $20.95.  Paullina Simons’ The Bronze Horseman (I keep hearing rave reviews about this book) was AU$12.77.  The cheapest copy at Angus and Robertson?  $AU$22.95.  You catch my drift.

And on top of all of that, I got a 10% discount because my wife joined and recommended me.  I ended up purchasing 9 books for $90.39 (including the 10% discount).  That’s it.  No delivery fees.  The cheapest book was Homeland by RA Salvatore ($7.28), and the most expensive book was The Bronze Horseman ($12.77).  Not bad.

I paid via credit card and waited patiently for the packages to arrive.  They were dispatched the next day.  Australia is in the ‘other’ category and is supposed to take the longest, 7-14 business days according to this page.  I started receiving the books, packaged individually, in less than 2 weeks.  I thought this was a bit strange, sending them separately as opposed to in bulk, but it didn’t bother me as long as they all arrived (and they did, over 3 days).

Some people may prefer to browse real book stores so they can look around and have a flick through.  I say you can still do that, but just purchase them from this place.

Anyone else know any similar websites out there?

PS: right now you can also get up to 11,000 free e-books under the ‘Offers’ tab.  Mostly classics but I’m not complaining.


1. uioae - September 19, 2010

Recommend me, would you? Problem is I just bought a kindle…

pacejmiller - September 19, 2010

I think the special offer period might be over…can’t find the recommendation thing…let me have another look

2. inspiredworls - September 19, 2010

i use fishpond.com.au

they price match amazon and are in Oz, so u get it in a week. will have to check out the UK one.

pacejmiller - September 19, 2010

Prices aren’t even close!

3. Natalie J E Potts - September 20, 2010

Please buy your Australian books in Australia though! Print runs are much smaller in Australia which is why we pay so much more per book, but if we want Australian publishers to continue to exist (so they can one day pick up OUR novels and publish them) then we need to support the industry.

So always buy your Australian fiction at home so that there will continue to be Australian writers. If you buy it overseas the author gets a much smaller cut of the sale, and international publishing houses are unlikely to touch an Australian author unless they have been published here first!

pacejmiller - September 21, 2010

Wow, to be honest (and I am ashamed to say so), that hasn’t really crossed my mind. But you are absolutely right. The Australian publishing industry needs all the help it can get!

4. Franbob - September 21, 2010

Book Depository also have a shocking after sales service if what they sent you isn’t as advertised. If they deem it near enough, then you have no recourse. Six books I’ve just wasted my money on. Never again!

pacejmiller - September 21, 2010

Whoa, that’s terrible. I had no problems with any of the 9 books I purchased.

Franbob - September 22, 2010

And that’s the way it should be! But if you strike it unlucky, there’s very little you can really do, because to them you’re just small fry kwim. The very best I could do is place a review that lets subsequent buyers know that the books being sent aren’t quite what is been advertised (it’s a case of modernised text in a classic children’s novel – their blurb discription indicates you are buying the original, but that’s not what you get).

5. Matthew - October 14, 2010

I purchase an e-book from “The Book Depository” website. I had some issues with the e-book and contacted the author (who also has her own publishing company – (Strong Tower Publishing). It turns out The Book Depository sold me an illegal, pirated copy. I asked for a refund and the seller declined. Paypal was no help either (they seem more concerned about getting their ‘cut of the pie’ than in stopping this illegal behavior.
I would recommend almost ANY other seller over this one!

pacejmiller - October 14, 2010

Good comment — but is this really The Book Depository’s fault as opposed to the author/publisher?

Matthew - October 14, 2010

Hi Pacejmiller:
I guess I don’t understand your comment. How would it be the author/publishers fault if someone is selling their book illegally online? Using your logic, I could purchase any digital book, make copies, and sell them online… then blame the author for my pirating them? Yes, The Book Depository should know whether what they are selling is legal or not. Since this has been brought to their attention and they continue to sell the item, than I can only assume they don’t care whether the item is legal/copywrited or not. The author (who is the owner of the publishing company) has told me she has never received a penny from the sales of her digital books at The Book Depository.

pacejmiller - October 14, 2010

Right, sorry, I misunderstood your point. If that is the case then shouldn’t someone be reporting them?

6. Matthew - October 14, 2010

I’ve reported it to the author (and publisher) and tried discussing it with Paypal so there is nothing else I can think of to do at this point.

I had thought that Paypal would check into whether it was an illegal/pirated download, but I guess when i paid I did not read the ‘terms of service.’ If it is a digital download your on your own, Paypal will not be helpful. I’ve used Paypal for more than a decade (same account) and only had one other problem (I had purchased some cbt Nugget training cd’s) which they also classified as being software/digital and were not helpful in getting a refund. The only thing Paypal could tell me was to contact my credit card and see about getting part of the money charged back (part of it was already in my Paypal account which is gone for good).

Matthew - October 14, 2010

I forgot to mention the CBT Nugget cd’s (excellent training cd’s) were not originals: they were copies.

7. Matthew - October 18, 2010

The issue with “The Book Depository” has been resolved. The Customer Service are a friendly group, and I can recommend them.

If the moderator wishes to remove my previous comments, that would be fine.

8. Tasya - October 24, 2010

Bookdepository is the cheapest I’ve found so far, but the prices do change daily, so sometimes its worth waiting a few days and see what the min/max prices are for each book, then wait til it reaches the minimum price again eg. 44% off.

Also the free ebooks are very good, Direct Link:

9. Dean Franklin - December 24, 2010

I would not recommend the Book Depository if you live in the U.S. I ordered on December 8. The book finally shipped on December 13 and it still has not arrived by December 24. Completely unacceptable and hardly worth the minimal cost savings over Amazon.

pacejmiller - December 25, 2010

Very interesting — I assume it might be the Xmas congestion. When I ordered the books they came in about a week, and I’m in Australia!

10. disgruntled xmas shopper - December 25, 2010

Maybe cheap, but they are mollasses slow as far as shipping goes.

11. Lola - February 10, 2011

Didn’t receive the book after two months. They can’t provide a tracking # or even the method of shipment. Turns out they sent it without my street address and fail to see how that is a problem. Also fail to see how that is their fault. They refuse to re-send the book or to give a refund. Horrible customer service. I’ve seen other comments/reviews with the exact same scenario. They are obviously choosing to rip off a percentage of their customers to appear they are offering good prices to everyone else. (USA)

pacejmiller - February 10, 2011

Wow, that’s another negative comment for these guys. There you go, readers. Be warned. A bit of luck involved it seems.

12. Jen - February 21, 2011

I have been using BD quite regularly and with great success, especially with obscure books that are nearly impossible to find in Australia. I did have a book go missing (probably not their fault, as all other books in the order – suspect is was more due to Australia Post). I contacted them and they sent a free replacement the next day and I received it in two weeks.

13. Book Depository Review - April 17, 2011

I have used Book Depository several times and, although their postage is slow, their prices always seem good. I have provided another review on my website. Thanks for sharing your review.

14. Ebooks Free | AllGraphicsOnline.com - April 23, 2011

[…] Cheap Books, Free pacejmiller.wordpress.com […]

15. Stacey - May 3, 2011

10% discount for the Book Depository:

click ‘get shopping’, choose your books and on the ‘Basket’ page enter the code PPN3WS

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