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

Posted by pacejmiller in Websites.
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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.

Shirtpal – Custom Shirts Made Easy! January 12, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Websites.
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I hate shopping for shirts, especially shirts for work.

Why do I have waste my precious time in a store trying on crappy shirt after shirt that don’t fit me right and cost way too much, trying to make myself look good for work, when work does everything it can to make me look bad?

Anyway, so a friend of mine tells me about this Shirtpal place.   It’s where he gets his schmick shirts that put my cheap shit to shame.  I feel obliged to tell everyone about it.

Shirtpal allows you to choose ready-made shirts made from quality imported fabrics, but what’s good about it is that it has this shirt ‘workshop’ (just click ‘Enter’ on the front page), where you can design every single bloody little thing a shirt can have (and even things you didn’t know a shirt could have) – from the dozens of fabrics to the style of the collar and the cuffs, the number of pockets and other crap – including monograms (if you want to give off that ‘dick vibe’, though depending on what the monogram says, a ‘twat vibe’ is also possible).

Screen cap of the Shirtpal 'Workshop'

Then you fill in some numbers for measurements.  You can go the basic route with the neck size, sleeve length etc, or you can go all out for the ‘Perfect Fit’, where you embarrassingly fill out all the sizes of your out-of-proportion bulges.  It’s insanely comprehensive, even to the extent where you can choose your shoulder, back and belly type (you should check these out, they are hilarious!).

According to the webpage, there are more than 3 billion designs.  True fact.

The best thing about the workshop is that you can actually see what you are designing as you change the preferences.  I wasted waaay too much time trying to come up with the ugliest shirt possible.  To be honest I didn’t even know this kind of technology existed!

And at the end of it all, the price is very reasonable.  The butt ugly shirt I designed turned out to be AUD 61.46, which compares pretty favourably to ready-made shirts in stores, but is exactly the way you like it.  They currently deliver to Canada, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.  Oh, and delivery is free.

So if you want shirts but hate shopping for them, I’d give this place a go.  At the very least you can muck around with the designs and have a bit of fun.  I may have.

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