Friday, January 17, 2014

My Experience with Book Depository : A Shopping Review

Before I make another long and boring post, let me already conclude my experience with  
Book Depository.

It was great! 

The story could have been the greatest if the antagonist did not delay the delivery of my parcel.

Let me now relate how I landed on Book Depository. 

I discovered Book Depository from another blogger. Given that I’m a bookaholic, I immediately checked their website. My initial intention was limited to browsing the site. Obviously, my shopaholic hormones prevailed. What convinced me to shop is the FREE WORLDWIDE shipping. Hooray! I verified this when I made a trial transaction. Upon check out, I also noticed the absence of additional fees or taxes. Given that I will only pay for the item, I decided to make my first international book purchase.

I searched for titles and was amazed with Book Depository’s extensive collections. All the books I want are available. Best about everything, they sell both paperback and hardbound editions. In terms of prices, I was quite surprised to discover that some of their books cost cheaper than retail prices of National Bookstore and Fully Booked. The box set of John Green's books costs Php 2,739 in our local bookstores. Book Depository sells it around Php 2,500.  My heart wants to play Rebecca Bloomwood, but my mind was telling me to slow down. Hence, I limited my purchase to one book.

I placed my first order during the last few hours of my birthday. I was sad that day, if you still remember that post. As always, I consoled myself with this shopping attempt. 

Online shopping in December is obviously not a good idea. The holiday break and the high volume of shipping and deliveries will contribute to nothing but delay. I prepared and conditioned myself for the inconvenience. However, my tolerance for a shipment delay does not cover a month.

Book Depository claims that on the average, international packages arrive 7-10 days. Mine was almost a month, excluding holidays and weekends already. I did the usual move. I sent an email to Book Depository’s customer service. In fairness to them, the customer service representative was very accommodating. We agreed to wait until the last day of January. A few days after, my order finally arrived!

The local post office’s mailman delivered my book at home. I’m aware that there are duty and import taxes for imported commodities. However, I’m also aware that books and other educational materials should be free from any form of taxes. I was quite surprised when my mother told me that the mailman charged Php 50 for the book. It was delivered right to our doorstep with a minimal fee. The amount is cheap but the absence of receipt is something .... never mind.



Whatever it is, I decided to let go. I’m just happy that Book Depository delivered its promise. Despite the delay and the minimal fee, this will not be the last time I will buy from Book Depository.

46 comments :

  1. Book Depository is the best! I ordered two books from them a week ago and I can't wait for them to arrive! :) Sucks about the fee though, although it's very minimal, because as you said books shouldn't be taxed. Tsk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Krissy! Thanks for the visit and comment. Surprised to see you here, I've been following your blog for quite a while. I forgot to mention, you were one of the bloggers that led me to Book Depository :)

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  2. This looks really promising. Though I have for the most part parted ways with printed books because of my Kindle, graphic novels are something that a black and white e-reader cannot give justice to. Browsed some and saw that they have the Sandman Omnibus cheaper than Fully Booked. Awesome-sauce! ^_^

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nathalie! Thanks :) I would like to try Kindle too. Hopefully, someone will gift me heehee

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  3. Google-ing Book Depository now! First time I've heard/read about it, and I'm really curious!
    Thanks for the idea!

    http://thetwentysecondstreet.wordpress.com

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  4. Hi! I really want to purchase from them but I'm scared and it is my first time that I will be trying book shopping online! Haha. Did you use Paypal? I'm still confuse on this Paypal and online payment stuff >o<

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    Replies
    1. Yes I used Paypal. Just follow the steps in Book Depository's site, check out with Paypal. Everything will smoothly follow.

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  5. Replies
    1. Yes I think so :) As long as your place is being served by the local post office. However, prepare yourself to experience some delays.

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  6. I've ordered something from Book Depository early last January, but I still hadn't received my book (first time ordering btw)... should I be worried? >_<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same experience mentioned in this post

      You can perhaps email Book Depository and relate your concern. By experience though, all my orders get really delayed

      Delete
  7. I just recently made a purchase. from Book Depository and its my first purchase from the company. I am extremely disappointed with the delivery process. I came across your blog in search for Book Depository reviews. I am glad to hear that I am not alone in this delivery issue. Its been 2 weeks now and still no book that showed up. I already contacted their customer service and they said they'll just issue a replacement. The anticipation of waiting cannot compensate the cheap price of the books.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jen! After the first experience, I gave Book Depository a lead time of 1 month already. If the book does not get delivered in one month, that's when I contact them. I guess everything boils down to the fact that the local sorting of our postal system still needs a little improvement. Where do you live btw? Sometimes it becomes a factor. Farther places meant longer waiting time.

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  8. Hello! I would just like to ask if how much is the tax? or is it the fee included depending on the bank being used to purchase?

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    1. Hi Kara! I didn't pay any tax, except for the mandatory inspection fee of Php 50. This happened when I used my home address. However, when I had the item shipped through my office address, I was never charged with any fee.

      I quite can't understand your last question though. If you were referring to the type of credit card (issuing bank), I think this does not affect or cause any additional fee.

      Delete
  9. Hey! I've been wanting to purchase from Book Depository but since my mom won't allow me to do so (since I just turned 14), I'm stuck here in the corner sobbing like a brat. *oh nevermind* But yeah. I wanna ask you a question about paying online via credit/debit cards. I hate to tell you this but the main reason I wasn't permitted to buy from TBD was because my mom was afraid of putting in her Credit Card digits. Is TBD really safe? I hope you'd see this. Your blog is amazing! More power!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes TBD is safe. I used it several times already. Either I use my credit card of Paypal account. If your mom will finally give in, I suggest that you purchase using your personal laptop or pc with your secured internet connection. Don't use public wifi or connections outside your home and electronic devices that you don't own.

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  10. I know a lot of people are really happy with their transactions in TBD, but there's just one thing I'm really concerned about. Is paying in TBD really safe? or can you really trust the site of your credit/debit card's digits? I am hoping for your respond. Your blog is awesome. More power!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, TBD is safe. I used it several times already. What I suggest, use a your own electronic device or platform when ordering. Likewise, ensure that your internet connection is safe and secured. Don't use public access wifi or connection outside your home.

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  11. You know what? You totally convinced me to go and ACTUALLY try bookdepository. I am so excited. ^_^ thanks!

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    1. Hi JM! Yay hahaha hope you will have the same positive experience

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  12. Hello! I ordered a biography on Book Depository that doesn't sell here in the Philippines on December 19, it dispatched on December 23, and Book Depository emailed me saying that if it hasn't arrived on January 8, I should contact my local post office but evey review I'm getting says not to, because it gets here after a month. You said that, too, so maybe I should wait or do I worry like the customer service told me?

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  13. I ordered a biography on December 19 and it dispatched on December 23 and it still hasn't arrived. I contacted Book Depository last week and they said that if it hasn't arrived on January 8, I should ask the local post office for it. But all of the reviews I'm getting — including yours — say to wait a whole month for the book. So do I wait or do I worry like Book Depository told me? This is my first time and I'm actually really worried because I used my father's account considering the fact that I'm still 14 years old and unsure whether the site is safe. Anyway, thank you! :)

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    1. I give Book Depository a lead time of 1 month. If after one month and nothing still arrives on my doorstep, I send an email. If I'm not mistaken, the problem is not with BD. It's our local post office which takes some time because they can sort out goods and deliver them. So far, all my orders from BD arrived, albeit for quite a long time.

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  14. Hello, I was thinking of buying from book depository but with all the comments about books never arriving or being quite late, I got worried. Also because Philippines is so far from the UK and they might deliver it slower than usual, your review convinced me to give it a try, so thank you :)

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    1. Hi! Glad I was able to convince you!!! Just prepare for the very long waiting time. And if worst comes to worst, I think Book Depository is very accommodating. They responded to my email and follow up. And if you are still apprehensive, I suggest you use your Paypal account. It's easier to ask for refund via Paypal :)

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  15. Hello. how to create a paypal account? It's kinda confusing and I dont have any credit/debit card.

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    1. Hi Alfredo! Unless you have Paypal funds (which I believe you will not have because you are new to this), you need to have a credit card to build your Paypal account, and use it to purchase.

      In your case, I would recommend that you use a credit card. But since you don't have credit card, I suggest that you either
      1. acquire a credit card
      2. purchase a reloadable debit card. I don't know if you have encountered the Pay Maya visa card.
      https://paymaya.com/beep/

      hope this helps

      Delete
  16. Hello. how to create a paypal account? It's kinda confusing and I dont have any credit/debit card.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello! Thank you for sharing your experience with Book Depository. I had my first transaction with them earlier today. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I'm really concerned, though, because I have been reading quite a handful of blogposts regarding the local door-to-door delivery that they were charged a 50-peso fee for who-knows-what by the delivery man and I have read that you were, too. But I've also read quite a few other blogs saying they received the items at home without additional fees. Do you think this additional 50php fee depends on one's location? I'm not sure what to expect as I'm not at home most of the time and my kasambahay might not know how to deal with this. I'm thinking of handing her 50-100php just in case, but some opportunists might take advantage of her (as she's from the province and has a very thick accent). What do you suggest? :)

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    1. Hi Steph! One option is to change your shipping address. You can still change it within 24 hours. I've done it once. No problems at all.

      Today by the way, the Php 50 is now Php 100. I believe the Php 50 is meant for the mandatory inspection fee. The Philpost recently increased its rate.

      From my experience though, I was charged Php 50 when I had it delivered at home. When I changed my delivery address, particularly at the workplace's address.. I was never charged at all. I have a feeling that its better to have it delivered to your workplace because (my self theory) the workplace setting discourages unnecessary practices... especially if you have CCTV in your office.

      but if you will leave everything to your household help.. Php 100 is already enough.

      Delete
  18. hi, i had my first transaction with BD last 29Jan. i had my order placed and dispatched on the same day. unfortunately as of today i still have not recieved my books. i already dropped by our local post but as per checking, they books not have been delivered to them yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! You can actually email Book Depository via their Contact Form. In my experience, they respond from 24-48 hours. In most cases, they ask you to wait a little more. They also provide options, you can either request for refund or another book be delivered. They have a great customer service team. They attend to all customer queries.

      Delete
  19. Hi diane! Have you tried or knew someone who ordered a large amount of books? Im planning on buying a complete set of manga (It has around 20 volumes and cost 120 USD). Im too scared to dish out this amount for the fear that the books may not be delivered; also I wanted to ask you if philpost ever charge a large amount of tax for these types of purchases. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Maegen! I have to agree that's quite a significant amount of money. I have been ordering from Book Depository using my workplace and home addresses. Both are actually working. I have experienced delays from them. In cases of delays though, I send a follow up email. They usually ask for additional waiting time. After the agreed waiting time, they provide two options. Refund or request for another delivery again. I haven't experienced any of these last resort options, because my orders from them always arrived... albeit always late.

      As for the taxes, I'm charged Php 100 whenever I had it delivered at home. A different case happens at the workplace. I'm not charged anything at all. The books arrived right to my office table. I guess maybe its because of the fact that I work for a school. My knowledge about customs fees maybe limited but as far as I know, books particularly those used for educational purposes should be free from taxes.

      What I suggest in your case, why not buy in pieces? Anyway, shipping is always free with Book Depository. Will it be more expensive when you buy several pieces than in bulk? You might want to consider this to somehow pilot test the procedure.

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    2. Thanks for a very informative reply Ms. Diane. Yes, I was thinking of doing what you suggested. Still, I was hoping that I'll be able to buy the box set as it is much cheaper.

      I guess I have no choice but to buy each volumes individually. Btw, whats the maximum purchase you ever did?
      I've read to some forums that purchases should be limited to 50 USD, just to prevent incurring additional taxes. Is this true? I'm hoping its not; but then I guess its better to buy those volumes slowly than in bulk. I'd rather get the mangas slowly than not getting manga at all!

      Anyways thanks for all your inputs for my inquiry!

      Delete
    3. Oh and one last thing I wanted to ask. Have you had or knew someone who had some difficulty thru customs when claiming the books you orderes? What is your maximum purchase per order? Thanks in advance for answering my questions!

      Delete
  20. If I ordered in book depository will I pay in dollars or peso?

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    1. Hi Leenah! You have to pay in US dollars :) You can see the peso equivalent once your credit card bills arrives

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  21. hiii ireally wanted to order but,what if i don't have a paypal account?can i just enter my debit card instead?even if mine isn't a dollar account?

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    1. You can use your locally issued credit card. I'm not sure about debit cards.

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  22. Hi! I was surfing the internet for TBD experiences and came across yours. I'm really curious if you ever tried to but a book set from them now that you had bought a book from them. And did the mailman charged you if you did purchased a set from TBD?

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  23. Hi! I was surfing the internet for TBD experiences and came across yours. I'm really curious if you ever tried to but a book set from them now that you had bought a book from them. And did the mailman charged you if you did purchased a set from TBD?

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    Replies
    1. When I had the book delivered to my home address, the mailman was asking for Php 50..... my mother never asked questions what was it for...

      I tried using my office address. Surprisingly, I was no charged with any fee at all. Since then, I avoided using my home address

      Delete
  24. How about currency conversion fee during the purchase? Did you get charged with only the exact amount your book was priced or they still add 15% to the actual price? I'm still not sure about buying books outside the country, I'm planning to use paypal as a payment method. And did you make another purchase? How was the delivery? Only them sell the books I want. Thanks for this review though.

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    1. Hi Alvin! I didn't get additional charges. I was charged and paid only for the converted amount in Php. For me, Paypal is better because you are protected. Just in case the book does not arrive, you can file claim for refund via Paypal.

      Just be patient with the delivery. Book Depository dispatches book fast but the problem arises in the distribution process here. As you know, our post offices implement a manual process and worst, some are undermanned.

      Hope this helps.

      Delete

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