11 September 2009

+1 for Amazon

I know everyone is blaming Amazon for deleting electronic books, but my recent experience with purchasing a dead tree paper book (a photography book) was nothing short of amazing: after a previous purchase from US (.com), when the package was delivered directly to me instead of being relied trough Germany and I had extra troubles with customs, VAT and delivery, I decided to look into European stores.

I know a lot of Romanians use the German Amazon website for purchase, but I don't know even the smallest bit of German and don't feel comfortable blindly using an online store, so tried on the .co.uk version. Surprise! the book was available and it was cheaper than in .de. Good thing, I ordered it on the spot.

Coming to the delivery part of the ordering process, I went to the cheapest solution, with a delivery estimated in 7-10 days (as opposed to priority, which was 2-4 days). The book was ordered this Monday (7 Sep) and the confirmation mail informed me about a delivery around "18 Sep - 24 Sep", which made me content, since is much faster than a delivery from an amazon.com (US) order.

Exceeding my expectations, I received the package on the door today, in only 4 days. That is good customer service, looking forward to buying more from them, too bad they ship outside UK very little beside books and CD/DVDs and their book selection is not very large compared with the US store.


  1. si echipamentele foto sunt mai ieftine pe uk.com, cel mai bun pret din Europa.

  2. si eu tocmai am primit un pachet care era cu ETA 18 sept, fac destul de des de-astea. Pacat ca nu tot timpul au tracking url...

  3. cred ca merau mi-au venit mai repede decit estimarea, dar asta mi s-a parut foarte rapid, mai ales ca banii mi i-au laut efectiv din cont abia ieri.

  4. nicu, ce livrare ai ales? eu am comandat o carte tot de pe amazon.co.uk pe adresa firmei si mi-a venit la firma avizul cu care tre s ama duc la posta nu stiu care sa iau pachetul. Mai mult ca sigur o sa comenteze jigodiile grase de la posta ca nu corespunde adresa de livrare cu adresa din buletinul meu si deja ma ia cu tremur. Am ales livrearea standard, alti colegi au primit pachetul la firma.

  5. @vali: air mail, aia ieftina si lunga (standard, bifata implicit). Si eu tot adresa firmei am folosit-o, dar coletul era mic, o singura carte, si a venit postasul cu cartea si cu avizul, pentru orice eventualitate.

    Ultima data luasem mai multe carti si fusesera comandate din US: atunci mi-a venit doar aviz si a trebuit sa ma duc la posta, ca mi-au vamuit coletul (era din afara UE). Partea pozitiva e ca m-au crezut ca eu sint ala de la adresa firmei doar dindu-le o carte de vizita (!!!) pe care au pus-o la dosar.

  6. try bookdepository.co.uk
    It's ships globally, is based in the UK and it's usually cheaper than Amazon ;)

  7. Thanks for the tip Dextro, will look into it further. At a first glance (3-4 searches) the prices look to be a couple of pounds more compared with Amazon

  8. I have to admit I have only ever had great experiences with Amazon and they have supplied me with books and DVDs for years.

    Not long ago I ordered a few books from the US store (cheaper even if I got caught in customs for these specific titles), sadly the package got dropped in a puddle and when the books arrived they were damaged. After informing Amazon of this they told me that replacement copies would be sent that same day express and that instead of returning the damaged (but still in readable condition) books I was encouraged to donate them to a charity.

    They also gave me a told refund for an item bought via their market place which never arrived despite payment being taken. In other words basically an auction which is out of their control.

    I only wish other companies were as great at dealing with issues. That is not to say I think they never make mistakes but their customer service is among the best in any business in my experience.

  9. Shipping real world products is Amazon's core competency. They got their start doing books, which are relatively uniform, and expanded to other items.

    This whole ebook thing is Amazon trying to ride the wave of a new trend, for better or worse.

  10. Hmm... I thought that Amazon has a unique database of items, and that .de, .co.uk and so on are just different front-ends (using different UI strings and default currencies) to the same repository of merchandise.

    I buy my stuff from Amazon.com, and when I look at the "From" address of the packages I receive, they always come to me from Germany - so I figured they have a dispatching point there and regardless of which "front-end" I used to make the purchase, they will send the stuff from the nearest location.

    I trust Amazon, I've been buying stuff from them for at least 2 years now and I've never had any issues. The books arrive on time, in a condition which always matches the one in the item's description. I'm really glad that they deliver to Moldova (the "Republic of" one) too, even though it is a pretty "low end" country.

    I usually buy multiple books in a move; my last purchase was reading material worth 150$ - there were no adventures with the folks in the post office customs (probably because they don't think books are cool;-)

    The sad part is that books are the only types of items they'll deliver here. Can someone recommend a site that would send equipment and clothing to Moldova?

    One more thing concerning books - I also made a purchase from "Allibris" (if I recall correctly) - it went smoothly. My colleagues at work also buy stuff from Barnes & Noble - no issues with that either.

    My general point of view - if you're bying books, you should be fine. If you don't trust "them" yet, try buying cheaper items (so that in case of trouble you won't feel too sorry about the wasted money); once you make sure the system works - you can move on to mass purchases :-)

  11. It seems various amazon sites share the user accounts, the login created for .com work also for .co.uk and .de but not items, comments or order history.