After reviewing two online bookstores last year (Periplus and Opentrolley), now I am back with one of my most favorite online bookstores ever: The Book Depository! I wrote my review in Indonesian last year - because those two are based in Indonesia; but this time I'm writing the post in English (and I think those who will be interested in this post are also interested in English books, so I hope you don't mind ;)). The Book Depository (TBD) is UK's largest dedicated online bookseller that started back in 2004, and the best thing about TBD is: free shipping worldwide! I have made so many purchases in TBD, and so far I am always satisfied. For those of you who loves buying English books, TBD can be an alternative for you. So here's my review on my shopping experience at The Book Depository.
WEBSITE: Like Periplus and Opentrolley, TBD also divided the books into categories/genres to make it easier for people to find books. From Audio Books, Children's Books, Fiction, Food & Drink, Home & Garden, and many more. Besides that, on the home page we get to see Bestsellers, Fast Movers (according to sales rank), Book of the Week, Top Picks, and also Round and About. This really makes it easier for me to see what books are trending if I don't know what I'm looking for. If I already had a book in mind, I can simply use the search box at the top of the page and it will give me several options.
Another thing that I also like about TBD is the Account Page, where we can keep track of what we have ordered, what books haven't been delivered, set up our payment card, address book, and of course the wishlist! The tracking is my favorite, because it keeps us updated, and TBD will send an e-mail along with every update.
ORDER: I placed an order on March 19, 2014 and directly paid using my credit card. The payment procedure is actually pretty simple and quick, but I have to remind you that TBD only accept VISA/Mastercard/American Express payment or through PayPal. I uses my VISA credit card and TBD already keep a data of my credit card number, so I don't need to take it out every time I want to make a purchase. I just have to memorize my CVV Number (three-digit number at the back of the credit card) to finalize my purchase. For those who prefer using PayPal, you can use your PayPal account - but I can't really explain because I don't know that well - or use PayPal as a guest: which means you have to input your details (Name, Home Address, etc.) including your credit card number and also the CVV number. By my experience, keeping your credit card number in the TBD account database is the easiest and quickest procedure - no payment confirmation process!
Then I receive an e-mail confirming my order. The next day on March 20, I received another e-mail saying that my package has been dispatched (this may vary. Sometimes it took several days for a book to be dispatched, sometimes it only needs a day). According to their answers in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, the estimated time for your book to arrive varies according to which part of the world you're in: (Based on my experience, it took the package more than 10 days to arrive in my mail).
United Kingdom 3-5 working days
Europe 7-10 working days
US & Canada 14 working days
Australia and Rest of the World 7-10 working days
PACKAGE: The package arrived on April 12, 2014 (which is pretty quick), and it came with another package that I ordered on March 22 as well. Oh, and no matter how much book you ordered in one purchase, TBD will always send the books one by one - in separate package (although I don't know the reason why). TBD also uses different packaging for thick books or thin books. There are no bubble wraps, the book is not plastic wrapped, just this thick cardboard - but I think it's quite sturdy and able to protect the book inside.
To start opening the package, you have to open the box which is glued with some kind of super glue - because it's super strong. Trust me, I used cutter in the picture above, but I give it up and just rip it off with my hands. The picture above shows the package for a thick book; there's some kind of pocket to make sure the book doesn't get messed up inside. For thinner books, it uses a thin envelope-like packaging. So far, the books I ordered never came in a bad condition :)
Inside, the book will be found along with the invoice and free bookmark that came with every purchase! I was really hoping to get one of the Bookmarks competition winners, because they are so pretty; but I guess there's always next time ;) I always love collecting TBD's bookmarks, because there's also the kind that gives us interesting information (such as food calories, periodic table of elements, etc.)
OVERVIEW: Up until now, The Book Depository is still my number one go-to-place for me to find English books (hardbacks/paperbacks, fiction/non-fiction). TBD provides several editions to a book, so I always choose paperback and of course the cheapest one out of all. Most importantly, TBD gives us free shipping worldwide - which I am so thankful about, because I always hated Amazon for the extremely expensive shipping fee to Indonesia. But I don't totally hate Amazon, really. Because when I can't find the book that I want in TBD, Amazon always has it. (Which leads me to thinking about making Amazon review when I made a purchase in the future) And again, compared to Amazon, TBD delivered the package rather quickly. They also give us free bookmarks!
Overall, The Book Depository has always been satisfying for me. Hopefully, this review can be helpful for those who likes to buy English books but haven't tried out TBD yet ;)
If you have further questions about this, feel free to comment below and I will answer it if I can ;) Bye!