Another online bookstore to review! And this time it's none other than the almighty Amazon.com. Before I knew the existence of The Book Depository, Amazon was the only place that could provide me a complete collection of English/International books. The first time I made a purchase through Amazon was in 2011, and over the years, Amazon has evolved and made a lot of things more convenient for the customers. Actually, Amazon has almost everything available for sale, such as: clothing, gadgets, beauty products, home supplies, and many more. But for this post, I will only focus on the books department (which can be navigated at the top left corner of the site). Here's my review on my shopping experience at Amazon.
WEBSITE: I usually shopped at Amazon knowing exactly what I wanted, so I just have to type in the book title/author in the search bar, and the results will be directly shown. If you want to browse, it's not that difficult either, because Amazon has a lot of recommendations in display. Starting from Best Books of the Month, 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime, New/Upcoming Releases, Best Sellers, The New York Times Bestsellers, Popular Author/Series, and many more! If you have used Amazon for quite some time, it will pick recommendations according to the history of what items you searched/viewed in the past. You can also refined your search by selecting the genre you're interested in, the format (paperback/hardcover/ebook/audiobook), language, award winners, etc. Everything is in perfect order and it'll be very easy for you to find a book that you want.
If you already have an account on Amazon, you can have a Wish List and see your Orders History. The account page is very helpful, and through the orders history you can repurchase items that you bought in the past. There are a lot of things you can manage through the Account page, and what I love to use is manage my address book (so I don't have to type it over and over), and also the 1-click payment setting—which makes purchasing books much faster and easier.
|FYI: I didn't buy the book, it's just for demonstration.|
ORDER: I placed an order on January 28, 2015, and made a payment using credit card. Since Amazon already saved my payment details, I only have to click pay and everything is done. Very convenient. Amazon accepts payment via Credit/Debit Cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, JCB, Diners Club International, American Express, Unionpay), Amazon Gift Card, Amazon.com Store Card, or US Bank Account. The only possible choice for me is using my Visa credit card. So far, I've had about more than 10 purchases and it's proven to be safe and secure. At the end of the checkout process, you can also decide whether you want to pay in USD or in your country's currency (in my case IDR). Amazon also provides the exchange rate info to help you decide. For this purchase, I paid in USD.
You can also decide the shipping speed with various prices. Standard International Shipping: 18-32 business days, AmazonGlobal Expedited Shipping: 5-10 business days, and AmazonGlobal Priority Shipping: about a week. I think the price will vary according to the size of the book you buy and also the weight. The cheapest one is of course Standard International Shipping, but the price starts from USD 9.98. AmazonGlobal Expedited Shipping's price starts from USD 19.98, and the Priority Shipping starts from USD 30.98. And obviously, because I'm a cheapskate, I always use the Standard shipping. Even for the cheapest shipping fee, I still think it's too expensive. Because sometimes the shipping & handling fee cost a lot more than the book itself.
|This is an email I received from my previous purchase.|
EMAIL: After finished with the payment, I directly received an auto-confirmation of my order in my email. The next day, January 29, 2015, I received another email confirming that my order has been shipped, and it's estimated to arrive on February 23, 2015. On January 31, 2015, I got another email which contain recommendations based on that purchase. It's a good way to find out what similar books I can buy next if I'm interested. Although it's basically just an extremely good marketing strategy. Then I received an email with a request to leave packaging feedback for Amazon on February 5, 2015. I don't really leave any feedback because I'm just lazy like that. I think several weeks later, Amazon will send the last email asking to rate the book/product.
*Additional Note: If your package didn't arrive 2-4 weeks after the estimated date, you can send an email to the (AMAZING) customer service, and they will gladly send you another package with the expedited shipping (!!!). This happened to me twice, and I can't say how amazed I am at Amazon's customer service. I kept telling this story to people around me, and so I become part of Amazon's marketing team XD Here's an email of my exchange with the customer service in 2013 ↓↓↓↓
|This is an email I received from my previous purchase.|
PACKAGE: The package arrived on February 10, 2015, which is about 2 weeks early from the estimated date. It's quite a surprise for me too, because Amazon's packages doesn't usually come that early. Anyways, as you can see in the photos above, there's a tab that helps me to open the package. And it's extremely helpful! It works wonderfully. Inside, the book is enveloped by the cardboard box. I don't know why, but the pages of the book is quite wavy although it's not wet :( But it's still beautiful.
OVERVIEW: I've always been satisfied with my purchases on Amazon, especially because the website is really user-friendly and the whole process is convenient for the customer (not to mention, the customer service that I want to keep praising). No doubt, Amazon has a complete collection of all the books that I ever wanted. However, I don't buy books that often from Amazon because of the shipping & handling fee, which is a bit too expensive for me. And when the package arrived, the postman usually charge for tax as well (around IDR 7,000—depends on the size of the book). As for this book I just purchased, the total price (including shipping fee) is still cheaper than other online bookstore like The Book Depository—and I'm very happy about it. Will there be a day when Amazon gives us free shipping worldwide? I think I will be extremely happy that day.