I’ve been wanting to post about this since I’ve been asked a lot on our local book community on Facebook, regarding the special ordering service of National Bookstore. National Bookstore, or also widely known as NBS, is the largest bookstore here in the Philippines. Just like Fullybooked and Powerbooks, they carry lots of titles from international authors, but at the same time there are still lots of titles you won’t find on their shelves. I’m a big fan of the 3 bookstores mentioned and if the other one don’t carry a book I’m looking for, I would turn on the other. But honestly speaking, Fullybooked definitely has more titles from other international authors than NBS and Powerbooks. And also, their prices are not always the same, so of course, I weigh which one has cheaper price (on my price comparison, that also includes The Book Depository price, by the way.)
As a bookworm, I’m so much into actual/physical books than ebooks. So whenever a book I want to read is not available on our local bookstore, I had to resort to buying online which is for me, The Book Depository is my best option since it offers free shipping worldwide (and they almost carry all books). But at the same time, I think that since TBD offers free shipping, their books tend to cost much higher than the suggested retail price.

(You can skip my short story and go on below on the special ordering process… lol)

So one day, I had my eyes on this newly released book and I immediately fell in love with the cover. lol. And I knew from that very moment that I had to get my hands on that book. So. first I inquired on Fullybooked, which is more likely to have the title. Unfortunately, they don’t carry it and instead, they offered me the special ordering service, where they will order it specially for me upon my request, so then I asked what will be the estimated price. They said that the cost would probably fall around $16-17 (PHP750) for a trade paperback copy and it may still vary. I was a little surprised ‘coz that’s almost equivalent to a hardcover price. So I tried inquiring on National Bookstore instead. I emailed NBS (details on how to contact the bookstores will be listed below) and to my surprise, they immediately replied. But then again, they don’t carry the title and offered me again the special ordering service, and the price given to me is waaaay cheaper than on that of Fullybooked. NBS estimated price is around $11-12 (PHP525) for a trade paperback copy. But I still have another option — The Book Depository. I checked their site and the book and they offer it for $11.48 (around PHP518 on the current forex). So of the 3 options, TBD obviously offers the cheapest price.

But instead of going on with TBD, I chose NBS’ special ordering service. This is some kind of experiment, I thought. I will see if this service will work well and maybe I can use this on my future transactions with them. And also since NBS’ estimated price and TBD price are also close enough, so not much problem on that.

So here’s the special ordering process on National Bookstore…

First, this is optional but for me, I think it’s better to know the price first, before directly going on the branch. Email NBS and ask for the price of the book and if it’s available for special order. Their response usually takes 1-3 days. You’ll receive a reply like this…

Dear Ma’am Erika!

Thank you for inquiring at National Book Store’s Online Store!

We regret to inform you that the books are currently not available in allbranches. Other option in acquiring these books is through special order. Please see quotation below for your reference:

Title: Ink
Author: Amanda Sun
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780373210718
Price: Php525.00

Title: Rain
Author: Amanda Sun
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780373211111
Price: Php525.00

To further process your order. You may refer to the instruction below. Please note that the price quotation is valid for 1 week only….

Second, go to the nearest NBS branch from you or from whichever branch you prefer to transact with. In my case, the nearest is Victory Mall Monumento NBS branch. So I went there and directly to the customer service. I asked them about the special ordering service then the woman on the counter rechecked the price for me. She will confirm the emailed price and then it’s now up to you if you would like to go on with the order.

Third, if you decided to go on, you will be then asked for a 50% downpayment to secure your order (or you can also pay full). Instead of a receipt, they will give you an ordering form to fill up. And this form is really important so you must not lose it. It will be your proof when your order arrives. Also, you have the option if you want your book to be delivered on your doorsteps or just pick it up on the branch, I chose the latter ‘coz there’s an additional shipping fee of course.

The estimated arrival of the order is 3 to 4 weeks.

Fourth, after filling up the form and paying the 50% of the price, the customer service personnel then gave me their contact number if ever I want to ask for the status of my order. Even though they said they will be informing me via SMS if my order arrives, I’m glad they did give me their contact number even if I didn’t ask for it, coz we will only have one way communication if they didn’t and I might rot waiting for their message. Haha.

Fifth, wait. Patiently. I mean it.

Three weeks have passed but I still haven’t heard any update from NBS. So I made the first move and went to the branch again to ask the status. Apparently, there have been delays on their orders and it might take them 2 more weeks before the orders arrive. How. Sad.

But good thing, NBS kept me up to date. They send me SMS weekly, and they even apologized few times. I thought, it shows that they don’t totally ignore my order. It’s a special order after all – I’m special. lol, just kidding.

After a month and 2 weeks of waiting, finally, NBS sent me a very good news that my order has finally arrived. Woooh! I was so excited to pick it from the branch!

Sixth, when you’re about to pick up your order, you have to hand them the important form (told you so, it’s important), and then go get your book! You will now be paying the remaining amount on the cashier, and you can use your Laking National Card for points.

Lastly, enjoy your book!

In my case, I ordered Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen (this book is awesome, check my review!).

FINAL VERDICT…

Accommodation. ✮✮✮✮ I have past unpleasant experiences with NBS staffs but this time, the customer service personnel who accommodated me was very nice. I also liked how she kept updating me with the status of my order without me asking. Talk about initiative. Haha

Book condition. ✮✮✮✮✮ The book was not sealed, I understand that since TBD also don’t shrink wrap their books. But the book is in very very good condition. No damage and stuff so I was very pleased.

Estimated time of arrival. ✮✮✮ Fair enough. Not so fast, but no so late either. When I order on TBD, it usually takes 3 weeks at most. But 1 month is not so bad either. I’m very patient anyway, just don’t make me wait for 3 months or more, I won’t be very happy. lol

Price. ✮✮✮✮ Yes. Their pricing is fair and just right. I’ve inquired lots of times via email and so far the highest price they gave me was Jay Kristoff books. It shocked me, really.

All in all, I was very pleased with their special ordering service. And I might use this service again, soon.

For more questions, feel free to ask on the comment box below or contact me via my contact navigation tab and I’ll see if I can help. Or you can also directly contact National Bookstore and Fullybooked and Book Depository for clearer answers.

CONTACT INFORMATION…

National Bookstore
Email: bookfinder@nationalbookstore.com.ph
Landline:8888-NBS (627)
Toll free: 1800-10-8888-NBS (627)
Mobile: 0998-8888-NBS (627)

Fullybooked

Email: lucy@fullybookedonline.com
You can also contact Lucy on Twitter, which I always do when reserving books. lol
https://twitter.com/_FullyBooked

Here’s the book I ordered. I’ll just leave this here. *winks*


Author: Erika

Erika is a freelance content writer and illustrator from the Philippines. She used to hate writing in high school, but later discovered that it is something that she’d enjoy doing. Asides from books. she also enjoys the presence of few art materials, camera for bookstagram, and other bookish merchandise, on her own fantasy realm.

15 thoughts on "Placing a Special Book Order on National Bookstore"

  1. Hi Ma'am, Is it possible for them to acquire old books? I wanted to have a copy of a certain book but I doubt they can acquire it for me because the book was published around 2008 -2009 ( Not quite sure ). I hope you would reply ma'am. Thank you!

  2. Hello! Yes, I think so since it's a special order. I think 2008-2009 is not really old so there might be a possibility that the book is still available on their local stores. You can ask them through email (or on Twitter or Facebook) if they have a copy of the title on their local branches first, then if they don't, they'll offer you the special order system for sure. 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  3. Thanks for replying ma'am! Actually, I already asked them if they had the book. Unfortunately,No stocks available. The Customer service lady didn't offer me this "Special Order" thing. What She told me to do is look for the book in Powerbooks in Greenbelt. It's impossible for me because of my busy schedule and greenbelt is just to far from where I am.

  4. They usually offer the special order system on email inquiries. You can directly ask them if the book is available for special order if you called NBS. Anyway, you can also call Powerbooks (757-6428) or you can also try Fullybooked (they carry most titles than NBS and PB). They offer shipping naman if you are busy to pick up the book, or a little distant from the branch. Or if there's a branch near you, you can always ask them to transfer the book on your preferred branch. 🙂

    1. Laking National Card? I got the whole points. When I paid for the half, I only got a manually written receipt. Then when I paid for the other half at the when the book arrived, I paid the remaining half at the cashier with the receipt they provided me for the first half. Then the whole amount was written on the real receipt from the cashier. That’s I can remember though. Haha.

    1. Yes. They used to always reply on my inquiries. But also yes. Recently, they haven’t been replying to any of my inquiry. Such a bummer, I know. I hate that they’re not consistent on their online customer service. Try reaching them on Twitter or Facebook instead.

  5. I just sent my email to NBS. Your post was really helpful THANKS SO MUCH. I have already asked 4 National Bookstore branches here in Visayas and no one offered me the Special Order thing. SO THANK YOU and I really hope that they will reply to my email. Fingers crossed!

    1. Hi! I’m glad I can be of any help. Lately, they haven’t been replying on emails, BUT, good news is they’re very responsive on their newly designed website. There’s a customer service chat box in there. If they don’t reply, maybe you can try there. 🙂

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