Erika is a freelance content writer and illustrator from the Philippines. Aside from her love of arts and reading, she loves taking photos, coffee, cats, and fairies. She’s into fantasy, historical fiction, and contemporary, and anything young adult genres.
Been planning to post this for a while. But because of my OJT, I kinda lost spare time to write and post this up, so yeah. I’m only able to finish this now. lol
Book enthusiasts like me are a big fan of online shops! And aside from saving so much time – sometimes, you get to buy cheaper books than the usual store price since there are lots of book thrift shops and most are pre-loved. And even if the books are brand new, they offer the books in a discounted price. But sometimes, admit it, it’s too risky. Especially nowadays, scammers are everywhere. There are lots of reliable online shopping sites like Ebay and Amazon. But it’s still not that efficient to transact when you live around Asia. Why? Because most sellers from the said online sites are located from the other side of the world, like around Europe or United States. I’m from the Philippines and instead of saving from buying online, I will have to be charged even higher because of the expensive shipping fee. And if you’re unlucky, you double the pay because of the local post office or the customs. I’ve read some reviews that they were charged by the local post office a sum of money for them to be able to get their packages. That’s unfair right?
I have this very long list of books I really want to buy but are not available here in the Philippines. So the only option I have are Ebay and Amazon. But I am really really hesitant to try buying from these online stores since the shipping fee is too expensive – more expensive than the actual book price. I cannot afford such price because I am not yet employed. And one more thing, I’m afraid my packages won’t arrive at my doorsteps.
Until I discovered The Book Depository. Someone from Instagram mentioned this to me and told me to try it if I really want to buy books that are not available here in the Philippines. But what’s the deal? What’s the difference from Ebay and Amazon? Well, The Book Depository only offers free shipping almost worldwide. I repeat. Free shipping. 🙂
And so I tried it. And just the perfect timing, the books I’m planning to buy were on a big sale! The price are half of the original price. I felt so lucky! What a bargain!!!
So to enlighten you guys how this works, here are some questions I was asked by a fellow bookworms:
1. How was it?
– Well, it’s just like a normal online buying. But I guess, better? The books are neatly and properly wrapped in bubble wrappers. Sometimes, books come with free bookmarks – though in my case, I didn’t get any. Hardcovers (for what I know) are delivered in a box and also wrapped in bubble wrappers. And if the books didn’t arrive or are damaged, you’ll have the option between a refund or a replacement copy. 🙂
And also… if you buy, let’s say 2 or more books, the books are packed separately. Though they will arrive together. Just like the images below 🙂
2. Are they reliable?
– Oh yes! Very! The Book Depository has its name and is a well known UK-based online bookstore, so you don’t have to worry about your orders not arriving.
3. How do I pay?
– You can pay through PayPal or through debit/credit card. Though I suggest that PayPal is a better option. One time I used a debit card (EON card of Unionbank) and I was charged additional 5% of the book price. I dunno what’s that for… maybe tax or something?
4. How fast can they deliver my books?
– Expect 3-4 weeks. Got mine at exactly 3 weeks after it was dispatched. I paid Thursday then the books were dispatched Tuesday of the following week. Then expect 3 weeks for the arrival of the books on your doorsteps. 🙂
For the Filipino buyers, I suggest that you don’t buy to-be-released books or pre-order books that will eventually be available here in the Philippines. Why? Because of the time difference, some books are being released here in the Philippines earlier than UK so if you pre-order a certain book, you’ll have to wait longer. The Book Depository is a better option when buying books which are not available here in the Philippines (at least for me).
EDIT: I pre-ordered The One by Kiera Cass last March. It was immediately dispatched the day after its release. But it has been 5 months already and I never got my book. So I decided to contact The Book Depository and state my issue. And they handled my issue pretty well. I was really satisfied with their service. I explained my situation and they gave a quick response. They refunded my payment for the book I ordered which never came. And they are nice people. lol
EDIT 2.0: I had another case where I helped my friend to buy a book. It never came in 4 weeks time so I asked for a replacement copy (instead of a refund), and was immediately got taken care of. I got the book 3 weeks after.
And if you are lucky, you get to have your choice of book in a discounted price. I got my Iron Legends and Iron Traitor for only $6.11 each, which is equivalent to about Php250 each only!
So overall… I’ll give The Book Depository a perfect rating, because I’m pretty satisfied with their service so far. 🙂
I’m still sticking with my earlier comments that Book Depository is really one of the best online bookstore! I’ve got few more transactions with them without any problem and the books never arrive later than 3 weeks. If they do, they give me either a refund of a replacement copy. BD is a really really great and trusted online bookstore!
Additional FAQ and answers
1. What do I do if my package didn’t arrive within 3-4 weeks?
Don’t worry much. The package may have lost somewhere (consider how our local PO sucks too), but you can contact Book Depository on their website or email them regarding your lost package.
You can choose between a replacement copy of the book you ordered or have them refund your payment. I experience 3 lost parcels before. The first one was The One which I mentioned above, and I had it refunded. For the other two, BD sent me replacement copies and they arrived 3 weeks after.
Book Depository has an excellent customer service. They usually reply to inquiries within no longer than an hour. 🙂
2. Are the parcels delivered straight to my doorstep or do I have to pick them up from the local PO?
I only experience one time when I had to pick my parcel to PO. It was stressful. You can check my full story HERE. But after that incident, all my parcels from BD were being delivered straight to my doorsteps. I have friends who also order from BD, and so far from what I know, their parcels also arrive straight to their homes.
3. Are there any other charges even if the parcels are delivered to me directly?
No. No more charges. As far as I know, there should be no charge if the parcels are delivered to you directly. If the rider asks for it, ask him why and for what. There should be no charge. lol
I’ll leave this here ♥
If you have more questions, comment below and I’ll try my best to answer. *winks*