Friday, August 19, 2011
The Book Depository.co.uk lets you couch travel at a fraction of the cost
First of all, I have to get this out there: How could I not have heard of this website before?!?!
That feels better. On with the post.
I've been eyeing a few titles recently, and I thought I'd ask Mabel, who is headed back to the UK soon *sniff* to help me purchase the books from Amazon.co.uk and mail them back to me, as even paying postage in pounds comes up to less than the price that Borders, Kinokuniya, or MPH is charging for the same books.
Then Cherie said, "Why don't you use Book Depository? It's my favourite website ever." And with those words my life was turned upside down forever. (Thank you Cherie!)
I exaggerate, you might think.
But get this: Book Depository offers Amazon-range prices, but it delivers straight to Malaysia, which Amazon does not. Not only that, but delivery is free!
I don't know why book retailers are not put out of business already. While some 'book lovers' are mourning Border's demise, I say it's about time. I feel so ripped off realising how much more books I could have afforded to buy and read if I had discovered about Book Depository earlier.
If you're still not getting what a rip-off bookstores are / what a steal Book Depository is (I'm not getting any sort of incentive to write this post, by the way), let me give you a clearer picture:
This is The Sweet Life in Paris.
The book + shipping to Malaysia costs £7.83 at Book Depository, or RM38.50 as of today's exchange rate.
It costs £6.13 + shipping to the UK on Amazon. The book weighs 12.8 ounces. To ship that to Malaysia from the UK, according to Royal Mail's online price finder (Pos Malaysia, if only yours was that user-friendly), costs £5.37. That comes up to a total of RM56.60. Slightly steeper, but still not too bad - except that you need a friend / relative living in the UK willing to receive the package and post it back to you.
At MPH, the same book + RM7 postage* costs RM61.90.
*Counting in postage because the costs of travelling to the actual stores and parking will likely cost around the same, just with more hassle; plus, not all branches will have the stock you want.
At Kinokuniya it is RM60.28, including postage (RM8).
Ah, but maybe RM11-12 is not a big deal to you. But read on.
This is The Most Beautiful Walk in the World.
At Book Depository, it costs £7.90 or RM38.90.
At Amazon, £8.90 (cheapest listing) to the UK. £4.26 back to Malaysia. Total = £13.16 / RM64.80
MPH doesn't stock this book. At Kinokuniya? Well, (I'm guessing) because it's still a new title, it costs RM108 or RM116 plus delivery. That's 74%, or almost three times more than Book Depository is charging. Or in other words, that's like two additional free books for the price of one.
Note: All prices quoted were sourced from various retailers' websites and were for the paperback versions of each title.
Plus, now with Maybank's Visa debit linking with PayPal and CIMB's debit e.Mastercard allowing online purchases (Maybank's debit card does not), it's super convenient to buy online.
Okay, so this is starting to sound all information-y and advertorial-y. But these are the important details, no?!? This is what working life + managing your own budget does to you.
Will be purchasing those two books soon, and I'll let you know if Book Depository's service matches up to its value-for-money price.
Till then, feast on these excerpts from above-mentioned books:
"I knew I was in the right place when I was told “This is the one restaurant where the customer isn’t always right.” When I started, I worked in the café upstairs, and learned how to let the leaves of just-picked lettuce fall from my hands into an airy heap on the plate just so. Later, when I moved to the pastry department, I reveled in the fraises des bois, tiny wild strawberries raised especially for us, each one a tiny burst of the most intense strawberry flavor imaginable, which we’d serve with just a scoop of nutty crème fraîche and a sprinkle of sugar, letting the flavor of the wild berries shine. We were making food that was meant to inspire, not be mindlessly ingested. With each flat of picture perfect fruit or berries I tore into, I realized I was part of something very special." -The Sweet Life in Paris, David Lebovitz
"The essence of Paris is lost if seen through the double glazing of a hotel room or from the top of a tour bus. You must be on foot, with chilled hands thrust into your pockets, scarf wrapped round your throat, and thoughts of a hot cafe creme in your imagination. It made the difference between simply being present and being there." -The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, John Baxter