Ahh, yes I wondered how long I could avoid questions on that one.. A fellow homeschooling Aussie Mum (thanks Kim!) told me all about Book Depository one day, and I was hooked. Book Depository is located in the United Kingdom and will ship books world wide for free. I was sceptical on how long shipping would take, if they'd have the books I wanted, and over all service. You know, the old saying, "You get what you pay for.." However, after comparing the prices at Book Depository with the prices at Amazon I found that most often the prices were even. Only a few cents or the occasional dollar off. Not bad considering the pound is worth more then most denominations!
I was also running into a lot of issues with Amazon. For instance when i put items in my cart with an American address they charged me MORE for the items but LESS for shipping. When I put my Aussie address in they charged me LESS for the items and a LOT MORE for the shipping. As in, they generally charge me 25-50 dollars for a few books to be shipped this far. That was not only exuberant, but frustrating. Do you know how many books I can buy with that monies? Not only that, but I can pay for "normal" shipping to me or express shipping to me and they both take exactly 2 weeks!
When we ordered our Sing, Spell, Read, & Write we wanted it yesterday. So I paid for the SUPER fast shipping. Then I noticed that two days later my order hadn't even shipping. We called them about it and they tried to blame customs. We told them we knew a customs form took 2 minutes or less to fill out. They bumped our order up and had it shipped out the next day. Despite paying far more then I care to think about it took that package over a week to arrive. That is not satisfactory when I paid for extra quick shipping. You know what happens when you live overseas and you complain about shipping delays, especially to big companies? They blame the little people. They blame customs. They make excuses.
So, we tried out Book Depository. We placed a simple order for 2 books that we needed and found that they arrived roughly 2 weeks later. Same time frame as Amazon, and a whole lot cheaper. I paid 2 dollars more for the same items then I would have from Amazon, which to me was a 23 - 48 dollar savings! So now all our book orders go through Book Depository. The best part? They recently opened a Book Depository in America, we can order the books that the UK version doesn't offer and they still only take 2 weeks to come.
The other bonus for me is that Book Depository made me an Affiliate so each time someone buys a book after clicking on one of my links I make a few pence. Yes, pence. It's all in UK pounds. We don't honestly make very much from our affiliation, but we figured if we were sharing links we'd go ahead and take the affiliation. Make sense?
So, I know your final question on the topic will be, "Do you still buy from Amazon?" Yes, on rare occasion. For instance, those monthly kits I make for my niece, when I include a book I often get it from Amazon for her because I can get free shipping right to her home. We will occasionally buy other things from Amazon (non book items) and have them shipped to family in America (thanks Mom & Dad!) and they ship them onward to us. Amazon pretty much only ships books overseas. Oh, and for the record, I tried to get a gift certificate from Book Depository to give away on my blog but at the time they didn't do gift certificates. Bummer!