Where is best to buy books online?

BOOKISH BIT BANNER - book site comparison

Today, I wanted to bring you an informative blog post all about book shopping online. I often find myself thinking “where is it best to shop?” when I’m buying books online and I decided to take a look at them all to see if I could come up with an answer to that question. Keep reading to see all the pros & cons of several online bookstores!

Note: I haven’t included places like Waterstones. WHSMith, Foyles etc as they are both highstreet and online. The stores I’ve talked about are online only. And this is not sponsored or affiliated in any way.

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Image result for amazon logo

*logo belongs to Amazon

The Good

I’m sure we’re all very aware that Amazon sells stuff for dirt cheap. Some of the deals on Amazon are incredible, the other day I bought Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, new, for £2.99! If you’re a student, or just on a budget, Amazon is certainly one of the best places to shop for your books.

Another budget friendly option Amazon supply is the fact you can buy books from them, and 3rd party suppliers, secondhand. If you’re not a fussy book buyer, then secondhand books are great finance friendly option. I buy a lot of secondhand books from Amazon! The only problem with this, is trusting the desctipyion on whether the book is in “very good” condidtion or not. I bought a “very good” condition book recently that came really dirty, with the hardback paper sleeve ripped!

If you have Amazon Prime, buying books from Amazon is so cheap and you get instant gratification. With Prime, orders are delivered next day – which is something I love, as a Prime member. They’ve also recently added a Prime ebook feature, where certain “prime” books are free to download on your Kindle.

The Bad

We all know it… Amazon are a faceless corporation and treat their employees like shit. If you’re big on buying locally and supporting independent stores, then Amazon is a huge step in the wrong direction.

Another problem I have with Amazon is the lack of cover choices for books. I’m a cover buyer, so even if the book I want is super cheap on Amazon, I will hop over to another book site and buy from there if they have better covers to choose from.

 

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Image result for book depository logo

*logo belongs to Book Depository

The Good

FREE WORLDWIDE DELIVERY! Yes, we all love anything free, especially when it’s delivery, and a place that delivers all over the world for nothing? Well, that’s just amazing.

Book Depository is great for cover buyers like me because it offers you up and range of different book covers to choose from. I hate not having the option to buy different covers of books and just having to accept the new mass market paperback copy! Thanks BD for giving us some choice!

Not so good for me, if you’ve read my “reading habits” post, you’ll know why… But, you get a free bookmark with every order at BD, and what makes them even better is that their designed by book consumers themselves! It’s a cute little addition to every package you get from them.

The Bad

Delivery can take quite a long time from Book Depository, yes, even for me in the UK! They give you a time estimate of 3 – 5 days and I find that it always takes the latter amount of days, and sometimes longer. Not the best if you want the book right then and there, but it’s free… we can’t really complain.

Another problem with postage is that they deliver books in so many different packages, rather than sending everything out in one go. I know that the packaging is cardboard, but it’s still a huge waste! Especially since (somehow) some people still don’t recycle. Plus, it means you could miss part of the order if you’re not in to greet the postie, and Royal Mail collection centres are only open 8 – 6… and I don’t get home til after 6, so it’s a pain the arse trying to find the time to pick up your parcel!

Amazon actually owns BD, so, really, it’s just even more funding for the faceless corporation we talked about before. Sucks.

 

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Image result for wordery logo

*logo belongs to Wordery

The Good

FREE WORLDWIDE DELIVERY… again! Yes, another book site that offers free worldwide delivery, to the same countries as BD. LOOOOVE IT.

Wordery is a small homegrown business, which is such a nice change from the big corporations. If you’re into supporting small and local businesses but can’t find a book anywhere near you, Wordery is always a nice place to go.

Wordery also give back to the community. If you look at their FAQ, they state they donate to local and national charities with some of the their profits… how lovely!

Even though you would expect a smaller business to have higher prices, Wordery actually have very competitive prices on their site. I actually often find lots of really cute alternative covers for cheaper on this site, over Amazon and BD!

The Bad

Again, there are longer delivery times for Wordery… but I find them better than BD! Again, I can’t really complain because it’s a free service!

 

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Image result for the book people logo

*logo belongs to The Book People

The Good

This site offers HUGE price cuts on book collections! And no, it’s not a scam! I bought my dad the first 10 books in the Harry Bosch series… for £8.99. TEN BOOKS FOR EIGHT NINETY NINE.

The Book People are another homegrown business. I love supporting a company where you know the money is going towards paying off someones mortgage or kids uni fund rather than going on their next ridiculous sports car.

This site also hugely supports reading schools. There is a whole section of the site that is dedicated to bulk buying for classrooms or school libraries – and what’s better than encouraging reading in education?

The Bad

No free delivery, nooooo! Unfortunately, you do have to pay delivery on this website, unless you make an order of over £25. Luckily, the postage is reasonable, at only £2.95 for the UK. For delivery to the rest of the world, postage costs depend on the weight of your package and can be anywhere from £4 to £20!

The Book People also isn’t the most up-to-date site with their selection of books. If you want an older release, you’ll be fine, but super new releases are hard to find.

 

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Related image

*logo belongs to Hive

The Good

Hive supports local, independent books stores with every purchase! When you buy from Hive, you can choose an independent books store you want to support and a small sum of your sale will go to them! I think that’s such a lovely idea.

FREEEE DELIVERY… in the UK. Yep, if you live in the UK, all orders come with free delivery, hoo-rah!

You can also get eBooks from Hive, which is something a bit different for a book website. They all seem really well priced too.

The Bad

Delivery across the world isn’t great. It’s quite expensive and it looks like it takes a while, but with so many other books sites with delivery across the world, it’s not too much of a negative!

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So there we have it! This is a selection of online book stores with all their pros and cons.

Personally, Wordery is my favourite place to buy books. I’m not sure why, but I like their website and the way they set up your reviews, and to me, it just feels like a friendly place to shop!

I hope this comparison was helpful for you! Where you do you like to buy your books online? Can you think of any other pros & cons I could add to each website? I’d love to hear all your thoughts!

46 thoughts on “Where is best to buy books online?

  1. I usually end up just buying most of my books from Amazon! My family already has a Prime membership, and I’ve found that books are just the cheapest there – I can buy an entire trilogy for a really good price if I wanted to! I might buy from the Barnes & Noble website as well if I get a gift card!

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    1. I buy a lot from Amazon but it goes against all my better judgement. The stories you see online about the way they treat their employees is awful! We don’t have B&N here in the UK 🙂 We have Waterstone’s instead – I’m going to assume it’s the equivalent!

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    1. I’ve never used Thift books but you can get stuff shipped from there to the UK. It’s $3.99 postage per book, which isn’t the end of the world but would really rack up if you were buying lots! 🙂

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  2. I literally get all my books from secondhand shops on the ground or if I buy them from online I use Amazon and BookOutlet. Bookoutlet is amazing when trying to find low prices on books. I think they are based in Canada but they offer free shipping on orders over $35. They ship pretty quickly too, but then again I live in the U.S. so I’m not that far.

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  3. You put a lot of effort into this. Unfortunately for me, I live in the US, am allergic to mold and dust, and have had to switch to all ebooks vs. paper books. So I only buy online and usually end up at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I miss the feel of holding a book, the shape of it, the whole experience of an actual book in my hand. I miss having bookshelves full of lovely books. I miss shopping and coming home with a stack of new books to get lost in. Ebooks just aren’t the same experience. I’m sure you get the idea. But I think you did a great job on this write-up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that! I can totally get where you’re coming from when you talk about missing a physical book. I bought a Kindle as I thought it would be so much easier for reading (and it is) but it just isn’t the same – like you say. Thanks for your comment! 🙂

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  4. From a writer’s point of view…the main criteria is LEAVE US A REVIEW! Pleae.And in your search for the cheapest option, remember that we writers only get paid a fraction of the selling price. On Createspace (amazon print arm) I get 30 p for a book that retails at £6.99. That book has probably taken me over a year to write/redraft. Do the Maths! Indie writers can command slightly more on ebooks – we get 70%, standard published writers get 40%. It is not skewed in favour of writers. Yet WE are the source of your enjoyment! A review is the least you can leave us to say thanks …..isn’t it?

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    1. Well, as a book blogger, I clearly leave reviews for every book I read so there’s no need to preach to me about it! Unfortunately, some websites only allow you to review if you’ve bought the book from their website specifically, and on Book Depository there is no option to review at all, as it connects to Goodreads.

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  5. Great post!! I actually haven’t ever checked out Book depository before now, weirdly enough! I always just see gift cards on giveaways for it! I usually never bother with buying from anywhere but Barnes and Noble since I try to only buy books when I have gift cards (BOOKS ARE EXPENSIVE; but honestly what bookworm DOESN’T know that lol??) But when I do buy with my money not at B&N I just buy used from Thriftbooks, or use the library…My friends make fun of me because I live a minute from the library but always buy books hahahaha.

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  6. oh yes BD does take longer- I thought I was the only one with that. And yes of course it’s owned by amazon- it’s basically the same prices anyway, just with free shipping. Fantastic comparison anyway- and it’s giving me more options, cos I tend to mostly go to abebooks (second hand books online) gonna have to check these out!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve never heard of The Hive (I live in the US, so that might be why) but I’ll be sure to check it out. If I buy books online I usually buy them from Amazon because they tend to be cheaper (and there’s free shipping with Prime!) but occasionally I like buying books from The Book Depository.

    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I feel guilty at times but I only use Amazon, unless I need something I can only find on Book Depository. I’m against many things Amazon does but it’s the cheaper and easiest way for me to get books in another language.

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