Advantages Easy to find books, free delivery (Super Saver Deliveries), can sell your own things 2nd hand
Disadvantages not a very reliable review/rating system, some Marketplace Sellers are dodgy
I buy books on a pretty regular basis, being a real bookworm myself. I've found Amazon to be THE ONLY online book retailer which has the largest and most comprehensive selection of books on offer. I've always tried looking for a better deal on other major online book retailers like WHSMITH, ABEbooks, etc... but none of those companies ever stocked every single book I did a search for - none, except for good ol' Amazon.co.uk. Sometimes I use Amazon's American branch Amazon.com to buy books that can't be found on Amazon's British site. Whatever it was I needed - whether its an old out-of-print 1950s book or a hard-to-find academic volume that could only be found in the reference section of the University library and not in usual shops - Amazon is the one to stock it - or one of its Marketplace Sellers would be able to stock one for me. And its not just boring old books that they do... They also stock a more-than-adequate range of popular books, software, CDs, DVDs and videos. Their selection of baby toys and books is also steadily growing. They also stock a rather fair selection of electronics items like mobile phones, cameras, printers, kitchen appliances, hardware tools, shavers, electric toothbrushes, and garden furniture and garden equipment. In fact I hope the British Amazon site can one day join up with Sephora.com so that they can also offer a one-stop-shop for a great range of cosmetic products by well-known brands like Chanel, Molton Brown, Urban Decay, Stila, NARS, Calvin Klein, etc. for mail order - the American Amazon site has already been doing this with great success!Amazon.co.uk also offers you the (sometimes, but not always cheaper) option of buying second-hand books/vids/games/software/dvds via their Marketplace Seller option. Basically you do a search for the product you want in Amazon's main window and when it comes up with the results, you click on the results, and on the right-hand-side column of every product page is a yellow rectangle with the words "More Buying Choices : NEW or USED" on it. You click on the words and it will show you a list of private individual sellers or companies which stock the same item for a different price from Amazon - often, depending on the condition of the item in stock whether its quite used, or as good as new.
Amazon.co.uk has a Super Saver Delivery option (i.e. Free Delivery) for orders that are £15 and over. This is a much better improvement in policy since last year, when their Super Saver Delivery option was only offered to orders £18 and over. For any orders that total less than £15, or if you order stuff from Marketplace Sellers, or if you order some very very hard-to-find books, you don't qualify for the Super Saver Delivery option.I don't really like their delivery rates as I don't think its very fair pricing. I've bought second hand books on Ebay on which the delivery rates were priced more accordingly to the actual weight and size of the book. If I ordered a light, small-sized book like the "Asti Spumante Code : A Parody", I wouldn't really expect to pay £2.
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