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Like most people I love a bargain! I also love buying books, both for myself as presents. So when I discovered The book people a few months ago I was very happy indeed!
The book people. ************** The Book people are a company selling discounted books. They are not a club so there is no minimum number of books to purchase or any other catches. They simply sell books at hugely discounted prices. There is no shop to browse but you can either order from their web site at www.thebookpeople.co.uk or you can request a catalogue and use the enclosed order form or alternatively you can phone your order by calling 0845-602-4040.
I have always ordered on line although once you have ordered you will receive regular catalogues through the post.
The web site. *********** The first thing to say is that the web site is nothing fancy but it is not full of annoying adverts! It is easy to navigate with all the books on offer divided into appropriate sections. I tend to visit the site on a regular basis and therefore usually go to the what's new section first. New titles are added regularly and often include best sellers. At the moment you can buy 15 horrid Henry books for just £12.99 instead of the RRP of £74.85,or Nigella Lawson's Nigella express for just £9.99 (rrp £25) If your children listen to audio c.d's then its worth seeing what's on offer. I have just bought Just William audio c.d collection for £18 (rrp £132) there are always seasonal sections and at the moment there is a Halloween section, no doubt a Christmas section will appear very shortly!
If you spot a book you would like to buy but you are not yet ready to order you can place it on your virtual bookshelf where it will remain until you either buy it or delete it.
If you want to order you will need to complete a short form with a few of the usual personal details. In addition you will need to give your email address and choose a password, this will be needed every time you order in the future. Orders can be tracked online and you will receive an email to confirm your order and another when your parcel has been dispatched.
If you are a member of Quidco and click through to the Book people site via them you will earn 5% making your books cost even less!
Free books. ********* Even if you skimmed read the last section bet you read this one! Every time you buy a book you will be awarded book points. When you are logged in you will see your total at the top of each page. Points earned can then be exchanged for free books. 100 points will allow you to chose any book valued at £2.99 and for 200 points a book valued at £4.99.When you browse the site each book will show you how many points you will be awarded if you buy it. The points don't expire so even if you only order a few times a year you can save up your points.
Points passport. ************* This is another loyalty scheme. If you order 3 times between 1st July and 31st December you will become a passport holder. This means that you will be given access to exclusive book titles, be given a free upgrade to priority delivery, have a exclusive phone number to call and be given a dedicated customer service manager. I haven't ordered 3 times since July (just twice) so can't comment on these so-called benefits!
Delivery. ********** Delivery is free if you order over £25's worth of books otherwise standard delivery will cost £3.50 per order. If you only order 1 item then the delivery cost is just £1.75. Although the Book people don't really advertise it, there are concessions available if you are of pensionable age, registered disabled, or a registered child minder or foster carer. You will need to send in an order form (found in the catalogue) enclosing proof. Once you have done this future orders can be done on line if you prefer. My parcels have always come in a strong box and I have never experienced any damaged goods. Orders are usually delivered within 5 working days. You do need to sign for your order, which can be difficult if you are out at work all day.
Returns. ********* For me this is the only downside to the Book people. All returns must be within 7 days and before returning any item you will need to phone the customer service department for an authorisation code. I have only had to return a book once and am pleased to say the phone was answered quickly! You can also request an authorisation code online. You will need to pack the unwanted item and pay the postage. You will also need to obtain proof of postage. My refund was quickly put back onto my credit card. If an item arrives damaged then you need to contact customer services and they will arrange for the item to be collected free of charge. I do find returning items a real pain!
My experience. ****************
I have ordered from the Book people several times now-twice since July. I have always been very happy with the books I have received. I tend to buy over £25 each time I order to avoid paying delivery charges. I can always find books of interest and often stock up on children's books for birthday presents. Many of the books are discounted by as much as 75%!
I guess the only downside is that the selection is limited and if there is a book you want you may well not find it on sale here. However if like me you like to browse then it's a great place to look. Oh and its a real pain to have to return a book as far as I'm concerned, but that aside I would not hesitate to recommend this company to you!