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http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk is an amazing site. I have been looking through discount book sites online for some time now and this is the first one that I have found that has been useful, been excellent value for money and the only one to have any books in that I was actually interested in.
A few months ago, my mum started receiving a catalogue through the post entitled 'The Book People'. I was amazed, not only at the number of books on offer within the magazine but also the number of quality books that I had seen within the stores themselves. I must admit that at first my mother and I were extremely conscientious as to the security of the site. We thought that it might be a fraud or stolen books or something because the prices really are incredibly low, but after writing off an order, we received all the books that we had asked for in perfect condition just a few days later.
The site, as I have said, offers a wide variety of books, from fiction to gardening, cookery to interior decorating, and each is chosen specially by the team. They also tend to offer rather a lot of young children’s books (normally for the under 5s), which is very good for any willing parent who needs a bit of financial encouragement as these books can often have as much as 75% off the RRP (recommended retail price). For example, at the moment, the following offer is available: Purchase a set of 8 Kipper books (a popular young dog cartoon loved by toddlers) by Mick Inkpen for just £8.99 instead of £29.94, a saving of £20.95! But not only this, there are also some really good value offers for adults too. Any fans of Bill Bryson will tell you how expensive the books are. Here they offer 'A Walk in the Woods' for £4.99 instead of £16.99, a saving of £12 (and yes, it is hardback!). http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk offers only very popular books at very good prices. Not only this, but on top there is a book points scheme, where, on average, you get 1 point per pound spent, which after a few orders means you are somewhere in the region of 50-100 points and can choose from a range of books (or sometimes a lucky dip) for free!
The layout is quite good too. Although not incredibly easy to find yourself around, and if you get lost then you could well be lost for a while, the site is generally good layout and design-wise as it has a toolbar at the side, so you can always return home. And the site is always nicely decorated, the design changes quite frequently, but it always looks pleasant.
The updates are quite frequent, although not frequent enough for my likings. The site is updated only when a book is sold out or back in stock, apart from once a month or so, when new books are added and the design might slightly change as well. I would rather that they updated the site every few days with new books as I think that that would bring people like me, and other fans of the site, back to the site more frequently.
The search facility on the site is excellent. It finds all of the results that you want to be found and doesn't find any unnecessary and unwanted results (unlike some other sites that do, http://www.whsmith.co.uk is one of the worst offenders). The speed of the site is more acceptable than others (mainly http://www.whsmith.co.uk again). It is faster than the average site, but gets a lot slower in off-peak time (this may well be due to the connection though as well).
Another good thing about the site for anyone with his or her own site is the 'Link and Earn' programme. It allows people to put in banners displaying the site and earn 30% of what they spend on books, which can run up to hundreds of pounds in some cases. There is also a school link if any schools wish to participate in the purchasing of books from this site.
One last thing that is good about the site is the fact that Postage and Packing is free when you spend over £30 on books in any one order, a saving of £3. This makes the site even better value than it already is.
I strongly recommend that everyone check it out - there is guaranteed to be something for everyone! If you can put up with the slow speeds at off-peak time and the chance that you might get lost sometimes, then this site is worth its weight in gold. Alternatively, you can always try the slightly more old-fashioned 'phone by getting a catalogue online or through the post. This site is well worth a look, even if you have no intentions of buying books, just for future reference. An excellent site - 5 out of 5!
Informative and well thought out opinion. Thanks :)
mascarasnake 24.12.2000 16:30
This opinion is better than anything I have done, or can do, top marks. I will have a look at the site as soon as I can tear myself away from Ciao. Thanks for the rating of my humble opinion, from the looks of it there is nothing I can teach you about writing good reviews. However, I hope you find some my tips on increasing hit rates useful, as you deserve to be read more widely. That will have to come later as my wife and kids are pestering me to get off the Internet and spend Christmas with them!
lec299 23.12.2000 21:32
Thanks for your review. It's nice to read something so detailed and informative.
I love reading - comes naturally with doing an English degree, so am about to swan off to the internet site to look up that Bill Bryson deal. So, thanks for the tip-off. Keep up the good work.