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Beware of the Americans


Good selection of books, CDs, games, videos and DVD's

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My mother has recently been diagnosed as being a diabetic and I decided that I wanted to get a cookery book in order to make her some cakes, biscuits etc.

I looked first at Amazon, having already made a few purchases from their website and been pleased. The only ones I could see here were the ones that had 2 to 3 weeks delivery and, being an impatient sort of person, I wanted the book now.

I then decided to take a look at as I had seen the site advertised here and there on the Internet.

It was easy enough to register with the site – just the usual questions, name, address and password. I did go via ipoints so hopefully I will get my 50 ipoints for registering plus a further 10 for spending over £10. Mind you knowing ipoints I’ll not hold my breath!

There is a wide selection available on Bol including CDs, Books, Videos, DVDs, and Games and Software. Each range has it’s own section and search facility.

There is also a comprehensive help facility, which seems to cover all the problems that you might come across whilst using the site.

The prices were comparable with Amazon and there seemed to be a wide selection of books to help someone wanting to cook for a diabetic. Unfortunately some of these were not yet released and it would have been a case of pre ordering and some had a long wait for delivery.

I found one that I thought would be suitable called ‘The Diabetic Sweet Tooth Cookbook’ with a delivery of 24 to 48 hours at a cost of £7.19. This was more like it!

I put the item in my virtual shopping basket and headed to the virtual checkout. Again, this was a very easy procedure. I just had to check my address details, give a credit card number for payment and say whether I would like the item gift wrapped or not.

The cost of postage and packing was £2.95, so the total cost payable for my book was £10.14.

I could have ordered by telephone via a number shown on the virtual checkout page, but it seemed easier to order via the site as I was logged on anyway.

I was given an order number, which was confirmed immediately by a mail to my e mail address and told that I could track my order status online.

The following day I received a further e-mail to tell me that my order had been shipped and I received my book the next morning.

I was suitably excited as I opened the package thinking that I would soon be able to cook something nice for mom.

I’m sure that you can sense the ‘but’ coming here can’t you?

Sadly it is a big ‘but’. The book was an American one! I know it is written in English but all the measurements are American – they tend to measure things in ‘cups’. I know I could have converted them, but there were also an awful lot of ingredients for the recipes that were only available in America!

Another, minor, disappointment was the total lack of pictures in the book. When I am cooking I like to see what the end result is supposed to look like! Whether mine looks the same when I have finished is usually somewhat down to luck, but never mind!

The books advertised for sale via Bol are shown with very little information. In almost every case there is just a photograph of the book cover and maybe a one-sentence description something like ‘This is a book showing how to make cakes and sweets for diabetics.’

There are very few book reviews on the site, but I did expect, since the site was uk.bol, that the books would be suitable for the United Kingdom. It seems a fair assumption doesn’t it?

Needless to say the book was parcelled up and returned the same day together with a letter explaining the reason for return and requested a complete refund of cost plus postage and packing. I’ll let you know how I get on.

I shall have to head into town and have a look in Ottakars, I’m sure they will have just the book I need, but whether I can be strong and only come out with one book remains to be seen……

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Comments about this review »

Sirus619 08.10.2002 21:19


KarenUK 18.10.2001 11:54

I started using from ipoints & got quite a few free books from them, saving up the ipoints, they aren't too bad.

pagan 16.10.2001 20:10

I've not used but I have used other online bookshops and I think they will never replace a good old rumage in a book store, with books you just have to get in there and have a look, I often buy a book on the 'feel' of it (i.e. if I feel it's right, rather than does the paper feel smooth enough you understand!!) and you just can't get that in cyberspace.

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Domain Extension .com

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"very helpful" by (100%):

  1. alma
  2. Sirus619
  3. ClangerWrangler

and 40 other members

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