A Not So Simple Question

Since the epic flop that was Amazon’s behavior during #amazonfail, and in the weeks following, I haven’t linked to Amazon.com for sales links, using IndieBound instead. Some readers have emailed me privately to say that while they appreciate the change of linkage, their local Indie bookstore has not been friendly to them as romance readers in the least, and many shared encounters wherein their inquiries for anything mass market were met with derision and outright scorn.


Others have emailed me to say that they still shop at Amazon and would welcome a link to support the hot pink palace of Bitchery. One dude said outright, “Everyone still shops there, even if they say they don’t.” Heh. I don’t know about that, but who knows?

So: a poll. I’m not making decisions based on the poll results. This is merely my own curiosity. I’m not inspecting results, and you can use whatever crazy-mo email address you want, so it’s not like I’m going to out you or something. I’m simply nosy: do you still shop at Amazon?

[ETA: Yes, this entry was up yesterday, and I took it down because the freaking poll software stopped working and I can’t figure it out – so it’s anonymous comment time – whee! Make sure you’re not logged in already via cookie (mmm cookie) if you want to be incognito.

ETA: Hooray for Esosoft, whose support staff is always on and populated by people with PhDs in PhP. Thanks for fixing the poll, Esosoft!]

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Dayle says:

    I very occasionally shop at Amazon, but only as a last resort. For online shopping, I go to Powells.com. Otherwise, brick-and-mortar.

  2. 2
    lilacsigil says:

    I live in a very rural area with no bookshops, and 99% of my book buying is online. Even so, I haven’t felt safe with Amazon since, and have bought nothing from them. I’d usually spend about $70/month with them.

  3. 3
    ghn says:

    When I shop at Amazon, I generally use Amazon UK, which is logical since I live in Europe. I have only had a problem with them once, when they accidentally sent me a book I had not ordered instead on one I _had_, which they speedily corrected when I contacted them. Nor have I had any problems with the American branch when I have ordered from them.

    These days I spend a lot more on e-books than I do on Dead Tree, which means I too often fall afoul of the “this book is not for sale outside USA and Canada” classification, which sucks. Badly. I want to properly buy the books I want, damn it, and not have to go look for pirate editions!!

    Heh – “job76” – seems it is a full-time job finding someone who will sell me some of the books I want!

  4. 4

    You didn’t give the option of a “less than I used to” button. I’ve not been buying new books from them recently, but for used books, if I can’t find something on eBay then as I think Amazon own Abebooks anyway, I’ve been searching for them at Amazon. I’d probably try Better World Books more often if the postage were cheaper to places outside the US.

    The Book Depository seem comparable to Amazon in prices, and they do free delivery worldwide. I haven’t come across another bookseller which does that.

  5. 5
    GrowlyCub says:

    I stopped completely buying from Amazon after the latest debacle, but I’d already switched over to Bamm.com for most of my shopping and especially after the POD outrage.  Amazon started out as the underdog and from a business standpoint their strategy makes sense, but I’m deeply mistrustful of monopolies and that’s clearly what they are after.

    I know DA changed back to Amazon links due to financial concerns, but BooksAMillion has a referral program too, why not try that instead?

  6. 6
    GrowlyCub says:

    Btw, the poll doesn’t work for me.

  7. 7
    ms bookjunkie says:

    I didn’t vote because I’ve never bought from Amazon.

    Reasons yesterday:
    – I didn’t have a card I could use.
    – I could have borrowed a card but got a headache trying to figure out delivery fees, and then was too outraged by them to actually order.

    Reasons today:
    – Now that I finally have my Visa Debit, I’ve been pointed in the direction of http://www.bookdepository.co.uk which, has FREE DELIVERY WORLDWIDE. Not only that, their prices are lower than the internet bookstores that I’ve used before. What’s not to love? I can buy books one at a time as they catch my fancy, instead of waiting to buy in bulk* to save up on delivery fees… Impulse shopping!
    ——- If I bought Kresley Cole’s Kiss of a Demon King today from amazon.co.uk, I’d pay €10.76 [Estimated conversion from £9.17 (£4.19 plus £4.98 delivery to Finland)]** If I buy it from The Book Depository today, I pay €5.53. Hmm, let me think, do I pay €10.76 or €5.53? That’s a whole book I can buy with the difference! (Depends on book, of course, but still!)

    *Delivery fees mentioned have been by order.
    **Price details from the little window at The Book Depository.

    Note. I do have plans of buying from Amazon Marketplace through amazon.de (once I’m walked through the procedure, my German is nonexistent) to fill in gaps on my bookshelves, books that cannot be found new anywhere. (And I’ve tried!) Apparently the delivery fees will be €3/book, which I can probably live with since these are books that I’ve been hunting for for years, and will hopefully be of really low price. (Don’t I wish!)

  8. 8
    Marianne McA says:

    I do, but like ghn it’s Amazon.co.uk. (Just in case that’s relevant.)

  9. 9
    Laurie says:

    I have not purchased books from Amazon since the ratings debacle.  However, I have acquired free Kindle books (I have a Kindle app for the ipod touch) and family members have bought books from my wish list for my birthday.

  10. 10
    MichelleR says:

    Yep, I was pretty angry and vocal when this went down, but I did choose to return to them. Nobody is as convenient as them, and I have a Kindle to feed.

    Also, they made me a Vine member, and it’s hard to walk away from a handful of free things per month.

    I know that if something similar occurs, I might have to make a hard decision. I’m hoping it was a lesson learned.

  11. 11
    Elizabeth Wadsworth says:

    I used Amazon only once before the brouhaha for a book I couldn’t find anywhere else, and haven’t been back since—not entirely due to Amazonfail; I simply find the site too large and unwieldy for comfort, and with dial-up it takes forever to find anything.  I have an account with B&N online and get some decent deals there; I also give considerable business to the local used bookstore.

  12. 12
    Rose says:

    Where I live, Amazon is one of the few options I have – bookstores stock few romances, and many online sellers won’t ship here, or will only do so for ridiculously high prices (not that Amazon is that cheap, but at least their rates are not as bad).

    I don’t think what happened with Amazon justifies my giving up on buying books in general and romances in particular, or buying them from companies that overcharge.

  13. 13
    Rose says:

    ms bookjunkie, is http://www.bookdepository.co.uk for real? I just had a look, and the prices & no shipping charge seem too good to be true (-:

  14. 14
    SoraAGH says:

    Yes, but in Japan.  Amazon is really the best option here for getting books in English, especially in the rural area I live in.  Although The Book Depository sounds interesting and I’m going to check it out!

  15. 15

    Yes Rose, the Book Depository is for real. I buy many of my books from there, both fiction and reference books. Good prices, free shipping, and fast delivery – usually just a week to my regional town in Australia.

    I haven’t bought anything ffrom Amazon for years.

  16. 16
    Beth says:

    I never stopped, believing the debacle to be the work of a few stupid employees and not worth punishing a whole company for, especially since the cries for boycott began before the company was even given a chance to investigate or explain. That’s my $.02.

    the poll doesn’t seem to be working for me, either. I’m in Firefox, if that matters.

  17. 17
    Rose says:

    Thanks, Bronwyn! I’ll definitely give it a shot, their prices seem much more appealing than Amazon’s.

  18. 18
    JoanneL says:

    Maybe I look at the whole episode in the wrong way but I feel like notshopping at Amazon gives the moral-police-zealots a WIN and puts romance and erotic romance back in the dark—- again. So yes I use Amazon when it works for me.

    My goal is simply to get the books I want while supporting the authors whose work I enjoy or want to try for the first time.

    My book buying behavior is the same as always: I use whatever seller is the least expensive and has the best deals on delivery charges.  Borders .com & Barnes & Noble .com offering discount coupons and shipping discounts so my shopping dollars go where the price is right.

    Is the poll working?

  19. 19
    Jessica G. says:

    Nope! If I can’t get it for my Sony Reader, I either go to the library or Borders.

  20. 20
    Silver James says:

    Whenever I can, I buy from B&N or Borders on line. In fact, I seldom use Amazon even to browse any more. To those looking for older books, B&N also has listings for used books from sellers. I don’t have a Kindle. If I buy an ereader, I’ll go Sony or that new CoolEr either DA or SBTB linked several weeks ago. At the moment, with the drop in price of the iPhones, I might just have to go that way….Decisions , decisions.

    Is the poll recording votes but not showing the results?

  21. 21
    jessica says:

    It’s difficult.  I mean, I want to support independent booksellers.  But then I go to ENORMOUS, famous indie bookstores like The Tattered Cover in Denver, and they have 30 romance titles.  Maximum.  In a weird, difficult to find part of the bookstore.  Their “sustainability” section was twice as big.  I felt disrespected as a reader.

    When I walk down the 16th Street Mall to Barnes and Noble, who has an entire wall of romance novels, I feel catered to.

  22. 22
    RfP says:

    I still buy from Amazon.  Like Beth, I never felt the fury over the Amazonfail episodes.  I also buy from Borders and Borders Marketplace, and from brick-and-mortar, just as always.

  23. 23
    An Goris says:

    I use The Book Depository for the overwhelming majority of the books I buy online – they have great prices, free world wide delivery, fast shipping and a good costumers service. I’ve been very happy with them and have not bought books from Amazon since discovering TBD – mainly because Amazon’s international (UK to Belgium) shipping rates are relatively high if you buy rather cheap paperbacks like romances.

    I do buy DVDs and CDs from Amazon and have overall been quite pleased with them.

  24. 24
    ms bookjunkie says:

    @Rose: Try it. Just once. I dare you! *BG*

    The only issues, depending where you are, might be VAT or Customs. I haven’t had any problems yet. *knocks on wood* Also, the price fluctuates a bit, according to the £/€ exchange rate I guess.

    youre67:  No, actually, I’m not. Not even half that age. I just feel like I’m 67.

  25. 25
    Rose says:

    ms bookjunkie, I will definitely buy from them next time. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction (-: I’ve also forwarded the link to various friends and relatives.

    I’m in Israel – no VAT or customs for orders under $50. I just need to figure out which currency would work best for me against the shekel.

  26. 26
    xssa annella says:

    this is off the subject, but i just put three lines into a manuscript i sent to my editor.
    in your ass saving your life
    run, your vagina is haunted,
    and shaved the bush to make the tree look taller.
    they’re not exact quotes to avoid copyright issues, though some of the terms undoubtdly are open for public use, anyway. surely, someone else has thought of that bush line.
    i don’t know if the editor will have a problem with the changes or not. i’ll let you know if any of the lines get published. love your work, keep up the good job.
    friday’s video of literal version of eclispe of the heart was so funny i showed it to mom. she loved it.

  27. 27
    rooruu says:

    When you can’t get a free delivery option if you spend enough, then somewhere like The Book Depository is great (free delivery all the time!).  I buy lots from them.  Occasionally Amazon.com is cheaper, even with delivery, for something very specifically American (a large quilt book was one, recently).  TBD is usually faster, too, about a week vs up to six weeks for Amazon.  I’ve never had a bingled book from TBD, and have from Amazon (they did replace, but that’s another loooong wait – and I think they’ve sharpened their act recently).  There are more reviews etc at Amazon.

    For Australian online bookbuyers, a very handy tool is at http://booko.com.au/  It c.ompares prices (including delivery) in Australian dollars from a whole bunch of international and local online book sites.  It also lets you check the delivery if you are buying multiple books from a single place.  I usually check TBD as well, even though it’s listed there, as occasionally it doesn’t show up.

  28. 28
    ev says:

    So how is the exchange rate for TBD with American dollars? Is it still cheaper than Amazon?

    i haven’t been buying from there and look for other options. Since I never drank the Kindleaide, I feed my Sony addiction instead. There are still some authors I do buy in paper or collections I need to complete. So any way to get them cheaper is always good.

  29. 29

    “So how is the exchange rate for TBD with American dollars?”

    The Book Depository’s website has an option at the top right-hand corner which allows you to choose which currency you want to view the prices in (the choices are UK pound, Euro or US dollar). You choose the currency in the drop-down box and then click on the flag to make the change.

    “is it still cheaper than Amazon?”

    The website gives comparisons with Amazon.co.uk’s prices, but it doesn’t give comparisons with Amazon.com’s prices. I suppose if you selected the US dollar option on the Book Depository site it would be easy enough to compare its price with Amazon.com’s if you were looking for a specific book.

  30. 30
    Meghan says:

    I look elsewhere, but I do still shop at Amazon if it’s the cheapest option.  I prefer to support authors/publishers by buying new, but I’m a grad student and can’t afford to pop into regular bookstores.  I have been using it less than I used to, though, and have tried a variety of other websites, but none have matched up yet.

    I have several affiliate links that I use and no one ever seems to buy from anywhere other than Amazon, so I would suspect most people are still doing it.

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