UPDATED: December 5, 2019 (Original post November 28, 2019)
This post will have two main parts.
I. My Book Depository experience where I talk about:
a. Speed of delivery
a1. How long I waited for my order
a2. Did it arrive within the days Book Depository said it would
b. Quality of package
II. Tutorial on How to Order at Book Depository for Philippine Residents
a. Step by step tutorial on how to order
b. What payment method you can use if you don’t have a credit card
For the record, I’ve only ordered once so I can’t say for sure this is how they always operate. When I get more experience, I shall update you guys – I ordered from them again and you can read about it below.
SPEED OF DELIVERY
I ordered Rebel (Marie Lu) at Book Depository on October 26. It was a Saturday. Their website clearly states that they dispatch books on business days. Rebel in particular states that it will be “dispatched from the UK in 3 business days” and indeed it was. I received an email on October 30 (Wednesday) that my order is on the way to me. (TIP: Order on weekdays so the wait isn’t longer! XD)
Also according to their website, books dispatched from the UK will arrive in the Philippines in 10-15 days. I got my order on November 26. It’s exactly a month after I ordered but if I count “business days” only from the day it was dispatched, then it took 19 days. Note that I excluded weekends and holidays from the count.
I would say the speed of delivery is to my satisfaction. I’ve read feedback from other bloggers about receiving theirs within the 15 days so I would assume the little delay on my order is caused by my geographical location — me living in a big city and all that.
The delay with Rebel might not be a geographical thing after all (I assumed the few days late was because the post office couldn’t keep up with deliveries in such a big city) but my experience with The Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy proves otherwise.
I wanted to get physical copies of The Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy (Laini Taylor) for some time now because it’s one of my favorite series so when I saw that Book Depository has it on sale (so much cheaper than buying it here!!), I grabbed the opportunity and ordered it.
I placed my order on November 13 (WED) and got an email on November 16 (SAT) stating that it’s already been dispatched and on its way to me. I assumed it would take longer than a month this time because it’s a box set but to my surprise, it arrived on December 4 (WED), 13 business days after it was dispatched. That was definitely within the 10-15 days BD said it would take.
BUT, I had to pay PHP112 when it was delivered. The delivery man said it’s the “EMS fee” but having gone to the post office before to claim the book that I won via giveaway, I know that the PHP112 can also be the post office handling fee which I had to pay before when I claimed the book that I won.
I questioned the delivery man why there was an additional fee (because with Rebel there wasn’t) but he just used the same “EMS fee” reasoning. If this happens to you when your order from BD arrives, you should definitely ask for a receipt with that PHP112. I should have asked for one but I only just researched about PHLPOST handling fees today and in their website they said they issue receipts for this fee. I remember now that when I went to the post office and paid that same fee, they indeed gave me a receipt.
In conclusion, the faster delivery this time may be a result of a different delivery method (EMS) but it also means having to pay more. Maybe BD uses EMS during the Christmas season (mid November at the earliest) so that their deliveries can arrive on time/before Christmas as the delivery schedule can be pretty hectic during the holiday season.
Anyway I have placed another order due to arrive next year (I pre-ordered Lisa Kleypas’ Chasing Cassandra) so we’ll see how the delivery goes for that one.
QUALITY OF PACKAGE
My order arrived in a white envelope type of packaging but it has built in bubble wrap inside (as you can see in the pictures) to protect the product.
The book itself is in perfect condition (again as you can see in the photos below). I smelled it for good measure (😂) and it was divine. Brand new, no doubt. The package also came with a free bookmark. Hooray!
The Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy is a box set so it arrived in a bigger parcel (much too big for the size of the book honestly). It was in a box with bubble wrap inside. The product is wrapped in plastic as with every box set and it also came with a bookmark although the bookmark got a little wrinkled inside the box but it’s nothing a few hours pressed between book pages cannot fix.
Here is a step by step guide on how to order at Book Depository (with pictures)
STEP 1. Find the book you want to buy and click Add to Basket. Be careful to read the book description and details because it says there if the book is in paperback, hardback or audio. You can also see the “dispatch days”.
STEP 2. Click the basket icon to see your orders.
Click checkout if you’re done shopping. There you can see payment methods available such as Visa and MasterCard. PayPal is also allowed.
STEP 3. After you checkout, you will be asked to fill in payment details such as email address, name, delivery address, and of course payment details.
When you’re done filling out information, just click Buy Now and you will be directed to a confirmation page. You will also receive a confirmation on your email. That’s it! All you need to do now is wait.
Note: If you order several books, they will be delivered separately because the books are packaged individually and remember, delivery dates vary from book to book.
PAYMENT METHODS YOU CAN USE
Now say you don’t have a credit card and are not eligible for a credit card, how do you buy? Good news! I’ve discovered a card that can be used for online purchases local or abroad whether you’re earning or not.
I’ve been working for five years now but I still don’t have a credit card because to be frank, I don’t earn enough to be eligible (LMAO) but thankfully prepaid cards exist! Prepaid cards don’t require any credit proof or whatever hullabaloo banks require for credit cards. With prepaid cards, you just fill out a form and the bank provides you one.
I use a Prepaid Card to make online purchases. You can use it locally or internationally. For international purchases like Book Depository, there is usually an additional charge but its very minimal. My bank only charges me 2% of my total. So say I ordered a book worth 1,000 pesos, additional will be 20 pesos, so my total card deduction will be 1, 020 pesos. If you’re stingy about that 2% charge then you can connect your card to your PayPal account and then use PayPal at checkout. There won’t be any additional deduction this way.
Prepaid cards are reloadable so you have to load it with money before you can use it. I reload mine online through mobile banking but you can also load it through bank deposit or cash deposit machines if your bank has it.
How did I apply for the card? I applied online through my bank’s website. It’s truly hassle-free because you don’t have to go the bank yourself. After two weeks, I went to my chosen branch to collect the card.
For more information about prepaid cards or if you’re not sure about which bank to get from, then here is a post about several types of prepaid cards you can choose from.
Ordering from Book Depository isn’t all that hard after all. With prepaid cards, you don’t have to have credit cards to be able to purchase books from them. I wish I knew about prepaid cards early on so I could have utilized the site long ago.
Hopefully this post is helpful to those looking to purchase at Book Depository or any other international webstore.
If you have questions, comment below! 🙂