I read 40-50 books a year.
In the past, I bought all my books from the local bookstore. But now, I buy only 20% of my books from the local bookstore. As for the remaining 80% of books, I buy them at Book Depository.
By buying from BookDepository, I end up saving at least RM500 a year. The books are not only sometimes cheaper, Book Depository also offer free shipping to Malaysia.
If you have been looking for a cheap and reliable online bookstore with a wide collection of books, then Book Depository is for you. In this post, I will be sharing my experience with Book Depository. By the end of this post you will have a better idea of what Book Depository is about and whether you should buy from them.
Kinokuniya is the largest bookstore in Malaysia. I have been buying books from them since I was a high school student. I used to buy all my books at Kinokuniya.
But recently, I have started to buy even more books from Book Depository.
Book Depository is an online bookstore based in the UK. I decided to go with Book Depository for most of my purchases beginning year 2015 because Book Depository has:
- Cheaper prices for some books
- Wider collection of international titles
- No minimum orders for free shipping
Let’s look at what I mean by each of these.
Book Depository has Cheaper Books (Sometimes)
Though not all books are cheaper on Book Depository, some books are. Like this book by the late surgeon Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air. While it is selling for RM51.39 on Kinokuniya, Book Depository has the same book for just RM40.55:
And this one, The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly:
But this does not apply to all books. For example, this book by Tim Ferris is actually cheaper on Kinokuniya than BookDepository:
But even when the book is cheaper on Kinokuniya, if I am buying only one book, I would still buy from Book Depository. This is because Book Depository offers free shipping with no minimum order. I will talk more about this later.
Let’s move on to the next reason why I now buy most of my books from Book Depository.
Book Depository has a Wider Collection of International Titles
Most of the books I read, and probably you read, are written by non-Malaysian authors. While Kinokuniya can quickly stock up on trending international titles, I have found it hard to find books on less popular and more specific topics.
For example, this book on depression by Andrew Solomon. It is only available on order and ships out in 14 days from order date:
The same book is in stock on Book Depository:
As someone who reads quite a number of unpopular books, I used to be disappointed when a book was not in stock at Kinokuniya. There were times when they called me to cancel my order because they could not get the book for me.
Since I found Book Depository, I have been able to get all the books I have ever dreamed of.
BookDepository ships for free, no minimum orders
The best thing about Book Depository is that there are no minimum orders to qualify for free shipping. Even if you order one book Book Depository will ship it to you for free.
To buy one book on Kinokuniya is seldom worth it for me because I stay in East Malaysia. If I order just one book, it would cost me RM42.40 for Kinokuniya to ship it to me! That is already the price of a book!
The only option for me is to buy enough books to qualify for free shipping or buy the book in-store.
With Book Depository, I can get even one book shipped to me for free. This gives me the flexibility to order as little, or as many books as I want.
The Best Part? Books are Priced in RM
As you would have probably noticed by now, all the books on Book Depository are priced in RM. Even if you don’t live in Malaysia, Book Depository will automatically adjust to your local currency.
So even though Book Depository is an international website, you do not have to pay extra for currency exchange. The price you see is the price you pay.
The Down Side of Buying from Book Depository
There are some downsides about buying from Book Depository. Let’s talk about that in this section:
#1 Delivery can take up to 6 weeks
The biggest downside of buying from Book Depository is that even though shipping is free, it can take a long time for a book to get to you. The reason for this is because they use registered mail to send you the book.
For Malaysia, the delivery time can be anything from 2 – 6 weeks:
This means if you need a book in less than 2 weeks, you should never place an order with Book Depository. When you urgently need a book, you are encouraged to buy it from Kinokuniya. Unless, of course, the title is not available from Kinokuniya.
But other than that, if you don’t urgently need the book and are ordering only one or a few books at a time, Book Depository might be the better option for you.
#2 Book Depository only sells print books
So if you are an e-book reader, you will not be able to find e-book deals on Book Depository.
#3 Book Depository has a small collection of books from Southeast Asian authors
If you want to buy books from Adam Khoo or any other Southeast Asian authors, Book Depository has a much smaller collection than Kinokuniya.
#4 Sometimes, books don’t arrive
Book Depository dispatches its books from two warehouses, one in the UK and another one in Australia. This means that if you order say five books, not all your books will arrive at the same time.
In some instances, some of your books will not arrive. When your books don’t arrive, however, you can contact Book Depository for them to re-send you the book. Like what happened with this redditor:
How to Buy on Book Depository
Buying from Book Depository is the same as buying from any other online bookstore.
First, set up your account
You need to set up an account first. You can do that by clicking here.
Then, pick your books
As per normal, select the books you want and add them to cart.
Last, make payment
Finally, checkout, make payment and you are done!
A note on payment
Book Depository appears not to be able to accept debit cards from Malaysia. But credit cards work fine.
If you are someone who likes a good deal and doesn’t mind waiting for your books, Book Depository is a great option for you. But if you are someone who needs your books to arrive within a week, you should not buy from Book Depository.
With cheaper books, wider international titles collection and free shipping, Book Depository is my top choice for buying books online.
What has your experience buying books from Book Depository been like? Share your experience in the comments below.