You don’t have to thank me for this

September 29, 2007 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

My favorite bookstore is Amazon. The book choice is endless and all books come with cover and content images, all possible details, and very important : reader reviews. How did I ever buy books in a real store? What was I thinking. Dammit, always wait for the existence of the internet, always.

What I usually do is look up books on Amazon.com, and then order them from Amazon.de. I do this because I think I am smart in ordering them from Germany, which takes less time and costs less, than if they have to come from the States. But actually, I’m pretty sure Amazon does this optimal routing thing for you, so all I’m doing is creating extra work for myself. However, I’m not 100% sure about this, and I’m not willing to even risk one delayed or expensive order, so .de it is then.

Now, the thing I wanted to talk to you about. I used to order books as new, which is what Amazon offers by default.

But have you ever noticed the ‘Used and New’ link :

Amazon Used and New

If you’re like me, you’ll probably think that this link leads you away from the safe Amazon haven and into the land of con-artists and hustlers whose only goal in life is to take your money while giving you only junk in return. Well, some time ago, I overcame my baseless fear and clicked the link. Well, not that link, because I haven’t bought that book yet, and anyway, the link is dynamically generated based on the availability of the used and new offers, and like I said, I buy from Amazon.de, so the link I clicked was in german, but anyway you get the idea : I clicked it.
The reason I clicked it was that, if you’re into scientific books – like me -, you stop reading them once you have a house and kids, because they set back your free spending budget three whole months. And dammit, I wanted to read again.

Contrary to what I believed, I was led into more Amazon pages where the book offers were presented to me in an orderly fashion. I went along and I ordered three books this way. All of the books arrived in a two week timespan without any hitch whatsoever.
One of the books, a paperback, was clearly damaged, but not to the extent that the book became unreadable or anything. If I showed you the book fresh out of the box, you would think nothing of its state. It looks like book. A slightly used book.
The other two books were hardcover and to this day I haven’t found anything that would classify the book as used or damaged.

So basically, what this Amazon service does, is market a couple of affiliated bookstores that are in the business of buying and selling bundles of slightly damaged or used books. You deal through Amazon, and so it’s endorsed by them, but the actual book package sender is another store.

Now as you can see, for the book in picture, the price difference is big, more than 20 bucks. And this is even a modest difference, there are sometimes better deals to be found, depending on the book, or the moment. When I had ordered my three books, I noticed that I had only spent as much as the first book’s new-price. That’s not a bad deal at all, three for one.

So now you don’t have to do any experimenting, I did it for you. You will be reading books for a price that’s actually like a price you would expect, not like a price that looks like it’s born 20 years early.

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Entry filed under: Truly important stuff.

How to do a lot of riding Because I forgot the more interesting topics

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