Just as the internet has increased the flow of information for users, it has also revolutionized the way people shop for books. This change is significant enough to imperil the traditional business of booksellers and force them to adapt to changing market conditions.
Who are the reliable sellers for books?
Although there are many sellers offering cheap books, not every vendor is a reputable dealer. It is of the buyer’s interest to use a reputable seller, such as Amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com that will guarantee the book you buy will be at the condition promised and delivered in a timely manner.
What are some drawbacks of buying cheap books online?
When buying cheap books at below market prices, especially used books, there runs the risk that the seller has exaggerated the extent of damage to the book in order to sell it. Many sellers will include return addresses to return items that the customer is dissatisfied with. Bear in mind that not all sellers are reputable and may refuse refunds.
An additional drawback is the cost of shipping books from the seller to the consumer. Often, the price of shipping to applied to the cost of the book to defer some of the costs to the seller. This may lead to misleading pricing. Additionally, some websites will not display the cost of shipping, tricking the consumer into believing that a good deal is in fact a mediocre deal. Most reputable sellers will give the buyer an option to sort the cost of the book by price and shipping to express the actual cost to the buyer. Additionally, many sellers offer periods of free shipping promotions. Amazon.com Prime Membership for example, offers membership that qualifies all members for free 2-day shipping as well as free 2-day shipping for college students.
Why should I use a site such as Amazon.com?
Amazon.com, in addition to selling a multitude of items also acts as a middle man between small scale sellers and the consumer. In this way, the consumer will benefit from Amazon’s anti-fraud protections and user feedback systems to rate sellers based on their honesty and customer service Personal auction sites, such as Ebay.com also have fraud protections and customer ratings, but sellers and buyers must usually interact to resolve issues stemming from the order.
Where should I go if I do not want to buy cheap books on the Internet?
Most large cities will have independent book sellers that stock new and used books at discounted rates. Additionally, large chains, such as Barnes and Nobles have discount racks that offer significant discounts on old and overstocked books.