Where to Buy Books in the States? How to Navigate 博客來 (Books.com.tw)?

There are always questions on how to buy from Taiwan easily and have it shipped to the USA. I have to be honest, it’s EASY, SUPER EASY. So easy that it is dangerous!!! It is the reason why my library is so complete (along with having relatives ship stuff over). Let me answer a few basic questions about http://www.Books.com.tw :

  1. How long does it take for books to get here?
    • Less than a week! They use DHL, perfectly packed and in ultra professional packaging (double layered boxes, everything).
  2. How much does shipping cost?
    • It goes by weight. I always always suggest buying 20kg or more. This is like a couple sets of books already. If you’re buying picture books, this isn’t hard at all. If you’re buying bridge books, you can literally get about 40-50 bridge books in there! This means your shipping is spread over 40-50 books which isn’t a bad deal.
    • You’ll be able to see your shipping weight when you add items to cart if you scroll to the bottom right hand corner. Your shipping cost is calculated at checkout before you pay so you’ll know exactly what you’re paying.
    • Cost of shipping varies from 30% of the cost of your books (when you have 20kg+) to about 50% if you’re buying less. When you get above 20kg, it’s 230TW per kg charged for shipping. So for 22-25kg, I’m usually paying about $180 USD in shipping. Sounds like a lot, but it beats going there myself. That’s usually about $3-$5 more I’m paying per book. Books are usually $6-$8/each and if you tag on $3-$5, it’s still much cheaper than buying direct from some sites here in the states!!!
  3. Do they accept American credit cards?
    • Yes they do! Yay! Checkout process is as easy as buying anything as the states.
  4. What do I do? I don’t read Chinese?
    • Don’t fret. They have English Translations for most menu items. Scroll to the right top of the page. You’ll see a sign with a globe. Click on it and change the menu to English.
  5. How do I start?
    • First, register for an account.
    • Then you can start with scrolling through Books on the left, then choose Traditional, Children’s Books, etc.
    • Add the items to cart.
    • Click Overseas Checkout
    • Enter in all your information and credit card and done!
  6. What does it mean when I don’t see a weight?
    • It means you have something in your cart that is shipped to Taiwan only. In each product page, there’s a section right under prices where it’ll say where it ships to. Be sure that you’re not adding something to cart that ships only to Taiwan. Sometimes they do this because it ships direct from the supplier.
  7. What if something is out of stock?
    • 絕版 – Out of Print – You won’t be able to buy it ever again. 😦
    • 已售完,無法購買 – Out of Stock – click the button below to be informed when it will be in stock.
    • 訂購後立即出貨 – They will ship it after you order. It means it’s at another warehouse and needs maybe 1-2 days to get to Books.com.tw and from there, another 2-4 days to get out through DHL to you.
  8. How do I know if there’s something on sale?
    • In your shopping cart, under each items, if there’s a rectangular box, there may be sometimes something that says:
      Matched
      2018國際書展3折起!滿1000現折100元!(單筆訂單恕不累計)

      This happens when they have more options for you and when you buy 1000TWD of something, you get extra 100TWD off. Click on the box and it’ll take you to all the books in this category. Sometimes it’ll say buy 3 books or 2 books to get this deal or like in this case, it’ll say buy 1000TWD and get 100 TWD off.

  9. Here’s their Q&A towards overseas shipping:  http://www.books.com.tw/web/sys_qalist/qa_29_34/0?loc=000_034

Other places to get books in the states:

  1. http://www.Glorias-Bookstore.com – New kid in town and the site is simple, nice, easy to navigate and most of all, prices are pretty great. Amazing Amazing Amazing Prices!!!!!!! She is concentrated on mostly picture books but recently has more bridge book options. She also does pre-orders so when you order, make sure it’s not a pre order if you want it sooner. She has many books on pre-order so I suggest you text/email her to see when those would arrive. There are more than 1200 titles on her site!!! If you want variety, this is definitely the place to go. This is like the new Chinese Amazon for the people in the states. She does traditional books.
  2. ChinaSprout.com – They have picture books, story books, simplified and traditional, but warning, high prices. Really high prices where I’m almost gagging (j/k).
  3. ChineseBooksOnline.com – Lots and lots and LOTS of selection. It’s as if you had a mini http://www.books.com.tw at your fingertips. Shocker part: price. You’re buying at double the price of what you could get yourself if you shipped directly with Books.com.tw. I choose shipping from taiwan. Sometimes you get books faster that way than even through this site. Here’s what some people don’t know though. If you accumulate $1000USD worth of buying in a year or however long, you get 15% off of their prices going forward. Once in a blue moon, you’ll get something cheap but for me to plunk down $1000 first on double priced books and then to get it regular priced, I’d pass. For those that only want a “few” books though, maybe this is your option if you don’t want 20kg from Taiwan.
  4. Mr. and Mrs. Books Facebook Group – This is a group buy operation. They do large amounts of ordering a year usually each season. They specialize in large sets. If you’re looking for a few books here and there, this won’t be your option. Prices are usually cheaper than the other US sites and slightly more expensive than Books.com.tw but you’ll have to price compare. Sometimes they’re cheaper than buying in Taiwan yourself and shipping it here yourself.
  5. Timesbook.com – Simplified books galore. I ordered from them 2-3 times and the prices are very decent if you go with the “pre order” option. It’ll be the same as taobao prices (or slightly more) BUT you’ll have to wait about 45 days for your order to arrive. It beats going through an agent for China where they charge crazy fees for helping you taobao. The cheapest and fastest of course is to go through taobao but everything is kind of crazy in there as you have to know what seller to buy from and know the intricacies of how to combine your order, etc. Times Book is located in the states AND if there is some book that you do want, you can request it with them through a phone call and they can actually special order it for you. It’s nice having a local USA based business with a phone number to talk to someone.

 

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5 Responses to Where to Buy Books in the States? How to Navigate 博客來 (Books.com.tw)?

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