Monday, June 26, 2006

Buying photography books online

I had recently explored the possibility of procuring good books related to photography through international boksellers on the net. I was browsing www.amazon.con when I found plenty of materials on what to read. I was delighted to see the abnormally low price of second hand books being sold at the amazon.com marketplace. But then, I had no clue as to whether I can make payment in foreign exchange with my credit cards, whther the books will be shipped to India, whether any customs duty etc. are payable. A litle enquiry with amazon apprised me that from India I can buy only from amazon.com, not from its marketplace sellers. Amazon sells book at roughly 50% of its printed price. But at its marketplace, some of these books are available for may be 5% of its printed price. I explored more and it yielded good results. I stumbled upon a site named www.thriftbooks.com. I could purchase 3 good books from them. The price I paid for 3 books were less than what I had to shell out for buying one book in India. Though the books were rated second hand, it was as good as new. One of the book "The photographers handbook: A complete reference manual of techniques, procedures, equipment and style" (ISBN: 0394407547) by John Hedgecoe cost me just 1 cent (plus shipment charges), i.e. less than 5 rupees. It's original price is $20. The books arrived, nicely packed, through courier within a month without any hitch. Three books cost me Rs.1170/- of which $18 is shipment charge. The shipment charges for first book is normally $9 and subsequent books from the same seller is $4 or so. Believe me it is quite cheap. If you want to buy second hand books, try out www.abebooks.com. Unlike amazon.com, they ships both new and old books to India.

Currently I am reading the book "The A-Z of Creative Photography: Over 70 Techniques Explained in Full" by Lee Frost (ISBN: 0817433139) . It is a good book and recommended by many readers. I have been able learn few new things from whatever I have read till now. I would like to inform you that I had purchased this book in India through www.firstandsecond.com. This is an Indian company located at Okhla in New Delhi. It is actually a subsidiary of a UK based company. They also offer a wide range of books many of which are not available at bookstores in India. But the books are costly and also they did not deliver the book within the stipulated time. I had received the book after almost 1 and 1/2 month. This book cost me Rs.1240/-. But here you can make payment without any credit card. Further, in as they are located in India you can always catch hold of them if something goes wrong. Buying from outside India is cheaper but involves the risk of packet never arriving. But I found the return worth the risk.

5 comments:

Cluny Grey said...

Have you tried Alibris?
http://www.alibris.com
Cluny

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ms. Cluny! I have explored the www.alibris.com. They have the lowest international shipping rates for shipping a single book. If you buy more than book, then it is same. But I suggest that one should compare prices at both abebooks.com and alibris.com before placing order.

Anonymous said...

Which are the best bookstores in india. the top 10 to say.

Please reply!

Anonymous said...

try www.bookcafe.in

they are running a chain of bookstores in India, mostly in north. the list of locations you can get www.bookcafe.co.in

Rups said...

I have seen the bookcafe store located very close to my residence. But they sell books on printed price. However these sites sell books at much lower rate. Even after paying the hefty postal fee of say $9 per book, you will get it cheaper than any bookstores in India.