Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Amazon sea freight fail

I like Amazon.

Good service, generally a great company to deal with.

But somehow I managed to buy a some stuff recently and click the sea freight button.

Don't do that.

First off its painfully slow. But then theres the damage endured by the package.

Either the ship was attacked by pirates, or the shipboard soccer team kicked the package around the deck.

Miraculously - probably due to all the airbags the damage to the book inside was minimized - but it was far from unscathed - note the apparent moisture damage and dog-eared corner.


I doubt I will take advantage of Amazon's return policy - the book is readable, and I don't have the time to parcel it up and send it back.

But next time - air freight thanks.


  1. Sarah, my experience with amazon and damaged books is that they tend to just ship new copies and tell you not to bother shipping them back.

  2. These days, I find Amazon's bizarrely punitive international postage charges render them uncompetitive, unless you're ordering an asston of books in a bulk satchel. They are good about lost or damaged shipments, though.

    On the weekend before last I ordered two books from, one of them arrived in 5 days, the other in 7. Shipping was (nominally) free, and total price was below both amazon and any local vendor (supposing I could have found them in stock locally).

    BookDepository was recommened to me by another blogger, but you might also come across it via, a meta-search engine that ranks a whole raft of online booksellers by price+shipping, for a given book.


  3. Thanks for the great tips.

    Ray has been singing the praises of booko - I might use them to determine if bookdepository is within coo-ee of competitive for my next purchase and if so give them a try.

    And if Amazon are willing to send me a new copy of the book without having to ship the old one back immediately I'll do that too. The moisture damage is really ruining that "new book" experience, even tho' its readable.

  4. As an amusing aside, I just received a damaged book from Amazon, went through the web thingy to return it and got a very prompt email from customer service telling me there was no need to return it, but that a replacement book was on the way. I'm still happy with their customer service.

  5. Yes, confirmed - this was my (final) experience too.

    The replacement book arrived in a much better package, by air I think, and was in great condition.

    Its a good policy on their part since it will keep me coming back.

    The returns policy initially started out with directions to print out a mailing label and send the damaged book back.

    Then I got an email, which as far as I could tell was from a human, saying I did not need to bother sending it back.

    Perhaps this was based on my past purchasing patterns, as well as the cost of freight.

    Whatever, its been a good result in the end.


Hi, thanks for leaving your thoughtful on-topic comment!