• expired

[Hack] Even Cheaper Prices at Book Depository

8513

Taken from whirlpool from here and modified slightly http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1441298&p...

Basically the "free shipping worldwide" policy at book depository isn't 100% true. If you visit the site from a UK address, the total price including shipping is cheaper than if you visit it from Australia.

Method (from WP post):
Install the edit cookies plugin for Firefox from here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4510

Then use the lunchbrowse.com to access http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/fccbookclub (most web based proxies will do). Use this address to make sure that the coupon code box appears at the checkout later. I added a book to my basket at this point.

Then go to cookie editor – search for lunchbrowse.com. Click the c[bookdepository.co.uk][/][ENTITY_SESS_ID_UK] and copy the content bit which will be something like: lngmess7j75vji24rlvva8imv5 (do not use this one!)

Then search for bookdepository.co.uk in the edit cookies section. Edit the entity sess id and paste in that one you used.

Then access the site bookdepository.co.uk in your browser and you should have whatever you added to the basket and have UK prices as well. Change the currency to AUD at the top right.

When you are ready, go to your basket and add the coupon code FCC221 for another 10% off.

As an example, I was able to get "the rough guide to thailand" for $13.69 delivered. This compares to $23.27 without the 10% off and this hack from book depository, or $19.50 which was the cheapest price on booko (abebooks), or 39.95 from dymocks in store.

One word of caution: don't buy through the proxy. It will probably work but is asking for trouble. Use the technique above to avoid entering in confidential information (paypal account) on a proxied page.

Mod: Put back original description for clarity

Mod: Further discussion here

Related Stores

whirlpool.net.au
whirlpool.net.au

closed Comments

  •  

    Awesome! Thankyou.

  •  

    Nice! Wondering will they disable it in the future if they find out?

    • -2 votes

      hopefully not…

    • +3 votes

      They are bound to as I doubt that they are in the business of losing money.

    •  

      They might change the way that sessions are handled by their website, making the cookie method described here non-functional, but using a proxy would continue to work. The discrepancy in prices has been known since mid-2009 at the latest, though.

      The best outcome, and the fairest to both the company and its customers, would be for them to stop advertising 'Free Shipping' when the costs are in fact built in to the advertised prices. They're still the cheapest store around for most books (always check http://booko.com.au/, though).

  • -1 vote

    i keep on doing it every time i order from them
    it works it saves quite a bit

  • +27 votes

    9 times out of 10 they are the cheapest without using this hack. I think it is fair that they would have to charge a little bit more to ship to Australia. I think this is a little unethical given they are already quite competitive with the giant (Amazon).

    • +3 votes

      They shouldn't be advertising that shipping is free..

      • -3 votes

        Why not?

        • +9 votes

          because it isn't free - its built into a higher price.

        • -11 votes

          it is free, it says so on the website…

          "Free delivery worldwide on all our books."

        • +18 votes

          Not this again..

        • +3 votes

          @ gummibear
          lol

      • +1 vote

        Shipping is never really "free". If they charged everyone the same price, does that make it free? It might not necessarily be the shipping cost that causes the difference in price (though I imagine it probably is).

        •  

          What could be?

          VAT?
          GST?

        • +3 votes

          What could be?

          Profit ?

  • +3 votes

    It's true…the prices are location-based as well. My work internet routes via the US so sites actually read my IP as US-based and I just compared a book: $169.49 from my mobile phone vs $131.95 from my office laptop.

  •  

    Brilliant, got a $14aud book for $8.60

  • +5 votes

    Anyone made a book suppository joke in this thread yet?

    • +11 votes

      Only a huge ass would do such a thing.

  • +3 votes

    Just tried this with Mogworld (a sub $10 book).

    UK: AUD$9.39 Save $0.76 ( 7%) RRP $10.15
    AU: AUD$8.68 Save $1.47 (14%) RRP $10.15
    US: AUD$8.07 Save $0.08 (14%) RRP $ 8.15 (AU access via .com, the US site)

    So it's actually cheaper to buy (this book) without the hack.

    Of the two from my last purchase, one was identical in price and the other was perhaps $2 cheaper, but BD is far cheaper than any other bookstore. So not even an issue.

  • +53 votes

    I hate this. Just pay them what you should be, Book Depository is a great company with great service, and you should be supporting them.

    • +20 votes

      +1 totally agree… we should be supporting online businesses and not giving them reasons to kill off things like free shipping to australia.

      we don't need excuses from the likes of nyer/harvey to say it's unsafe to sell online due to issues like this..

    • -2 votes

      They should be truthful and acknowledge that shipping costs are built in to the advertised prices. They're often the cheapest store around, even when accessed from outside the UK, and it seems quite fair to charge UK customers less than international customers given the cost of shipping, but they should be upfront about what they are doing.

      • +15 votes

        I much prefer buying with this all in one pricing model.

        I can just buy one book and forget about it, rather than multiple adding/deleting from my cart, checking the shipping rates, going back, seeing which book increases the shipping more, etc (and the worst - end up buying a few extra books I didn't really want just to get a good deal on the shipping).

      • +2 votes

        they are not hiding anything, it is clearly part of the cost to them and thus the price to us. Just a different method of selling.

      • +4 votes

        Why?

        What's so important about the cost of shipping that you need it itemized for you? Would you like to know how much of the price of the book they spend on site hosting, how much on salaries, how much on rent?

        It's the final price you care about. When you compare prices with other sites, what would be the point of comparing the cost of shipping separately? Would you pay $50 more for a book from Borders because their shipping cost was $5 less?

    • +9 votes

      As fun as it is discovering the hack and 'beating the system', I agree with the above.

      I ordered two heavy photo books from them… $200 in a store in Perth, $40 delivered from them.

      I was away with work, missed the 5 day delivery notice and good old AusPost returned to sender. I contacted Book Depository about the problem and they offered to resend it for FREE. So that's 2x shipping to Australia for a huge 1kg+ book.

    • +9 votes

      Another +1. There are bargains & then there is just plain screwing the company. If you have to lie about your location it ain't right.

    • +8 votes

      I'm always one for a bargain, but this just doesn't sit well. Book Depository provides a great service to Australian book buyers and doing this as our way of thanks just isn't right.

  • +2 votes

    I just use Opera Mobile on my phone to buy my books - turn on Opera Turbo to get the UK pricing, then turn it off so I can use PayPal without PayPal thinking that my account's being accessed from England or Norway and subsequently limiting my account. No need to muck around with cookies.

  • +23 votes

    I really like the book depository. I feel bad that people have found a way to rip them off. I expected better from this community.

    • -3 votes

      Well the real question is: Who is ripping off who?

      Do you like the idea that their "free shipping" isn't actually free at all, and is calculated into the cost of the purchase? I much prefer Amazon's way of handling that side - you get to see how much it costs you to send an item.

      But in the end, isn't ripping people off what retail is all about? Making money by selling someone an item for more than what you paid for it. ;)

      • +7 votes

        Plenty of selective ethics going on here, people are happy to transact with a brick and mortar retailer at a cost well below their cost price. Eg using Myer gift cards and price matching or many of the other bargains that we see on here. But when its with their favorite internet site its not on for some reason.

        • +8 votes

          Price matching and gift cards are using store policies to your advantage. Actually editing your cookies to trick their system is wrong.

        • +1 vote

          Hmm… maybe. Personally i think it's splitting hairs going into technicalities of 'how' you knowingly leave the store out of pocket. If you know your actions have that consequence, it's ethically/morally on you (to the extent that it niggles) regardless of the apparatus you use to do it.

          As for this store, i love BookDep and do see the argument against doing this, but on the other hand, some of the price differences between proxy/non proxy site entries seem - at least on face value - to add more than just a bit of extra bare shipping costs. A few of the bestselling paperbacks, for instance, are $6/7 UK proxy versus $14 non proxy. I can understand a few dollars more, but $7 extra - on a light, small book - seems a little heavy. Though, granted, they are still generally cheapest on net.

      • +21 votes

        I don't feel ripped off at all when I shop at book depository. More often than not they are the cheapest bookshop on the internet when shopping from Australia.

        Their margins can't be very big. They offer free shipping by selling their product at a price at which they can ship it for free. I am happy with this as it gives me a cheaper way to feed my book addiction.

        Expoiting this "hack" is dishonest.

        •  

          More often than not they are the cheapest bookshop on the internet when shopping from Australia.

          Come to ozbargain to make it cheaper

        • +14 votes

          Agree it is at least Unethical if not actually fraudulent
          How is this different to swapping the price sticker on an item in store!?

        • +1 vote

          It's not…

        • -6 votes

          How can you consider this "dishonest", but what they are doing not?

          Consider this;

          You walk into your local HN. They have item X, with "free installation", for $500. Great price! So you buy it, tell your mate, and he goes instore, but for him the price with "free installation" is $550.

          Offering a "free" service, but altering the final price of the item based on various factors. Is that honest?

        • +1 vote

          Don't you feel sorry or worry mate.
          Book Depository will quickly figure out a way to overcome or fix this "hack", I think.

        • +3 votes

          @ryang

          but altering the final price of the item based on various factors. Is that honest?

          Yes it is, they are offering you a price, and it is your choice whether you want to purchase from them or not…

        • +4 votes

          @ryang

          lol.. terrible analogy. What if you live in a single level house but your friend lives in a lighthouse, then that extra $50 for installation actually looks like a great deal.

          In any case, HN would have fine-print on their deal saying difficult locations will cost extra to install.. I think that's equivalent to Book Depo charging Australians extra to cover delivery costs.

          Voting neg since the Book Depo already provide us with the best prices in the market, and this is just ripping them off.

      • +6 votes

        There is no way a store could actually offer 'free' shipping without the consumer paying for it in some way.

        In fact the only way this is possible would be if they were making a loss, and then the shipping wouldn't be free for long…

        •  

          In fact the only way this is possible would be if they were making a loss, and then the shipping wouldn’t be free for long…

          books make profits as well

          although if you mean they make a loss through shipping, yes they would

        • +2 votes

          The cost breakdown, ignoring taxes, would be:

          Book cost +
          Shipping cost +
          Profit
          equals
          $Total Cost

          If the shipping were 100% "free" to the purchaser (ie. purchaser bears no cost), two things could have happened:
          1) They have deducted the shipping cost from their profit. However, as the shipping is ALWAYS free, this can't apply.

          2) They are making zero profit. This is unsustainable and also can't happen.

          The only conclusion, then, is that there is no such thing as "free" shipping on a site that always offers "free shipping".

    • +2 votes

      they are not being ripped off.

    • +7 votes

      Agree with you "cgs327".. To me, it's stealing without chance of being caught. ( This is same as in the case of Slurpee ). You can say the store is trying to rip you off and you can stop shopping there. But double wrong doesn't make ones right.

  • +3 votes

    I'd imagine they'd eventually work this out and close this loop.

    •  

      You would be assuming that the ozbargain crew are a big enough percentage of their sales to make a significant impact. I don't think they are - go to the "live" section of their website to see in real time where people are buying from - there is a lot of Australian customers buying from this site.

      •  

        many of whom may be visitors to OzBargain.

      •  

        and Whirlpool… and say -$10 on each order…

        For every poster there are 100x lurkers.

        Who knows for sure but it would add up.

  • +1 vote

    from all the excitement of this hack I forgot to put the discount code for an extra 10% off. Missed out on another $4.50 discount

    •  

      lol

  •  

    Wow the books were cheap enough without this hack. will have a go when i get home.

      • +10 votes

        They're cheap enough as it is, they have saved me countless $'s.

        there is a difference between 'being thrifty' and 'taking advantage'

        • +6 votes

          I'm guessing you used to dob on people at school too…

        •  

          He dobbed on me when I pulled down nanoo's panties

        •  

          [email protected]#$!!

          If I were unscrupulous (which I'm not) I might have a good mind to download a 1,000 or two select books for free when I had a spare five minutes.

    • +1 vote

      If this does anything, it should make Book Depository uneasy about their 'trick' of charging customers for shipping based on geographic location while advertising "free shipping world wide".

    • +4 votes

      Fair enough. Let's hope the extra charge to Australians is just 'bare bones covering the increased shipping and nothing more', though (as you're presuming). If there is an element of, 'gee these Aussies are awfully keen. Books are apparently outrageously priced over there. Let's nudge an extra 10-20% profit margin off them now that we've isolated each entry door. Gravy!' Well, more the fool you.

      Who knows?

    • +4 votes

      @ zzz
      not cool buddy, just because you don't feel that this is correct, doesn't mean you should ruin the fun(in this case a deal) for everyone else

    • +1 vote

      You're brave.

    • +3 votes

      I hope "see ya" refers to you never coming back to this site because you think we are unethical.

    • +2 votes

      What a crap thing to do If its ok for BD to use false advertising then it is ok for people to find a way around it

    • +4 votes

      A lot of people are going to hate you for that but I applaud you.
      This hack is simply cheating BD; not a bargain. It shows people will do anything to save a few dollars.

  • +5 votes

    Good find.

    Those who feel uneasy about editing cookies can use a UK based proxy and get UK pricing. Nevertheless, it is a misconception to think that this is wrong or ripping off Book Depository. Thnk of this situation. Your mate in the UK buys the books you want from Book depository and arrange to send them to you in Australia. They advertise, "Free Shipping Worldwide". So, nothing wrong. Now, by using these work arounds, you are don't have to hassle your mate in the UK — you can place the order yourself.

    Furthermore, regardless of how much I like them, I think Book depository is engaging in unethical business practice by advertising "free shipping" but adding the shipping cost to the order surreptitiously looking at customers' geographic locations.

    Even if they find out, they cannot ethically do anything ie. they cannot say, "ah….are you not from the UK, but from Australia? Then the price has to go up by AUD 10.." because they are advertising "free shipping worldwide".

    Of course they know where the books are sent because you provide the shipping address. They can't adjust the price at that point because of their own claim of "Free world wide shipping".

    •  

      you can place the order yourself.

      But you don't live in the UK and Book depository aren't offering you the UK price.

      • +2 votes

        But if you live in the UK and your friend lives in australia, they are offering you the UK price, delivered to australia.

        •  

          i don't live in the UK

        •  

          ed: Del. Duplicate of Surm's comments posted at same time.

      • +1 vote

        jv,

        there is nothing called "UK price". The price is world wide. Book depository never says the particular price applies UK market only.

        Moreover, you are disclosing your location by shipping address. It is not that "Book Depository" is unaware of your location.

        They advertise a product with "free shipping world wide". So, whether you place the order while you are holidaying in the UK, or get your Pommy mate to order the books for you or whether you do this using a proxy/cookie does not make a difference to the outcome.

    •  

      Errm, but your friend then has to pay postage to send them to you here.

      •  

        No, the friend puts in my Aussie address details and The BD offers "FREE world wide shipping". It is not "free domestic shipping". It is "Free world wide shipping".

      •  

        ed: lol. redundant.

  • +4 votes

    I think it's subverting the way the site is meant to work. Regardless of whether you think "free shipping" should or should not be in their spiel, it's unethical to "hack" their shopping cart to make their system offer you a cheaper price.

    •  

      you can buy a $1 book, and they will ship it for free…

  • +1 vote

    someone should ask them why they charge more to australia and go on about the free postage arguement blah blah. wonder what theyll say

    •  

      they can do what they like, it's their business…

      •  

        But they have advertised a different business practice - is this ok?

      •  

        No they can't do whatever they want, sheesh for someone that is neurotic about ozbargaon rules, you can't really be that naive can you?

  • +3 votes

    Whilst all the morally upright users are reporting this hack to the Book Depository, they might as well mention that bookdepository.com.au redirects to Booktopia.

    I personally will not be using this hack, but it is exactly the same in principle as looking at the see-through label on the 7-11 slurpee cups before you choose a cup. It's simply not how the system was designed to be used, and the only risk of exploiting such hacks is that the customer may lose out in the long term.

  • +6 votes

    Sometiem ago, Amazon did a trick to offer different prices to different people.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/914691.stm

    New customers were given a higher discount. Loyal customers paid higher prices. Amazon tracked the loyal customers via Cookies.

    The solution? People cleared cookies and got bigger discounts ie. discounts offered to new customers.

    Those who don't like this "cookie solution" should also not like the "cookie trick" that the Amazon customers did, because they "tricked" amazon and bought at a cheaper price than they were offered.

    It was Amazon that was at the receiving end for undisclosed price discrimination. The Book Depository is doing something similar. In the end, Amazon faced a customer backlash and got rid of their "price discrimination" policy.

  • +1 vote

    I can't believe this post is allowed to be here as long as it has. if this isn't straight out illegal practice it is certainly questionable tactics to circumvent their systems

    • +6 votes

      I agree.

      •  

        This pesky internet shopping will be the end of decent aussie stores :-)

    • +2 votes

      In reality this hack is just making a reality of the advertising of free shipping worldwide

  • +3 votes

    What does this 'hack' prove?

    It proved that The Book Depository's "Free world wide shipping" is a sham!

    It is not what they claim to it to be. They look at your geographic location and inflate the prices to compensate for shipping costs while advertising "Free Shipping World wide".

    Moral upright users should contact The Book Depository and inquire why we have to pay more than rest of the world, if "World wide free shipping" is offered.

    • +3 votes

      Maybe if the Book Depository advertised "shipping included in the displayed price" (using the current model of geographical pricing) rather than "free worldwide shipping", all these comments in BOLD will cease? Then you won't have an argument. Let's face it - you're upset over the choice of words.

      • +7 votes

        OKAY

        sorry i mean
        okay

  • +5 votes

    theyre already the cheapest. do you people really need to circumvent their pricing system just to prove a point? write to them about it if you actually care.

  • +1 vote

    I just had a looked at the price difference and it's a minimum 30% mark up in price, surely if I were to spend $100 dollars they could not justify charging over $30 for shipping?

    • +1 vote

      Go to Royal Mail and use the postage calculator, and see how much it normally costs.

      •  

        You mean if BD didn't use misleading statements - hey that would be great

        EDIT: this was in reply to your changed post - ninja edit there hey!!!!

        •  

          Sorry donny, I replied to the wrong person. The ninja'd post is above, in reply to surm.

      •  

        they obviously would have a deal with the Royal Mail(as with any other business) in order to get their shipping cheaper

        it could be either a cheaper rate per package
        OR possible
        $xxxxx for unlimited packages to be delivered