In the past, I bought all my books from the local bookstore. But now, I buy only 20% of my books from the local bookstore. As for the remaining 80% of books, I buy them at Book Depository.
By buying from BookDepository, I end up saving at least RM500 a year. The books are not only sometimes cheaper, Book Depository also offer free shipping to Malaysia.
If you have been looking for a cheap and reliable online bookstore with a wide collection of books, then Book Depository is for you. In this post, I will be sharing my experience with Book Depository. By the end of this post you will have a better idea of what Book Depository is about and whether you should buy from them.
Kinokuniya is the largest bookstore in Malaysia. I have been buying books from them since I was a high school student. I used to buy all my books at Kinokuniya.
But recently, I have started to buy even more books from Book Depository.
Book Depository is an online bookstore based in the UK. I decided to go with Book Depository for most of my purchases beginning year 2015 because Book Depository has:
Cheaper prices for some books
Wider collection of international titles
No minimum orders for free shipping
Let’s look at what I mean by each of these.
Book Depository has Cheaper Books (Sometimes)
Though not all books are cheaper on Book Depository, some books are. Like this book by the late surgeon Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air. While it is selling for RM51.39 on Kinokuniya, Book Depository has the same book for just RM40.55:
And this one, The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly:
But this does not apply to all books. For example, this book by Tim Ferris is actually cheaper on Kinokuniya than BookDepository:
But even when the book is cheaper on Kinokuniya, if I am buying only one book, I would still buy from Book Depository. This is because Book Depository offers free shipping with no minimum order. I will talk more about this later.
Let’s move on to the next reason why I now buy most of my books from Book Depository.
Book Depository has a Wider Collection of International Titles
Most of the books I read, and probably you read, are written by non-Malaysian authors. While Kinokuniya can quickly stock up on trending international titles, I have found it hard to find books on less popular and more specific topics.
For example, this book on depression by Andrew Solomon. It is only available on order and ships out in 14 days from order date:
The same book is in stock on Book Depository:
As someone who reads quite a number of unpopular books, I used to be disappointed when a book was not in stock at Kinokuniya. There were times when they called me to cancel my order because they could not get the book for me.
Since I found Book Depository, I have been able to get all the books I have ever dreamed of.
BookDepository ships for free, no minimum orders
The best thing about Book Depository is that there are no minimum orders to qualify for free shipping. Even if you order one book Book Depository will ship it to you for free.
To buy one book on Kinokuniya is seldom worth it for me because I stay in East Malaysia. If I order just one book, it would cost me RM42.40 for Kinokuniya to ship it to me! That is already the price of a book!
The only option for me is to buy enough books to qualify for free shipping or buy the book in-store.
With Book Depository, I can get even one book shipped to me for free. This gives me the flexibility to order as little, or as many books as I want.
The Best Part? Books are Priced in RM
As you would have probably noticed by now, all the books on Book Depository are priced in RM. Even if you don’t live in Malaysia, Book Depository will automatically adjust to your local currency.
So even though Book Depository is an international website, you do not have to pay extra for currency exchange. The price you see is the price you pay.
The Down Side of Buying from Book Depository
There are some downsides about buying from Book Depository. Let’s talk about that in this section:
#1 Delivery can take up to 6 weeks
The biggest downside of buying from Book Depository is that even though shipping is free, it can take a long time for a book to get to you. The reason for this is because they use registered mail to send you the book.
For Malaysia, the delivery time can be anything from 2 – 6 weeks:
This means if you need a book in less than 2 weeks, you should never place an order with Book Depository. When you urgently need a book, you are encouraged to buy it from Kinokuniya. Unless, of course, the title is not available from Kinokuniya.
But other than that, if you don’t urgently need the book and are ordering only one or a few books at a time, Book Depository might be the better option for you.
#2 Book Depository only sells print books
So if you are an e-book reader, you will not be able to find e-book deals on Book Depository.
#3 Book Depository has a small collection of books from Southeast Asian authors
If you want to buy books from Adam Khoo or any other Southeast Asian authors, Book Depository has a much smaller collection than Kinokuniya.
#4 Sometimes, books don’t arrive
Book Depository dispatches its books from two warehouses, one in the UK and another one in Australia. This means that if you order say five books, not all your books will arrive at the same time.
In some instances, some of your books will not arrive. When your books don’t arrive, however, you can contact Book Depository for them to re-send you the book. Like what happened with this redditor:
How to Buy on Book Depository
Buying from Book Depository is the same as buying from any other online bookstore.
First, set up your account
You need to set up an account first. You can do that by clicking here.
Then, pick your books
As per normal, select the books you want and add them to cart.
Last, make payment
Finally, checkout, make payment and you are done!
A note on payment
Book Depository appears not to be able to accept debit cards from Malaysia. But credit cards work fine.
If you are someone who likes a good deal and doesn’t mind waiting for your books, Book Depository is a great option for you. But if you are someone who needs your books to arrive within a week, you should not buy from Book Depository.
With cheaper books, wider international titles collection and free shipping, Book Depository is my top choice for buying books online.
thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂
you’re welcome May 😀
Hi, I need help. I bought a book from this website. But I don’t really know where to go to take the book. ?
Normally they will ship to your address. If not, contact Pos Malaysia.
Hi Lu Wee,
What do I say when I contact Pos Malaysia? I’m afraid BD hasn’t shared a local tracking number, and Pos Malaysia has mentioned unless they have one they won’t be able to help me, as they are so many deliveries.
Same question here, I ordered from there too but its only one week now since I check the tracking no. that show “DISPATCHED”. I wonder how I’m gonna check with POS MALAYSIA without the local tracking no. I guess 5 more weeks to wait.
Same. POS Malaysia wouldn’t entertain you without any tracking / reference number. So I informed BD and they have arranged to redeliver the books. So another 15 days min wait again. Let’s see if the books arrive this time round.
Oh, that’s unfortunate. How long have you waited? Hopefully it really does arrive the next time! I’ve been lucky maybe for all my books to arrive.
Thanks for sharing on bookdepository. I purchased a book via bookdepository and I am still waiting for my book to arrive. I am a bit worry but thanks to your post, I worry less and just wait patiently for my book to arrive. ?
Great! So far I’ve received all the books I ordered, so there shouldn’t be a problem. My friend who lost a book quickly got it replaced also =) Enjoy reading!
Hi, may I know whether the receipt from them is deductible/claimable for our income tax with LHDN?
Yes it is. I’ve used it for that before. But do make sure your receipts are in RM, not USD.
A very big problem with book depository is that they do not give you any tracking number for any of book order that you place. It is impossible to check with POS MALAYSIA without the local tracking/reference number.
I had enough of these guessing games, I made an order 3 months ago and it still hasn’t been delivered to me yet. The only status there is “Dispatched” for over 2 months!!!
Book depository, seriously please fix this, we need a reasonable way of tracking our orders else you have lost me as a customer.
This is a review on BookDepository. If you want to write a complaint, you have to go to their website to do that, or else they won’t see this.
But to share my own experience with BD, if I don’t get my book within 6 weeks, I will tell BD and usually, they will resend a new book. I’ve not had any issues so far. Hope this helps!
Hi, I was wondering do have you use any experience with parcel box lockers for your purchases? It was stupid of me to use those lockers for BD since the lockers require the receiver’s phone number and BD don’t have a space to fill in the phone number. So now, I’m kind of worry about my books.
Ohhhh no, I’ve never used parcel box lockers! If ever there was a box, it didn’t require more info, just drop off. Hmmmm, I assume if they really can’t deliver it they courier will return the book and you can request BD to resend the book to a different address.
Hope this helps!
Thanks, I will keep that in mind! Gonna have to wait and see how it goes first.
Hi i was wondering if i buy a book from book depository. When it arrive at malaysia do i need to pay extra for example like tax or for post money for the book to reach my house ? Or i need to collect it somewhere?
Hey Sya, you won’t need to pay extra tax for books. They’ll usually arrive at your house address using POS Mail. It doesn’t require signature so they’ll just drop it off your house. Hope this helps!
Hello. Just wanna ask if now Book Depository will accept debit card for payment or they still only accept credit card? Thanks!
Actually, debit card also can, but you need to enable your debit card for international payments. This is because Bank Negara has made it default non-international payment to prevent fraud.
Hope this helps!
– Lu Wee
i would like to ask if i ordered like 23 books at 1 times how do i trace em reach to my place
unfortunately, you can’t trace them. The only thing you can do is wait.
I discovered BD has a great deal and shipping is free. I plan to buy as a guest without registering as an existing member. But no tracking system is daunting as if searching in the dark. Should I proceed buying?
Hm, I really can’t make the decision for you. This is probably a question you need to ask yourself if you are able to accept having no tracking.
The only thing to do is wait. The status is DESPATCHED but it has been 2 weeks from 21st of Nov which was the date of my purchases wing their way as stated in my order and received an email by BD stating it. Awww geez. No tracking and time is well..nobody likes to really queue or wait kan ? Sigh
Yes, unfortunately, this is the biggest drawback with BD. I recently received my books after almost 4 months. So, keep your expectations realistic so you won’t be too disappointed XD
Exactly how is the parcel in terms of color/stamp/box once it is arrived to our local post office? The pej.pos asked me where is the track.no. but I said none. Only a standard shipping style from the UK with only my address. So could you describe how …is the books wrapped up when they arrived to the post office? Is it in a chocolate box? White? With stamps? Etc.? It will be Pos M’sia who will handle it to my doorstep right? I still hvent got mine from 21st of November.
i recently bought one book from them. I’ve been tracking thw shipment with the tracking number they gave me, all was good until theres no more updates after the 12th december. the last update showed the book had cleared from malaysia custom and arrived at a kl facility
You were given a tracking #? How come mine none. The customer relation said it is via a Royal Mail standard shipment. I googled it, it is a British company.
Hi, I’ve ordered books from BD and honestly thought its a great place because it have all the books I wanted. However, its been two months since it was ‘DISPATCHED’. And I was wondering, when you received your books from BD, did the local courier servcie called you to inform it has arrived, or they just dropped it off?
Kinda need to know, because it means I have to go down and check the other postsin the building.
It will arrive as registered mail – so you won’t get a call from the courier. They’ll just drop it off at the address you’ve indicated. Hope this helps!
hi,may i know if BD sells the original books or copy?
BD sells originals.
I ordered 3 books from BD on 25 Feb 2022. I received 2 books on 12 April. And another one more has yet to arrive. They have offered to refund me.
BD has helpful staff like Robin and Jessy who are ready to assist you. But as Lu Wee mentioned, if you need the book urgently, then do not order from BD.